Was Che Guevara’s painting found in a dumpster in Cuba amidst protests?

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A post featuring an image of Che Guevara’s painting in a dumpster is going viral on social media. It has gained attention from netizens, especially Indian Twitter users who are making several interesting comments retweeting it.

Claims: The viral post claimed that the image is from Cuba. The caption with one of these posts, which received 3k likes and about 800 retweets, read, “Finally Cubans assigned the right place for communism… I wonder when will Kerala do that…” The post, and many similar ones, implied that the image is from the current large scale unrest in Cuba.

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My cuban people got fed up with Communism from pics

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While the picture is unedited, it is not from Cuba. It is an old photo clicked in Madrid, Spain.

Before we get into the investigation, it is paramount to answer the following questions:

Who was Che Guevara? 

Ernesto Guevara de la Serna, commonly referred to as Che Guevara, was a distinguished communist figure in the Cuban Revolution who later became a guerrilla leader in South America. The Bolivian army executed Guevara in 1967, following which leftists across the globe have regarded him as a martyred hero. Guevara, to date, is considered an influential icon of leftist radicalism and anti-imperialism. Click here and here to watch these small videos and learn more about his relevance in history.

What is happening in Cuba?

Cuba, a small island nation located at the junction of the northern Caribbean Sea, Gulf of Mexico, and the Atlantic Ocean, is witnessing historic protests. The people of Cuba have come out on the streets in dissent against the government, demanding the Cuban President Miguel Diaz-Canel to step down. The reason behind the street demonstrations is the deteriorating living conditions of Cubans amidst the country’s economic crisis and the mishandling of the Covid-19 pandemic.

As much as we support freedom and citizen’s right to protest across the world, misinformation adding fuel to the fire helps no one. Ergo we decided to fact check this image and find the truth behind it. To begin with, we ran a reverse image search of the picture featuring in the viral post. Going through the search results, we found this article by La Razón, a daily newspaper and website based in Madrid, Spain.

The article featured the same viral image with the caption, “A painting with the image of Che Guevara deposited in a rubbish and garbage container on a street in the center of Madrid.” It also mentioned the date it was last updated, which was back in September 2020, clarifying that it was an old picture refloating on the internet as a recent click. In addition to that, it is significant to note that the reason behind throwing this painting in a dumpster stays undisclosed but is certainly not related to the current Cuban protests.

Furthermore, the official Twitter account of CPI(M) or Communist Party of India (Marxist), Puducherry, replied to one such viral tweet debunking the misleading caption. CPI(M) is a communist political party at the national level in India.

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In the tweet, the party referred to the above mentioned La Razón article with the caption, “How #fakenews is born: A painting with the image of Che Guevara deposited in a rubbish and garbage container on a street in the center of Madrid in Spain. – CECILIA GARCIA @ce67cigarcia”. The name mentioned in the caption is of the Spanish journalist who wrote the La Razón story.

Hence, we can safely conclude that the caption with the viral post is misleading, as the image of Che Guevara’s painting in a dumpster is old and not from Cuba.

Mansi Verma
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Mansi Verma

A student of Masters in Journalism and Mass Communication from Symbiosis Institute of Media and Communication, Pune, Mansi is open to learning new things while exploring the road to unbiased, fact-oriented journalism.