Santana Management’s Official Response to the Questions Surrounding the Che Guevera T-shirt That Carlos Wore at the Oscars
At this year’s Academy Awards, Carlos Santana was invited to perform, along with Antonio Banderas, the winner of Best Original Song: “Al Otro Lado Del Dio” from The Motorcycle Diaries, a movie based on a nonfiction novel, the “Motorcycle Diaries” by Ernesto Guevara de la Serna and “Traveling With Che Guevara” by Alberto Granado. For that occasion, Carlos Santana wore a shirt with a Che Guevara image from a famous graphic poster underneath his suit. The image was not intended to project a single note of the hatred, anger or revolutionary ruthlessness displayed when Che Guevara was a revolutionary leader in Cuba. It was worn to honor the soulful young man portrayed in the movie, who awoke to the struggle of the disenfranchised and who had a profound political epiphany during a journey across South America. The image was not meant to be an endorsement about a man who helped to establish the Castro dictatorship in Cuba.
Carlos Santana has always preached non-violence and spiritual awakening to promote a consciousness evolution, not revolution. The film and book portrayed Che as a person who cared about the poor and the needy. Santana Management hopes that those people who were offended by the image will understand the intention in which Carlos displayed it.