Friday, August 12, 2011

Rigoberta Menchú and Guatemala

Mike Allison notes that Rigoberta Menchú was interviewed on CNN.  That got me wondering whether there was ever any other presidential candidate who generated so much international attention while receiving nothing but indifference at home (in the 2007 presidential election she received 3% of the vote, which was good for 7th place).  I couldn't think of any.

I see a certain parallel to post-Soviet Union Mikhail Gorbachev, a fellow Nobel Prize winner, who has consistently failed to generate interest in his new political party ideas and instead has made Pizza Hut commercials.  He's hailed here and largely ignored there.  Each had an important Cold War part to play, but that did not translate into long-term domestic political influence.


Ian Keenan 11:56 AM  

Gorbachev gave the west what it wanted politically, while Menchu does the same for different reasons -- minor embellishments of her life story that allow some to (1) dismiss the suffering of her peoples (2) take shots at liberals in the US, something that relates to the US more than it really does to Guatemala.

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