A perfect storm of ignorance, arrogance, and mindlessly revisionist radical chic touches down in Machu Picchu.
Actress Cameron Diaz appears to have committed a major fashion faux pas in Peru. The voice of Princess Fiona in the animated “Shrek” films may have inadvertently offended Peruvians who suffered decades of violence from a Maoist guerrilla insurgency by touring here Friday with a bag emblazoned with one of Mao Zedong’s favorite political slogans.
While explored the Inca city of Machu Picchu high in Peru’s Andes, Diaz wore over her shoulder an olive green messenger bag emblazoned with a red star and the words “Serve the People” printed in Chinese on the flap, perhaps Chinese Communist leader Mao’s most famous political slogan.
While the bags are marketed as trendy fashion accessories in some world capitals, the phrase has particular resonance in Peru, where the Maoist Shining Path insurgency brought Peru to edge of chaos in the 1980s and early 1990s with a campaign of massacres, assassinations and bombings.
Nearly 70,000 people were killed during the insurgency.
Not for a moment do I think she knew who the Shining Path was. Your exit question: Now that she knows, and in light of what she’s said before about the pastoral idyll that is Third World poverty, does she care?