Mercedes-Benz And Che Guevara
Daimler AG, which manufactures the luxury Mercedes-Benz vehicles, continued to get pounded after the German company used an image of the communist mass murderer Che Guevara at a Las Vegas electronics show.
Daimler immediately issued an apology after the gaffe, but critics, especially from the Cuban-American community, persisted in their criticism of the automaker.
The kerfuffle started after a spokesman from Daimler tried to explain the revolution between automobiles and new technologies.
A Foul Taste
A picture of Guevara, complete with a Mercedes Benz logo on his beret instead of the usual communist red star, appeared in giant proportions on the screen behind the speaker. This attempt to somehow equate the automotive technological revolution with the dead communist revolutionary left a foul taste for many.
“It was absolutely stupid that somebody did it,” said Han Tjan, a spokesman for Daimler. In a statement issued by Daimler, the company said the image only appeared for a few seconds during a 45-minute Power Point presentation. “We sincerely apologize to those who took offense,” the Daimler press release said. It was something that fell between the cracks, said Tjan.
Florida Representative Mario Diaz-Balart called the apology “pathetic.” Diaz-Balart characterized Guevara as a “cold-blooded killing machine,” who wanted to rain atomic bombs on capitalists.
Daimler insisted that it was not condoning the life or actions of Guevara or the political philosophy he embraced. Tjan characterized the snafu as a thoughtless act that offended a large group of people.
Guevara - Castro's Right Hand Man
Guevara was one of Fidel Castro’s chief lieutenants after the communist dictator overthrew the Cuban government of Fulgencio Batista in 1959. American leftists and the media have portrayed Guevara as a soulful hero who brought social justice to the poor, oppressed people of the Southern hemisphere.
In fact, Castro created a Stalinist dictatorship in Cuba, complete with gulags and mass murder for dissenters. Guevara was one of the regime’s chief executioners, according to the book “Exposing the Real Che Guevara,” written by Humberto Fontova. Fontova escaped from the island-prison with his parents in 1961.
Guevara - The Psychopath
Guevara was a sadistic psychopath who enjoyed torturing prisoners and their families, Fontova said. He relished the slaughter of children. If a sobbing mother begged Guevara to spare her child, Guevara would pick up the phone and order the immediate execution of the child, Fontava added.
Many Cuban-Americans who lived through Castro’s Stalinist hell were furious at Daimler for presenting Guevara as a symbol for the automaker.
Florida representative Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, who represents many Cuban-Americans in her congressional district, said the company should not be proud of themselves for using a psychopath as an image in of their marketing campaigns.
A Matter of Opinion
Ros-Lehtinen said the company has a distorted idea about Guevara. Ros-Lehtinen called Guevara a bloodthirsty coward, an odious gangster and a corrupt communist who killed many innocent Cubans. Guevara, she said, wouldn’t think twice about killing a father in front of a son. She added that she was pleased that Daimler apologized for the blunder.
One Cuban writer, Miguel Perez, equated Guevara to Hitler.
Ernesto Suarez, a Cuban-American activist in Kansas City, organized a petition asking Mercedes-Benz to apologize for presenting a picture of “a racist, homophobic, anti-Semitic and tyrannical killer who admitted in his own writing to his endless blood thirst.”
Bet the house that Daimler won’t be releasing a Che line of Mercedes-Benz luxury vehicles this spring.
This guest post was written by Harrison L., who enjoys growing bonsai trees and writing about bonsai tree care at www.bonsaitreegardener.net in his spare time.