Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart, R-Fla., met with representatives of Daimler AG to discuss their use of Ernesto "Che" Guevara in a recent advertising campaign. The congressman was upset that the automaker used the image of Che and the slogan "Viva la Revolucion!" during a promotional presentation at the International Consumer Electronics Show, according to a news release from Diaz-Balart.
Diaz-Balart met with Mercedes-Benz representatives to protest their use of the former Fidel Castro lieutenant to sell cars, calling Guevara a "ruthless, corrupt mass murderer."
Daimler manufactures Mercedes-Benz automobiles.
Diaz-Balart also sent a letter to Dieter Zetsche, Mercedes-Benz's chairman of the board.
"I appreciate that Mercedes-Benz issued an apology ... " Diaz-Balart wrote. However, "Any effect that your marketing scheme may have in elevating the grossly undeserving 'Che' Guevara as an icon of popular culture is an affront to his victims, whose lives he so ruthlessly extinguished, their families, and the millions of Cubans who still suffer under the effects of his despicable acts. ...
"'Che' Guevara was a sadistic executioner who reveled in bloodshed and violence, and who wished for the annihilation of the United States through nuclear war. It is absolutely reprehensible that Mercedes-Benz would use the image of that cruel monster ... as part of a feeble, unscrupulous attempt to sell cars. I am appalled that Mercedes-Benz would choose to associate itself with such depravity."
Diaz-Balart included a few quotes from Guevara as well. Among them:
"The U.S. is the great enemy of mankind! Against those hyenas there is no option but extermination! If the nuclear missiles had remained (in Cuba) we would have fired them against the heart of the U.S. including New York City!"
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