Daimler AG issued an apology Thursday for using an image Ernesto "Che" Guevara on its promotional presentation for Mercedes-Benz cars at the International Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. A few days before, Mercedes chief Dieter Zetsche presented a reproduced Alberto Korda photo of Guevara. The image, however, was edited as the star located at Guevarra’s beret was replaced by Mercedes’ corporate logo.
In a statement to msnbc.com, Daimler said the picture was just "one of many images and videos in the presentation," intended to represent "the revolution in automobility enabled by new technologies, in particular those associated with connectivity." The company noted that it was not condoning the life or actions of Guevarra or “the political philosophy he espoused."
The move gained negative reactions from activists. "Mercedes-Benz Uses Communist Madman Che Guevara to Sell Luxury Cars," headlines a blog post from the Heritage Foundation, a conservative political group in Washington.
The post, written by Heritage Vice President Mike Gonzalez, described Guevara as a psychopath who has a “sadistic lust for blood” and who “killed for pleasure.” Guevarra is an Argentine who led a communist revolution in Cuba, giving rise to Fidel Castro’s power. The photo was a symbol of communist revolutionary movements from the 1960s to the '70s. [source: MSNBC]