A comical car race in Palm Beach County Florida has decided to use the image of Cuban revolutionary (and former Castro right-hand man) Che Guevara as a central figure in its logo. But considering Guevara's history, some aren't finding it that funny.
"When I saw it, I said, 'That's totally insulting,'" racing promoter Ralph Sanchez (who's of Cuban descent) told the Palm Beach Post. "They don't understand the history of what this man has done."
Guevara was influential in helping Fidel Castro seize power in Cuba in the 1950s. And while Guevara is often depicted on t-shirts, he is credited with being a brutal enforcer of Cuban policies -- using firing squads to execute those who disagreed with the government. He also characterized car races as capitalist and bourgeois and outlawed them in Cuba.
"If some people take offense at an icon we're using sarcastically, that's an unfortunate but natural byproduct of humor; if they don't understand that we're on the same side as they are, I can't help that," race founder and administrator Jay Lamm wrote in an e-mail to the Post. The race is a 24 hour event in which racers use a previously broken-down car made to look like a Halloween float.
"No matter how much sarcasm is used, it's still offensive," Alberto Naon, a Cuban-born racer who's competed in similar events before, told the Post.