Advertising director of German luxury manufacturer may be looking for a new job
While living in Mexico City almost 60 years ago, Che met two young brothers named Fidel and Raúl Castro, joined their cause and sailed to Cuba aboard a leaky second-hand vessel christened Granma, with the audacious goal of toppling the U.S.-backed Cuban dictator, Fulgencio Batista. Guevara became a prominent member of the insurgents and played a major role in the successful guerrilla war which ultimately deposed Batista. Years later, after freelancing in several far flung civil war hotspots, Guevara was captured and and executed by CIA-assisted Bolivian troops in a remote jungle region of that country. He remains a national hero in Cuba, as one of the founding fathers of the Castro regime. His picture is plastered all over Havana, and probably on more than a few college dorm walls as well (in my day, anyway, but perhaps Che's image has since been replaced with some other youthful symbol of rebellion and resistance to authority).
In Zetsche's words: "Some of my colleagues thought that the notion of sharing a Mercedes bordered somewhat on a communist approach, so we decided, well, if that's the case, then ¡Viva la Revolución!" (and those exact words also appeared right below Guevara's image on the big screen). Perhaps Zetsche and his team had in mind that old Karl Marx slogan, "from each according to his ability, to each according to his need." It backfired big time.
Word spread quickly in the Cuban community in the United States, where hundreds of thousands of rabidly anti-Castro expatriates live in the hope of someday returning to and retaking their island homeland. Many of them, not surprisingly, are in Florida, and many of them have enjoyed quite enough business success (thanks to entrepreneurship and good old capitalism) to drive a Mercedes. They reacted with predictable outrage, demanding that the car manufacturer pull the ad. Worse, many of them swear they'll never touch the wheel of a Mercedes-Benz again. Even a Havana-born U.S. congresswoman complained.
Fulgencio Batista's last New Years Eve in Havana: http://mexicogulfreporter-supplement.blogspot.com/2011/11/us-embargo-of-cuba.html
Have a free drink at the Hemingway Bar in Washington, D.C.: http://mexicogulfreporter.blogspot.com/2011/11/hemingway-bar-opens-in-cuban-diplomatic.html.