For every college student with a Che Guevara poster on their dorm room walls and a copy of Motorcycle Diaries on their shelves, there are plenty of Americans who remember the communist leader as a cold-blooded killer. That's the problem with revolutionaries; they're nothing if not divisive. Mercedes-Benz recently received a first-hand lesson in just how polarizing Guevara himself can be after the company used a massive image of the leader in the company's presentation on car sharing at CES.

Dieter Zetsche, Daimler CEO, said, "Some colleagues still think that car-sharing borders on communism, but if this is a revolution, then 'Viva la revolucion!'."

The Guevara image then splayed across the one-story screen behind the executive, complete with a Mercedes-Benz three-pointed star on his trademark beret. Let the cringing begin.

It didn't take long for Cuban exiles in Florida to descend on the Mercedes-Benz consumer site with promises of boycotts and shock at the company's insensitivity. It does seem amazingly short-sighted for a German luxury manufacturer to embrace the image of a leader who happily shunned the niceties of the upper class for a rifle.


I'm reporting this comment as:

Reported comments and users are reviewed by Autoblog staff 24 hours a day, seven days a week to determine whether they violate Community Guideline. Accounts are penalized for Community Guidelines violations and serious or repeated violations can lead to account termination.


    • 1 Second Ago
  • 59 Comments
      Hossi Blumengaarten
      • 2 Years Ago
      “A revolutionary must become a cold killing machine motivated by pure hate. We must create the pedagogy of the The Wall!” The Wall is a reference to the wall where Che’s enemies stood before his firing squads. GOING TO PUT THAT IN MY CHE SHIRT!!!
      IBx27
      • 2 Years Ago
      Oh no, what will happen to MB's new car sales without the cuban market?
        The Calligrapher
        • 2 Years Ago
        @IBx27
        Oh, yeah... Let's reduce everything to the "sales". Sounds kinda American, doesn't it? In fact, there's no sarcasm in it at all. I see it all the time: when someone from Civilized World confronts an American on the subject of all the evil, crime and murder the USA has caused in this world, the American more often than not attempt to justify that in terms of "sales" and "bottom lines". They honestly see nothing wrong with that. It is moments like that that makes one understand why USA will always be treated as a savage failed state and will never be accepted as a member of Civilized World.
      dukeisduke
      • 2 Years Ago
      Guevara was a murdering scumbag. And as for Mercedes-Benz, this move was just plain stupid.
        MTU 5.0
        • 2 Years Ago
        @dukeisduke
        Agree.
        SloopJohnB
        • 2 Years Ago
        @dukeisduke
        Talk to the ghost of George III. So was Washington, Jefferson, et al. One man's rebel is another man's freedom fighter. History is written by the winners.
        godwhomismike
        • 2 Years Ago
        @dukeisduke
        It's quite fitting. Mercedes is the official car of evil super villains.
      AMG THIS
      • 2 Years Ago
      Mexicans can't afford those cars anyway...
        Smiley
        • 2 Years Ago
        @AMG THIS
        Obviously Guevara was a piece of **** but holy crap your comment is funny. I almost spilt my yak on this $200 suit. LMFAO
      Ozzie In Chicago
      • 2 Years Ago
      ....so how many MBs are in Isreal? Where do we put George W Bush in world history and was he any better than Che?
      godwhomismike
      • 2 Years Ago
      Seems fitting, not sure what all of the uproar is about. Last time I checked, Mercedes Benz seemed quite popular with government officials in brutal murderous dictatorships, drug dealers, and people underwater in debt who drive one as a status symbol.
      AZDave
      • 2 Years Ago
      Che died very early in the revolution. He was a complex figure, but thinking people on the left and the right place him alongside other totalitarians like Hitler, Stalin and Mao. Cuba today is a very sad place (I am the son of a Cuban immigrant) people have no access to medicine, advanced treatment, or sanitary health facilities. Food and energy shortages are common, and expression is typically punished by jail or worse. Here are a couple of quotes by Che that should help you understand his anger and motivations: “Blind hate against the enemy creates a forceful impulse that cracks the boundaries of natural human limitations, transforming the soldier in an effective, selective and cold killing machine. A people without hate cannot triumph against the adversary.” “To send men to the firing squad, judicial proof is unnecessary … These procedures are an archaic bourgeois detail. This is a revolution!”
        • 2 Years Ago
        @AZDave
        [blocked]
          AZDave
          • 2 Years Ago
          Sea Urchin is being facetious... he's joking. While Cuba does support numerous humanitarian causes, and does provide medical care to tourists, the citizens (prisoners?) of Cuba do not have access to the same level of care. In fact, there is no medicine, and conditions in hospitals are best described as unsanitary. And keep in mind, that other than the US, Cuba can trade with virtually every other nation in the world. The conditions there are not a function of the US Embargo. They are a function of the philosophy and world view of its totalitarian leaders.
      Coop
      • 2 Years Ago
      Che was a racist, marxist piece of crap. Why did MB use him?
        godwhomismike
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Coop
        Because Kim Jung Il died, and they needed some other evil marxist villain to fill the role.
          JR
          • 2 Years Ago
          @godwhomismike
          He liked Lincoln's.
        sparrk
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Coop
        Because Hitler was too obvious.
        Lachmund
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Coop
        how about getting some REAL education first...oh i forgot... the states don't offer that.
          johngarci
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Lachmund
          What's wrong with you? Why are you so angry? Someone mess with your personal murder?
      AZDave
      • 2 Years Ago
      The biggest issue here is that while people are informed about the atrocities committed by Hitler and Stalin, they are not informed about Che. Che died young, but he was a murderous, thieving thug. He aspired to kill his enemies in the same way that Hitler and Stalin killed theirs. He was in favor of using atomic weapons against the US, for example.
        RocketRed
        • 2 Years Ago
        @AZDave
        OK, but the comparison to Hitler and Stalin is absurd in substance and in form. It's a hair's breadth from invoking Godwin's law too.
          AZDave
          • 2 Years Ago
          @RocketRed
          Why absurd? Che was cut from the same totalitarian cloth. He acted on his worldview. Who knows what else he would have done had he not been captured. Notions of freedom and fairness, ideas regarding the sanctity of life were just as foreign to him as they were to Hitler and Stalin.
          mikoprivat
          • 2 Years Ago
          @RocketRed
          if they wouldn't have killed this F**cker, he would have been a stalin or Hitler
      johnb
      • 2 Years Ago
      Stupid Leftists. Dr Z just proves again what a dunce he really is.
      Adrian Michael Littl
      • 2 Years Ago
      Zetsche is an idiot. He runs his company with such arrogance and stupidity. They could have prevented this PR nightmare.
        dukeisduke
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Adrian Michael Littl
        Dead on. This tops the stupid "Dr. Z" crap with Snoop Dogg.
      harlanx6
      • 2 Years Ago
      If they can't take a joke, ****em!
    • Load More Comments