The Irish government authorised the production of a stamp honouring the ‘Irish roots’ of Argentinian Marxist and mass murder Ernesto “Che” Guevara.
Ireland’s mail service An Post produced the stamp to mark the 50th anniversary of the death of Guevara, which falls on Monday, October 9th, reports The Irish Times.
Revealed Friday, the stamp’s cover envelope features a quote from Guevara’s father, Ernesto Guevara Lynch, who was of Irish descent, which reads: “In my son’s veins flowed the blood of the Irish rebels.”
Highlighting Argentinian-born Guevara’s “Irish rebel” roots, the postmark, described as a “beautiful stamp” by An Post, depicts the well-known painting by Dublin artist Jim Fitzpatrick.
Cuban-American radio host Ninoska Perez Castellón of Miami 710 radio told RTÉ’s Morning Ireland that she had received calls from Cuban-American listeners appalled by the “offensive” use of the brutal killer’s image on Ireland’s stamps.
Describing the stamp as “objectionable”, Ms. Perez Castellón said: “It doesn’t matter that it’s an image created by an artist, it’s the image of a mass murderer… What does Ireland think it is doing by putting Che Guevara on a stamp?”
"In my son's veins flowed the blood of the Irish rebels." An Post (Irish PO) issues stamp marking 50th anniversary of Che Guevara's death pic.twitter.com/rakzQXuNk2
— Damian Mac Con Uladh (@damomac) October 5, 2017
“To me, it’s really shameful that Ireland would put the image of someone who was a foreigner, went to Cuba to kill… was a failure in everything he did. So I don’t know what’s there to honour about Che Guevara,” she added.
The Marxist assisted Fidel Castro in overturning the Cuban government in a bloody political coup in January 1959 and then held key political offices during Castro’s regime, training and motivating the regime’s firing squads that killed thousands, until he was executed by the Bolivian army on October 9, 1967, whilst attempting to organise a coup.
According to amassed witness testimonies, the Marxist, known as the Butcher of La Cabaña, the prison where the opponents of Castro’s government were taken after the revolution, was personally responsible for the deaths of dozens and was known to interrupt firing squad executions to perform the killing himself.
A Department of Communications spokesman told RTÉ that the decision to issue the stamp had been approved by the government in 2015, “as per normal procedures”.
In 2012, the Irish city of Galway abandoned plans to erect a statue of Guevara, spearheaded by left-wing Irish Labour politician Billy Cameron, after widespread public outcry.