THE Irish Government and An Post have been criticised over a stamp released today to commemorate the death of Cuban revolutionary Che Guevara.
The new €1 stamp, featuring the iconic artwork of Guevara by Irish artist Jim Fitzpatrick, was announced by An Post on Friday to coincide with Monday’s 50th anniversary of Che Guevara’s execution.
Che, whose ancestor Patricio (Patrick) Lynch was born in Co. Galway, has been labelled a mass murderer and killer by his critics both in Cuba and abroad.
It has been claimed that over 16,000 executions and 100,000 political imprisonments have taken place since Guevara and the Castro brothers took over Cuba in a bloody political coup in January 1959.
Guevara was eventually executed by the CIA-assisted Bolivian army on October 9, 1967.
Speaking on RTÉ's Morning Ireland, a prominent Cuban-American journalist described An Post’s decision to feature Guevara on their latest stamp as “objectionable”.
Ninoska Perez of Miami 710 Radio said that Che Guevara was a “mass murderer” and that Ireland’s latest stamp was “offensive” to those affected by his actions.
“It doesn’t matter that it’s an image created by an artist, it’s the image of a mass murderer,” she said.
“Every time that I see someone with a t-shirt or that I see a country put his face on a stamp, I think what did he do to deserve this? What have been his achievements?
An Post, the Irish postal service, has issued a stamp of mass murdering Argentinian Marxist, Che Guevara. Ask your local PO not to stock it pic.twitter.com/jRDbTcxv0P
— Paddy Manning ن (@PaddyJManning) October 6, 2017
“I would love to see that stamp abolished. What does Ireland think it is doing by putting Che Guevara on a stamp?”
Ms Perez said the only Irish link Che Guevara had is that his great-great-great-great-grandfather was an Irishman.
“And to me it’s really shameful that Ireland would honour this image of someone who was a foreigner, went to Cuba to kill and was a failure in everything he did,” she said.
“So I don’t know what there is to honour about Che Guevara. It’s objectionable.”
Ireland’s latest stamp also attracted widespread condemnation on social media, with Guevara again labelled a “mass murderer”.
Independent politician Paddy Manning tweeted: “An Post, the Irish postal service, has issued a stamp of mass murdering Argentinian Marxist, Che Guevara. Ask your local PO not to stock it.”
While Conservative councillor Patrick Rochford wrote: “Absolutely disgraceful that An Post's are having a Che Guevara stamp honouring a mass murderer.”
According to The Irish Times, Fine Gael Senator Neale Richmond has written to Minister for Communications Denis Naughten asking for an explanation as to why the stamp was commissioned.
An Post has been contacted for comment.