Environmental Protection Agency staff opened their inboxes Thursday to find an agency-wide Hispanic Heritage Month email featuring a prominent picture of Marxist revolutionary Che Guevara, and largely plagiarized from the website Buzzle.com.
According to the EPA, the email — which heralded the beginning Hispanic Heritage Month on Saturday and offered cultural details about Hispanics — was an accident and the employee responsible has apologized.
“The email was drafted and sent by an individual employee, and without official clearance. Shortly after sending the email in question the individual apologized to her colleagues for the inadvertent error,” an EPA spokesman emailed TheDC in a statement.
While it was a mistake, the email caught the eye and ire of Foreign Relations Committee Chairwoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen who called the image of Guevara “insulting.”
“I am aghast and upset that a federal agency would send an email depicting el Che Guevara in celebration of Hispanic Heritage Month. This Administration just doesn’t seem to get it,” Ros-Lehtinen said in a statement.
“The image of Che is an insult to countless people who lost family members because of his evil and twisted acts. El Che was a blood thirsty, vengeful, cowardly, sadistic, two bit delinquent who used his position as enforcer in chief of the Castro brothers to send countless innocent persons before the firing squads.”
Florida Republican Rep. David Rivera expressed similar sentiments.
“Americans of Hispanic descent have made important and valuable contributions to this country throughout generations,” Rivera said in a statement. “It is nonsensical and extremely disheartening that the EPA chose to showcase a killer as part of their celebration of Hispanic Heritage Month. At best this is further proof of how out of step and tone deaf the Obama Administration is with the Hispanic-American community.”
Fox News Latino reported that some Florida state representatives were also upset, saying they were “insulted” and “outraged” by the memo.
“Che was a cold-blooded murderer who killed so many innocent victims,” Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart, Florida Republican and a Cuban-American, said in an email to Fox Latino. “This Administration has granted visas to Mariela Castro and other top Cuban regime officials, offered the Castro brothers unilateral concessions, and now sends an E-mail with a image of an anti-American mass murderer.”
This story was updated after publication to include comments from Florida Republican Rep. David Rivera.