DUBLIN, Ireland - Ireland’s postal service has issued a new stamp featuring an image of Argentinian communist guerrilla leader Ernesto “Che” Guevara, hero of the Cuban revolution produced by an Irish artist, Jim Fitzpatrick.
Fitzpatrick’s image of Guevara was featured on the stamp to mark the 50th anniversary of Guevara death.
Guevara's face is featured on the new 1 euro postage stamp in Ireland but not everyone is pleased about it.
The stamp stoked controversy on both sides of the Atlantic.
Guevara’s father, Ernesto Guevara Lynch, was a civil engineer of Irish descent.
The stamp features the iconic red and black print of the long-haired Che known from t-shirts and posters around the world.
The postal service has described Guevara, killed by CIA-backed Bolivian soldiers in Bolivia in 1967, as “the quintessential left-wing revolutionary.”
According to the postal service, demand for the stamp has rivalled that of its two previously most popular releases, commemorating the sinking of the Titanic and Ireland’s 1916 Rising against British rule.
An Irish senator described Guevara as “a barbaric interrogator, jailer and executioner of hundreds of supposed ‘class enemies’.”
Neale Richmond, a member of Irish governing party Fine Gael in a letter to Ireland’s communications minister said, “It is my belief that he is most definitely not a suitable candidate for such an honour.”
Meanwhile, Cuban-American radio host Ninoska Perez Castellon reportedly joined the fray urging listeners to write to the postal service to ask for the stamp to be scrapped.