Mercedes-Benz Apologizes for Using Che Guevara Image

Marxist's image was used during a public presentation in Las Vegas .

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The head of Daimler AG, the German company that produces Mercedes-Benz cars, apologized Thursday for using a doctored image of Ernesto "Che" Guevara during a public promotion at the International Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas.

The image, which briefly featured the guerilla leader with a Mercedes-Benz logo emblazoned across his beret, was called "thoughtless" and "stupid" by the company afterwards.

Guevara's image was the backdrop for a presentation given by the head of Daimler's Mercedes division, Dieter Zetche, that highlighted the technological advances the company is building into future models.

A number of Cuban-American organizations expressed their displeasure with the ad is it circulated across various media outlets Thursday.

Felix Rodriguez, one of three Cuban exiles recruited by the CIA to search for Guevara and current president of the Bay of Pigs Veterans Association told the Miami Herald he planned on getting rid of his current Mercedes and would never again purchase another car from the luxury automobile maker.

Late Thursday, Daimler released a statement to msnbc.com apologizing for the incident, saying the company was "not condoning the life or actions of this historical figure or the political philosophy he espoused."

Guevara was an Argentine communist who helped lead a Cuban revolt in the 1960s that eventually led to Fidel Castro becoming the country's leader.

The orginial image, taken by Alberto Korda in 1960, has been used as a revolutionary symbol over the last half-century and is one of the most famous photos in the world.