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Cuban-American Sounds Off on EPA Che Guevaragate

A Cuban-American sounds off on the EPA Che Guevaragate e-mail incident from earlier this week. I received it via e-mail but this may have run earlier on the Babalu blog,

From: jorgeeponce@aol.com

Subject: Hispanic Heritage Month No. 2 — Take a Look at Subsequent Reaction at the End

Date: September 14, 2012 10:50:52 AM EDT

To: jorgeeponce@aol.com

September 13, 2012

Dear Administrator Lisa P. Jackson,

I write today to express my disappointment and disbelief at the ignorance displayed by one of your EPA employees, Susie Goldring. Ms. Goldring circulated on September 13, 2012, an e-mail to EPA employees to highlight the achievements of Hispanics during the upcoming celebration of National Hispanic Heritage Month. What is sad about Mr. Goldring’s e-mail is that it showed a photograph of Ernesto “Che” Guevara.

First, National Hispanic Heritage Month celebrates the contributions that Hispanic Americans have made to the United States. Che Guevara was not a U.S. citizen, and, therefore, his photograph in Ms. Goldring’s e-mail was inappropriate.

Second, Che Guevara hated the United States. In one of his writings in 1961, he indicated that “”The U.S. is the great enemy of mankind!” Against those hyenas there is no option but extermination. We will bring the war to the imperialist enemies’ very home, to his places of work and recreation. The imperialist enemy must feel like a hunted animal wherever he moves. Thus we’ll destroy him! We must keep our hatred against them (the U.S.) alive and fan it to paroxysms!” Rather than celebrating his achievements, we ought to condemn them.

Third, the FBI discovered a plot in November 17, 1962, where Che Guevara had targeted Macy’s, Gimbel’s, Bloomindales and Manhattan’s Grand Central Terminal with a dozen incendiary devices and 500 kilos of TNT. Detonation of this explosive arsenal was set for the day after Thanksgiving. The devastation would have been comparable to 9/11.

Fourth, Che Guevara sent many Cubans to their death by firing squads without affording them their due process rights. They were tried and sentenced by military tribunals.

I have much praise for Maricruz MaGowan, current Chair EPA’s Hispanic Advisory Council, who demanded a retraction from Ms. Goldring. While Ms. Goldring has complied and offered an apology, I find it disconcerting that she stated the she had included the Che photograph on her e-mail because she did not know who he was. As a federal employee, Ms. Goldring bears an obligation to become thoroughly familiar with any information that she in her communications with other federal personnel. But more importantly, Ms. Goldring should not feel empowered to propagate information about a culture that she knows very little about.

As a Cuban-American and Hispanic taxpayer who loves this country deeply, I am highly offended by Ms. Goldring’s action. I am confident that you will look further into this matter and take appropriate remedial action.


Jorge E. Ponce

  • Clara Fuentes

    I am an EPA employee in the office of pesticides. I responded to the e-mail that was sent by Ms. Goldring by mistake with Che Guevara picture, and accepted her apology. Make no mistake, my reply to her was very clear. I am 100% anticommunist, but let’s be fair here. Jorge Ponce lives in this country too, and he knows as well as I do that too few, if any American today know the truth about Che Guevara. Jorge Ponce knows or should know, that the Che portrayed by Hollywood is very different from the real Che that he is describing. Ms. Goldring’s ignorance is not her own fault. It is only the result of living in a country where the Left dominates the media, where Fidel Castro is called “president” or “leader” but never dictator, where communism in Cuba is simply considered a way of life, and even a model sought after for the fictitious benefits of free education (indoctrination) and free health care (unavailable to the people). I do accept Ms. Goldring’s apology and do not blame her for her ignorance. I blame those responsible for her ignorance. I like to see who dares to call them by name without losing her/his job and without being accused of everything we are not. It is easier to blame it on Ms. Goldring, but that is not fair. She is not to blame. After all, she only lives in America, and Americans know the Che portrayed by Hollywood. Americans know nothing about communism. Jorge and I are both Cubans by birth; we both know that. We know the facts. Is there any remedial action for such ignorance? I guess not.

  • Jorge E. Ponce

    There is a legal saying that “ignorance of the law is no excuse.” There is a famous saying, often attributed to Thomas Jefferson, in the popular culture that “the price of liberty is eternal vigilance.” Cuban-Americans do not hold a monopoly on recognizing the enemies of the United States. Just like Clara Fuentes mandates that I should know the truth about Che Guevara, the same holds true for Ms. Goldring. Thus, I, unlike Ms. Fuentes, do blame Ms. Goldring for her ignorance. She sent out an e-mail to other federal employees in her official capacity as an EPA employee. When employees join the federal workforce, they are given an oath to protect the United States against all foreign and domestic enemies. Therefore, Ms. Goldring has violated this oath, and there should be consequences. I sent a second follow-up e-mail to EPA Administrator Lisa P. Jackson last week, and have not received any acknowledgment nor response so far. From the Latin phrase “qui tacet consentit” — silence implies consent.

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