Cuban Flag with Che Guevara Displayed at Barack Obama Campaign Office-Truth!

Summary of eRumor:

The eRumor says that at a Houston volunteer office for presidential candidate Barack Obama, a flag of Cuba with Che Guevara’s face on it was displayed.  Obama is criticized for not condemning it and insisting that it be taken down.

The Truth:

This controversy came to light when a Fox affiliate in Houston covered the opening of the Houston campaign office for Barack Obama.  On one of the walls behind a campaign worker’s desk was a Cuban flag with the image of Che Guevara on it, the Marxist Revolutionary who was a part of the revolution in Cuba that brought Fidel Castro into power. 

As of this writing there has not been any order from Obama for the flag to be taken down.  His campaign issued a statement that said, “This is a volunteer office that is not in any way controlled by the Obama campaign. We were disappointed to see this picture because it is both offensive to many Cuban-Americans — and Americans of all backgrounds — and because it does not reflect Senator Obama’s views. Barack Obama has been very clear in putting forward a Cuba policy that is based on one principle: freedom for the Cuban people.”

Senator Obama has not called for “no strings attached” diplomatic relations with Cuba but during a debate in November, 2007, with other Democratic presidential candidates he did say that he would be willing to meet with leaders of Iran, Syria, Venezuela, Cuba and North Korea.

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Updated 2/20/08

A real example of the eRumor as it has appeared on the Internet:

Improbable as it sounds, it’s true. Barack Obama, displaying the same “anything goes” standard of patriotism he showed when he ostentatiously refused to wear a U.S. flag in his lapel, now shows he’s got a whole different idea about patriotism.

One of Obama’s volunteer offices in Houston was caught operating under a huge flag of communist Cuba with Che Guevara’s face printed on it, according to images shown on Fox

News. Flak from bloggers ensued — followed, of course, by spin control.
But rather than repudiate the image, Obama would only call it “inappropriate,” apparently without insisting it be taken down. That contrasts with his dismissal of his Senate colleagues who wear lapel flags as “hypocrites.” Some hypocrites.

The display of the Castroite flag with Che’s picture on it sends a particularly disturbing message about his campaign. Apparently, Obama tends to attract the kind of people who think of mass murderers like Che and Fidel as romantic revolutionaries. Those same people see Obama as a man with a messianic message. These are the voters he’ll be indebted to should he win higher office.

Worse yet, it signals that a U.S. commander in chief tolerates supporters with loyalties to nations other than the U.S., including those loyal to enemy states that spy on and seek to harm the U.S.

It coincides uncomfortably with Obama’s call for no-strings-attached diplomatic relations with communist Cuba. He’s even offered to meet with the dictators of Cuba, sanctimoniously implying that other administrations had no good reason for not doing so.

Obama’s naive idealism is based on a false understanding of history. Cuba is a nation that aimed Soviet missiles at us in 1962 and is likely to do the same if and when Venezuelan dictator Hugo Chavez gets advanced weapons from Russia or Iran. That’s not all:
• Also in 1962, Cuba attempted to launch the first 9/11-style attack on New York’s subways and department stores — with the mastermind behind that none other than Che Guevara himself.
• In 1982 it tried to get the USSR to launch nukes at the U.S.
• In 1996, Cuba shot down two U.S. planes, killing six Americans whose only “crime” was trying to rescue Cuban refugees at sea. Had a political candidate in Latin America pasted up a picture of Che at election time, there’d be no doubt where he stood — ones who did just that are now running countries with names like Bolivia and Venezuela. Is that what Obama really stands for?