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Letter to EPA administrator regarding Hispanic Heritage Week email

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

2 comments to Letter to EPA administrator regarding Hispanic Heritage Week email