Alan Gross, the U.S. contractor released Wednesday after five years of captivity in Cuba, was greeted with a, well, surprising art choice while preparing to make a statement on U.S. soil this afternoon.
Visible in the background of a widely circulated photograph of Gross, his lawyer Scott Gilbert and spokesperson Jill Zuckman: An image of Che Guevara, the divisive revolutionary figure.
“Why is there a Che Guevara pic in background?” National Review Online’s Andrew Johnson tweeted.
Others responded with sympathy: “Poor guy gets to his lawyer’s office and has to look at yet another Che glamour shot,” Andrew Grossman tweeted.
Zuckman told The Post via e-mail that the photograph was taken at the Gilbert LLP law firm.
The print, from a distance, appears to be the same image that’s often emblazoned on T-shirts, posters and other memorabilia. That iconic image is based on a photograph by Alberto “Korda” Diaz Gutierrez; we have more on the history of the image here.
Guevara was a leader in the Castro brothers’ revolution to overthrow the Batista dictatorship in Cuba and replace it with a communist government. As the Huffington Post noted: “Cuban-Americans generally revile him for his role in establishing the island’s Communist dictatorship.”
In his remarks, Gross made it clear that he did not blame the Cuban people for his imprisonment:
“In no way are they responsible for the ordeal to which my family and I have been subjected,” Gross said. “To me, Cubanos — or at least, most of them — are incredibly kind, generous and talented. It pains me to see them treated so unjustly as a consequence of two governments’ mutually belligerent policies.”