Cuba outraged over 'Ernesto,' 'Hugo' perfumes

Cuba today denounced a state-run company for using the "sacred" names of late Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez and legendary Argentine revolutionary Ernesto "Che" Guevara for new fragrances.

AFP| Updated: Sep 28, 2014, 00:27 AM IST

Havana: Cuba today denounced a state-run company for using the "sacred" names of late Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez and legendary Argentine revolutionary Ernesto "Che" Guevara for new fragrances.

Company officials had told reporters the "Ernesto" and "Hugo" colognes, still under development, aimed to honor the figures, but a statement by Cuba's Council of Ministers said that the men were "symbols, sacred yesterday, today and always."

"Initiatives of this nature will never be accepted by our people and by the revolutionary government," the council said in a statement, published in Cuba's state-run newspaper Granma.

"Because of this serious error, appropriate disciplinary measures will be taken," the body, chaired by President Raul Castro, added, noting it was "not true that the 'Che' and Chavez families approved such use of their names."

Late leftist firebrand Chavez led close Cuba ally Venezuela for 14 years. He died of cancer on March 5, 2013 at the age of 58, leaving behind a country sharply divided by his oil-funded socialist revolution.

Guevara, a leader of the Cuban revolution, left the island in the 1960s to foment revolutions in Africa and Latin America before his death in Bolivia in 1967.

The company behind the scents, Grupo Empresarial Labiofam, is Cuba's largest laboratory, responsible for research and production of veterinary and health products, which the island nation exports.