msnbc.com staff and news service reports
updated 9/7/2010 10:38:47 AM ET 2010-09-07T14:38:47

Some Cuban-Americans in south Florida are upset to see a picture of revolutionary Che Guevara promoting an irreverent car race.

The "24 Horas de Cuba del Norte" — or 24 Hours of Cuba of the North — is part of a national circuit of farcical auto races called 24 Hours of LeMons. Drivers spend less than $500 and race junk cars decorated like Halloween floats.

Other races in the circuit have names like "The Can't Get Bayou" in New Orleans and "The Rod Blagojevich Never-Say-Die 500" in Chicago.

But the use of Cuban revolutionary Guevara's image in the Dec. 30-31 race's logo crosses the line for some native Cubans. Critics say it's like using Ku Klux Klan imagery to advertise in the South.

"When I saw it, I said, 'That's totally insulting,' " racing promoter Ralph Sanchez told the Palm Beach Post. "They don't understand the history of what this man has done."

Race organizers said they don't plan to change the campaign.

Jay Lamm, the founder of the series of races, told the newspaper he had received "about a dozen" complaints.

"Being an American means that you won't get every joke, and you won't like every image," Lamm added. "Fortunately, since this is America — not Cuba — you're free not to participate in anything you don't get or agree with."

The Associated Press and msnbc.com staff contributed to this report.

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