Cuba aborts plan to create perfumes for Che Guevara and Chavez

Sat Sep 27, 2014 2:43pm EDT
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By Daniel Trotta

HAVANA (Reuters) - Cuba has aborted plans to develop fragrances in honor of the late revolutionary hero Ernesto "Che" Guevara and former Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, calling the project disrespectful of two "sacred" revolutionary symbols.

The executive committee of the Council of Ministers, one of the highest bodies within the communist government, said in a statement on Saturday that those responsible for promoting the fragrances would be disciplined for their "grave mistake".

"These types of initiatives will never be accepted by our people nor by the revolutionary government. The symbols - of yesterday, today and forever – are sacred," the statement said.

The state pharmaceutical and chemical company Labiofam announced plans to develop fragrances called "Ernesto" and "Hugo" this week during a four-day company meeting. Labeled perfumes, the fragrances were to be marketed as men’s cologne.

Labiofam surveyed more than 100 people at the meeting, testing out the fragrances that were still in development, Mario Valdes, Labiofam's director of research and development, told Reuters on Thursday. They were planned for commercial launch in the first quarter of next year, he said.

Valdes had been promoting the products, calling them a homage to Guevara and Chavez.

"They are people who deserve total respect and honor," Valdes said.

The government statement did not say if Valdes was one of those disciplined. His phone went unanswered on Saturday.   Continued...

A worker at LABIOFAM, the Cuban state manufacturer of medicinal and personal hygienic products, holds up bottles of Hugo and Ernesto perfume named after socialist icons Hugo Chavez and Ernesto "Che" Guevara, in Havana September 25, 2014. REUTERS/stringer