14ymedio, Spain, 26 October 2015 — At dawn on Sunday, a group of vandals painted the statue of Ernesto Che Guevara in the Galician town of Oleiros with the colors of the Spanish flag and the word “murderer.” This is the fourth attack on the monument since it opened in 2008.
The vandals, according to a local resident who alerted the police, acted around six o’clock in the morning and were wearing masks and coveralls. The attack, carried out with glass bottles filled with paint, came hours before a tribute to Che organized by several Portuguese, Galician and Cuban collectives to mark the 48th anniversary of the revolutionary’s death.
When the police arrived at the statue in Santa Cristina Park, the vandals had already left.
The mayor of Oleiros, Angel Garcia Seoane, branded them “idiots” and added that the modus operandi of the attack reflects the “behavior of cowards, during the night.” The councilman said the statue would be cleaned the next day.
On Sunday different groups of Cubans in exile and from the Association of Victims of Castroism, in addition to individuals, expressed their “repudiation” of the tribute in the face of a monument they called “illegal.” For them the monument is an “aggression against all the victims of Fidel Castro’s dictatorship.”
The first attack on the monument occurred just weeks after its unveiling. Both at that time and in August 2013, the 26-foot high statue was spotted with red and yellow paint.
In 2008, groups in opposition to the local Alternative Party government demonstrated against the monument’s construction and the 180,000 euro cost of building the roundabout where the work, donated by its makers, was placed.