Che Tee Has Miami Seeing Red

Locals are irate over T-shirts at Urban Outfitters

Singer Juanes isn’t the only one stirring up controversy with his planned concert in Cuba these days.

Chain store Urban Outfitters, which is known for selling hip clothing, shoes, accessories and houseware items, has several Miamians irate over the sale of two of their T-shirts.

The tees: a red shirt with the word Communist across the center and the other with an image of  Che Guevara.

The shirts are being sold locally. The Communist tee can be found on store’s website, but the Che shirt  is only sold on the store's European website.

An Urban Outfitters employee who wanted to remain anonymous revealed that the Che Guevara shirt used to be sold online, but was pulled off because of controversy.

“We got a lot of complaints when we sold it online,” said the employee from the Shops of Sunset Place location.

West Dade resident Amarys Souto-Marine, 31, said she compares selling the Che tees to selling a shirt with Hitler’s face on it.

“It is a lack of respect to sell these shirts in Miami which has a huge Cuban community. It would be as offensive, for example, to sell Hitler shirts in Miami Beach where there is a huge Hebrew community,” said Souto-Marine.

“Che executed people just for simply not agreeing with his political ideologies. The sad part about it is that he wasn’t Cuban and went to impose another county with his revolutionary ideas,” added Souto-Marine.

Ivan Garcia, 29, walked out of the Shops of Sunset Place store when he saw the Che shirt.

“I was going to buy another shirt that said Dynomite, but they just lost my business,” said Garcia. “This country stands for freedom, but Che represented the opposite. My family like thousands of others came here for freedom. I really don’t know how Urban Outfitters can be so ignorant.”

Others outraged in the community have started calling Urban Outfitters to complain and spreading the word by blogging.

Valentin Prieto, the founding editor of the Babalu blog has a page dedicated to the topic. 

"I get letters on a weekly basis from all over the world on this phenomenon," said Prieto. "We have been fighting to get the truth about the real Che out there."

Annie Vazquez is a Miami-based journalist and shop-a-holic. Email her with any fashion tips, boutique openings, events, sales and bargains at

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