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PolitiFact Florida: Fact-checking Romney's Spanish TV ad

A Spanish-language TV ad from Mitt Romney starts off with a question for South Florida voters:  "Who supports Barack Obama?"

The ad provides three notorious answers: Chávez, Castro and Ernesto "Che" Guevara.

The Miami Herald translated the ad, "Chávez Por Obama," which aired on three Spanish-language TV stations on Oct. 30, 2012. The ad mixes footage from interviews with Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez and the niece of Cuban dictator Fidel Castro with news headlines about a provocative email.

Narrator: "Who supports Barack Obama?"

Chávez video: "If I were American, I’d vote for Obama."

Narrator: "Raúl Castro’s daughter, Mariela Castro, would vote for Obama."

Castro video: "I would vote for President Obama."

Narrator: "And to top it off, Obama’s Environmental Protection Agency sent emails for Hispanic Heritage Month with a photo of Che Guevara."

Chávez: "If Obama were from Barlovento (a Venezuelan town), he’d vote for Chávez."

Romney: "I’m Mitt Romney, and I approve this message."

The Chavez clips are from a September 2012 interview in which he also called Obama "a good guy." Mariela Castro, a supporter of gay rights, said she would vote for Obama in May 2012 following Obama announcing his support of gay marriage.

Here, PolitiFact Florida wanted to check the claim that the EPA sent emails for Hispanic Heritage Month, which runs Sept. 15 to Oct. 15, with a picture of Guevara, a guerrilla leader and Marxist revolutionary. 

We also wanted to examine the connection to Obama. It’s not the first time someone tried pin Obama, born in 1961, to the revolutionary, who was assassinated in 1967. During Obama’s 2008 presidential campaign, bloggers responded to video of a Guavera flag in a volunteer field office with iterations of "Obama loves Che Guevara." PolitiFact rated that Pants on Fire.

Romney’s team declined to explain their strategy of invoking Guevara. But for many Cubans, it doesn’t get much worse than Guevara.

"When you talk about dislike among the Cubans across the board, Che Guavera might be a notch below Fidel," said Andy Gomez, senior fellow at the University of Miami’s Institute for Cuban and Cuban-American Studies. "He was the henchman. Che Guevara was the one that carried the heavy hand."

Read why we rated the claim Half True.

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