Landau, who was confirmed to his post last month, wrote in Spanish on Sunday that he admires Kahlo’s “free and Bohemian spirit” but does not understand her “passion for Marxism/Leninism/Stalinism.”
“Didn’t she know of the horrors committed in name of this ideology?” he added.
En la casa de Frida Kahlo. Admiro su espíritu libre y bohemio, y con razón se ha convertido en ícono de México en el mundo entero. Lo que no entiendo es su evidente pasión por el marxismo/leninismo/estalinismo. ¿No supo de los horrores cometidos en nombre de esa ideología? pic.twitter.com/ZHHZpYk3FJ
— Embajador Christopher Landau (@USAmbMex) September 1, 2019
The tweet received about 2,000 replies, 1,300 retweets and 7,700 likes as of Tuesday afternoon, with some commenters agreeing with Landau while others criticized both the ambassador and historical instances of U.S. interventionism.
The Mexican Communist Party replied to Landau’s tweet, writing in Spanish that “comrade Frida” was a Marxist-Leninist and admirer of former Soviet dictator Joseph Stalin because she was “consistent with humanism, the search for democracy and freedom of the workers and people of Mexico.”
Embajador Landau, la camarada Frida era consecuente con el humanismo, la búsqueda de democracia y libertad de los trabajadores y el pueblo de México, y por ello era marxista-leninista, y por supuesto admiradora de Stalin. No haga ya más gala de su ignorancia, imitando a Trump.
— Partido Comunista de México *☭ (@comunistamexico) September 1, 2019
The U.S. Embassy in Mexico told Reuters it did not have additional comment on the debate.
Kahlo was a famed Mexican painter who openly supported both Marxism and Stalin, who is considered responsible for millions of deaths under his regime.
Reuters reported that the ambassador’s Twitter following was about 40,000 before the tweet. As of Tuesday afternoon, it had increased to nearly 79,000.