Little comrades

Little comrades

These clay figures of Fidel Castro show how Cubans can infuse humour in their iconography

Naresh Fernandes
July 17 , 2014
Less than 1 Min Read

Despite the ego of a man universally known by his first name, portraits of Cuba’s head of state are notably absent in public offices. Instead, Fidel Castro has fostered a cult of personality by proxy. He is only pictured with Che Guevara, who helped him overthrow the Batista regime in 1959. Cuba is splattered with pictures of Che and Fidel, the images reinforcing a shared status as the model Nuevo Hombre—the New Man who embodies the ideals of the Revolution. These officially sanctioned clay figures, which sell in Havana’s bazaars for $1.50, emphasise Fidel’s image as a man of the people who enjoys a good cigar and a good laugh at his own expense. That’s the way iconoclasts do it. They just create their own iconography.

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