Thursday, October 04, 2007

Fidel Castro as an Orthodox Jew

In Cuba, you can get in a lot of trouble if you depict "El Lider Maximo" in any sort of unfavorable light, or showing any kind of weakness. Big trouble... like jail time sort of trouble.

Castro manipulation of organized religion has been masterful, and the way that he has handled the Catholic Church in Cuba, as well as the decimated Cuban Jewry, should be a lesson to all despots and tyrants. Because Castro is essentially an atheist and deeply against organized religion, which he uses as just another tool of his regime, depicting him in any sort of religious or believer status would be cause for artistic concern in Cuba.

But this is America.

And although the old tyrant has never been very proud of his Celtic roots, his parents ancestral home in Galicia has actually offered him an exile home in the rugged mountains of Iberia's Celtic regions, in the event that Castro ever decided to leave Cuba, which I seriously doubt that he ever will.

But in Cuba there has always been an urban legend that Castro's mother, Lina Ruz, also described as a Galician, was actually Jewish, perhaps because her last name was said to be similar to a well-known hidden Sephardic Jewish family in Spain.

Also, because Castro was born out of wedlock to Lina (who was the 14 year-old daughter of a maid in his father's household); and because Castro was the third out-of-wedlock child of Lina; and because this affair was the cause of his father's divorce from MarĂ­a Luisa Argota (his Galician wife); and because Castro was not baptized until age 8, the children in the Jesuit school that he started attending at age 6 labeled him a "Judio" as a derogatory term in the racist Cuban society of the 1930s.

Fidel Castro as an elderly Orthodox Jew

"Fidel Castro as an Orthodox Jew"
Charcoal on Paper, circa 2007 by F. Lennox Campello

And thus, and begging forgiveness from all Jews around the world, my drawing of an elderly Fidel Castro Ruz, who like many senior citizens, has suddenly discovered religion, begged and prayed for forgiveness for all his horrible sins and abuses of the Cuban people, and using his power forced his way and become an Orthodox Jew in Havana's historical synagogue.

Next (and definately more appropriate): Castro as Ayatollah Fidel...