Sunday, July 5, 2009
Bargain Basement Hero?
Walking through Zellers a few days ago I found in a discount art bin a reprint of the famous Che painting that you can see above... I took a picture with my blackberry but the price still came out blurry... The price (if you can see it) reads $14.97 (that's 12.87 USD, 9.22 EUR, 11.88 CUC). And I had to ask myself, if they're liquidating Che art is the Revolution in better shape then its poster-boy?
So I went to the internet and searched for answers and according to an article in Reuters Fidel Castro himself foresaw this whole economic downturn 26 years ago when he said: "The current state of the world economy and its gloomy outlook should lead to a profound reflection in governments and in the most lucid minds of the developed world."
But according to an article in Itar-Tass: “Since the signing of the agreement (on granting a state credit against Russian goods and services) the Cuban side has three times violated the payment terms. However, the credit provision has not been suspended and no fines were imposed as for June 1, 2009.”
So did the "Fearless" leader actually see this coming 26 years ago and fail to plan? Or is Cuba just not paying its debt because it's slowly gearing up for yet another Special Period?
With Che paintings selling at discount prices and the decline of sales Che t-shirts one wonders if people are undergoing (in Castro's words) a "profound reflection" on if they feel like advertising a murderer and spending their hard earned fast disappearing money supporting a government that spits on human rights while criticizing everyone else for doing just that?
So to answer my original question:is the Revolution in better shape then its poster-boy? The answer is that I think the Revolution is in the same sad state as its bargain basement hero: old, tired, cheap, over publicized, underachieving and dead.