Saturday, August 29, 2009

Fidel Castro on

POP 087/ FRIDAY, 28 AUGUST 2009
Today’s Pop is David. After our unmitigated excitement over the arrival of the new POP yesterday, the only thing we could think to do next was to go political…

We haven’t seen him for over a year, but a video clip of Fidel Castro recently emerged where Cuba’s former leader speaks to a gang of Venezuelan students. Since old man Castro fell ill a few years ago, it’s been up to his younger brother Rafael to govern the socialist island. Fidel pops up once in a while, but these are bad times for ageing dictators - just look at Kim Jong-il over in North Korea who supposedly suffered a stroke last year. He’s even taken the precaution of naming his son as the country’s next leader.

Anyway, back to Fidel. The man, who together with Ché Guevara, personified and glorified the concept of revolution back in the 1960’s (before making swapping it for the concept of dictatorship) spent most of his power time in classic olive-coloured army fatigues. He cut a nice figure in his hat, cigar and trademark beard. Of course, the beard is grey now and cigars are too dangerous for his frail health. But perhaps the weirdest change in his style has been the clothes. Just like a pensioner hanging up the suit after 40 years in the office, Fidel chucked the cargo pants and pulled out his tracksuit bottoms instead as soon as he’d finished his last dictator shift.

Judging by these pictures - a collection of images from his media appearances in the last few years - it’s almost like Castro is sponsored by Adidas. But that’s highly unlikely of course, and it’s unclear whether a German sportswear giant like Adidias would want to support a leftwing politician like Fidel Castro. They much more prefer footballers like David Beckenham and Christian Ronaldo.

The point is of course that there lies the problem. In his crisp white shirt and electric blue sport jacket, Fidel out-dresses Ronaldo any day of the week. Give that white shirt to the Portuguese player and he would have teamed it up with white and tight trousers, and a pair of sparkling Dior Homme trainers, as he walks along a Spanish beach, sipping a Malibu drink. Castro also has a white tracksuit version with blue stripes and red detailing, showing that his colour coordination is not lost with age. Add a navy blue T-shirt with a deep V-neck underneath and you have a commanding - yet casual - outfit. Just how we like our Fidel. Can’t wait until next summer for another video. Who knows - maybe Adidas will have upgraded him to Y3 by then…

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