Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Is There a Mole On Granma?

Is there a mole on Granma's editorial staff?

What leads me to that conjecture?

Study this cartoon in today's edition of Granma. What does it say to you?

This is what it says to me: A superannuated rebel, in full regalia, including rifle, is casting his "vote." He looks a lot like Fidel would look if he could still eat solid food: old but fornido. Note that he is the only one voting. No one else in sight. Nor does it appear that there is much room for anybody else on the diminutive rock on which he stands, which is supposed to represent Cuba, a land big enough for just one man, one voice, one vote. The old rebel is pointing over his shoulder at the Florida peninsula, where the Republicans and Democrats are engaged in partisan politics, loudly and vehemently going at each other. Obviously, Raúl must be wrong when he said recently that there is not a whit's difference between both American political parties. The old rebel hails the "unity" of Cubans while scoffing at the "rebelliousness" of Americans. Weren't the Castroites suppose to be the rebels and the Americans the ones united in conformity?

See what else you can read into this cartoon.


Charlie Bravo said...

there's a(n unspoken) tradition in Cuban graphic humor, that consist in putting up one of those cartoons from time to time, resulting in the firing of the artist and the editor. A now defunct humor weekly DDT run a few cartoons who depicted castro under a very equivocal light. People had all sort of interpretations, and those cartoons eventually led to others, and that to the demise of the weekly. The artists are now -you guessed right- scattered all over the world.
Then you have that there have been a lot of pranks in el Granma itself. Like the one where you could hold the paper against the light and see how a cartoon skull and bones (black skull and bones that is) appear where the head of castro had been a second before. The same when they published a blurred photo of castro during one of his "indoor" speeches. The decor was based on some fascist draperies, castro had his right arm up, and the face was so blurred that one could see.... the image of Hitler.
Most of the time, it's a veiled message, as complex as this example you brought up, which makes it go inadvertent for the majority, but they are joy o graphic design students.... At times it's just transparency, what tells you that a cartoon with no meaning earn a new one once your paper was in the air and thanks to transparency you had castro in front of a field of crosses or a field of destruction.
A few days ago, his last gig was to write the obituary for the mother of his (much talked about by many -doubted by me) dauphin Carlos Lage. She was a model citizen, she never complained or protested, in Castro's own words. Very different indeed from what Porno Para Ricardo does every single day.... And you know that the guy who published that obituary was thinking "no coma tanta p. Coma-Andante"

Charlie Bravo said...

(DDT run the cartoons in the late eighties first, and then in the very early nineties. The weekly disappear due to "scarcity of ink and paper" during the so called special period)

Daniel @ Garanhuns said...

Maybe the artist read a bootleg copy, "Animal Farm", and like life imitating art imitating life, the artist is saying Cuba has become what it was trying to avoid.

Vana said...

I think you have seen through this cartoon very well Manuel, one man on an island that belongs to only him, no one else need apply.

Carlos Miller said...

The irony is the voting box. If there is only one candidate, then what's the purpose of voting?

Carlos Miller said...

I like that cartoon. It should be seen by all the right-wing Cubans in Miami who call me a communist because I'm a liberal democrat.

No, I'm just the guy fighting the republicans.

Mi Tres Cubano said...

Wow! You have a very keen eye Manuel.

nonee moose said...

The Republicans are throwing money at the Democrats, or vice versa. Either way, suggestive of the symbiotic relationship of the party system in the U.S.-- withou the one, there cannot be the other. Sounds much like the purported relationship between castro and the U.S, policy???

Manuel A.Tellechea said...


Isn't any two-party system necessarily symbiotic? Without both parties there can't be a two-party system.

I must admit that I have never seen the Republicans throwing money at the Democrats, or vice versa; but this may be the year to start.

If the Republicans want to win in November, they should be throwing as much money as they can at Obama.