Monday, April 9, 2012

Fidel Castro Throws Down A 'Silly Shirt' Challenge

Fidel Castro wears a guayabera well, I must say. And he looks rather elegant there, posing cigar-less and holding a wine glass.

Barack Obama is obviously not a casual clothes guy. Not even close. He even declined to hold the traditional Silly Shirt Photo Op at the Pacific summit he hosted last November. But will he wear one at the Americas summit in Colombia next week? Maybe he will, if Castro needles him enough.

Fidel Castro mocks Obama over 'guayabera' diplomacy:

Cuban revolutionary leader Fidel Castro has mocked the idea that US President Barack Obama could wear a "guayabera" shirt at an upcoming Americas summit in Columbia, while opposing Cuba's presence at the event.

News reports have said a noted Colombian designer is making a series of guayaberas for Obama to wear at the summit of the Americas in Cartagena, April 14-15.

Castro, whose brother Raul formally succeeded him as president in 2008, offered a history lesson on the origins of the light, tropical shirt, asserting that it was created in an area of Cuba that is watered by the Yayabo River.

"That's why they were originally called yayaberas," he wrote in an article published in the Cuban press.

Other accounts say the shirt's name may have come from the guayabas, or guavas, that could be carried in the large pockets that are sewn into the shirt's pleated front.

"What's curious, dear readers, is that Cuba is forbidden from attending this meeting, but not the guayaberas. Who can stop laughing?" Castro said.

The United States and Canada have opposed Cuba's participation in the meeting, which brings together 34 heads of state and government to discuss regional cooperation and a reduction of physical barriers to integration.

Other Latin American countries had pressed for Cuba's inclusion in the summit, but Washington has been reluctant to end a five decade old policy of isolating the only one-party communist state in the Americas.

Okay, so Castro resents Cuba's exclusion from these summit things. Got it.

To get back to the Silly Shirts, I see that Castro got Jimmy Carter to wear a guayabera during his 2002 visit to Cuba. But, how hard could it have been to persuade Carter to do something slightly undignified in the interests of going along with his hosts? I don't think Obama will loosen up without a fight.  

If Obama won't wear the Silly Shirt to spite Castro, this guy will. In a heartbeat.


Anonymous said...

Great Post TSB! And Mitt will even learn and sing a Cuban song with Fidel! My wife says the shirt originated in Yucatan. gwb

Anonymous said...

April 10 Pepe Escobar sums up the state of our diplomacy well. gwb

Former United States president George W Bush issued an ultimatum to Saddam Hussein before bombing and invading Iraq.

Nine years later, US President Barack Obama has issued an ultimatum to the leadership in Tehran before ... setting optimal conditions for an "all options on the table" exercise.

Obama has made an offer to Tehran to "negotiate" its nuclear program - ahead of long-delayed talks between the "Iran Six" (P5+1 - the five permanent members of the UN Security Council - the US, the United Kingdom, China, Russia and France - plus Germany) and Iran scheduled for Istanbul on Saturday.

For starters, it's not an offer; it's a list of demands - even before

any negotiation takes place. And these "near term" concessions are packaged - according to the president's own rhetoric - as a "last chance".

In modern times, this used to be known as an ultimatum. In the post-everything era, it passes for "international diplomacy".

TSB said...

GWB: I'm not surprised the Mexicans claim the guayabera shirt. Although, you know that Yucatán wasn't always part of Mexico, having declared independence in 1845 and it wasn't until 1915 that Mexico City pacified the Mayan and declared the Caste War over. So maybe they can claim the shirt as the native dress of the Free and Sovereign State of Yucatán.

The shirt is wildly popular all over Central American and the Caribbean, even though many men really don't like it. A Panamanian wrote that the shirt makes fat guys look fatter and skinny guys look skinnier; I tried to like the shirt when I lived in the Carib, but I have to agree with him.

Anonymous said...

TSB: Peter VB started following Tom Engelhardt while he was in Iraq to learn more about the war and the country. This led to Tom's assistant becoming his editor and publisher. (cool story of making money thru the internet!) gwb

TSB said...

"The slush pile," pretty interesting.

Anonymous said...

TSB: Excellent post by Deadmen Working today about the sorry state of the STATE Bureaucracy.gwb

TSB said...

I find it hard to read anything by DMW due to the fact that my eyes roll over about once per sentence. According to their side of their stories, Diplomatic Security persecutes them for no reason whatsoever, absolutely none at all, ever. DS apparently acts out of pure malice, and picks its victims by a random roll of the dice. DS is evil personified, and DMW are sheer victims of bad luck, as if they were hit by lightning.

DMW interpret all world and national events through their DS-hatin' filter. Did you notice that they even link the George Zimmermann case to DS? They have appointed Zimmermann an honorary DS agent, apparently.

None of this is to say that State - and, in my experience, all other - bureaucracies aren't in a sorry state. I just can't abide the self-righteousness whininess of DMW.

Anonymous said...

I haven't read enough DMW to know that stuff. But I know if my boss at Ft. Hood caught me idling away the time watching this he would want to know why I wasn't studying my annual chem-bio warfare refresher. Julian Assange now has a web tv show or RT
starting next week. (any army contractor wouldn't have access to RT) Enjoy the heat wave!! gwb