Cuba – Hi Fidelity

18thumb.JPGAs Cuban leader, Fidel Castro, 80, convalesces in hospital following surgery for internal bleeding brought on by his gruelling work schedule over recent months, Polo’s Bastards presents a photographic testament to the man whose term has outlasted nine US Presidents.


Disinterested pedestrians going past a portrait of Fidel in an abandoned shop.

According to the sign in a print shop Fidel believes “ideas are worth more than weapons”.

Portraits of Cuban independence leader Jose Marti and Fidel at an intersection in Havana. According to Castro “Ideas illuminate the world”.

Graffiti commemorating Fidel and the 26th of July (date of his original uprising in 1953 against the pro-American Batista regime).

A bulletin board in central Havana features news and photos relating to some of the day’s major political themes. A protest in front of the American Interests Section in Cuba which supposedly drew more than a million denizens, Fidel and his newest regional ally, Bolivian President Evo Morales and the five Cuban-Americans being held in U.S. Federal prisons after being convicted of espionage on behalf of Castro’s regime.

A road sign on the island’s main highway commemorates the CDR’s (Committees in Defense of the Revolution) which maintain Castro’s grass roots level appeal by organizing various pro-revolutionary activities (including espionage!) in every neighborhood on the island-notice the machete and the motto on it stating “on high alert.” Another of Fidel’s proclamations is included;”the genius is in the masses, the genius is massive”.

A poster in a Havana pharmacy celebrating the 47th anniversary of the revolution while declaring: “47 years of sovereignty, dignity, independence, liberty, battle, patriotism, hope and revolution”.

A young man wearing a t-shirt featuring Fidel and his staunchest regional ally Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez.

Typical Cuban Post Office.

A classic image of Fidel’s early days on display in front of a residential window.

Billboard commemorating the 47th anniversary of the revolution along with an image of Fidel and one of his iconic fallen comrades; Camilo Cienfuegos.

For those Cuban households with a TV set Fidel is an oft-invited guest!

A mural for the revolution’s most famous fallen soldier; Ernesto “Che” Guevara. An encomium from Fidel praises him as a “man of ideas and action”.

A granite sculpture in honor of Fidel and his socialist revolution.

Colorful painting in Havana’s main bus terminal glorifying Marti and the revolutionary struggle of the 1950’s.

A photo from 1962 (and on display in Havana’s museum of the revolution) showing Fidel partaking in Cuba’s national pastime of baseball.

Poster with a caption of “Hail Cesar, we who are about to die salute you!” while showing Fidel hoisting an AK-47 at an anti-American rally.

Photographs by Arya Kazemi.

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