viva cuba libres!

February 5, 2009

Silence is argument carried out by other means.

Che Guevara

is updated on Thursdays.


For sale: a stethoscope that once belonged to Ernesto Guevara's roommate's friend Gus. Still detects heartbeats. $17.50 OBO. Box 220.
For sale: a vial of dirt from the mound on which Fidel Castro pitched in an intra-mural baseball game at the University of Havana in 1946. $4. Box 11.
Will trade my Kalashnikov designed stapler (circa 1960) for any office equipment produced by the Belgian firm Fabrique National. Or a really nice sweater. Box 19.
I am celebrating my birthday today and I would like several people to kiss my ass. I prefer that it is done metaphorically but I am not particular. Box 1848.

Tips For Winter Living

Number Ten: There are plenty of warm travel destinations that provide a nice break from the cold weather. I just can't think of any right now.



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The Unknown Castro

Most people with a nodding familiarity with Cuba and Modern Cuban History know who Fidel Castro is but a lot fewer people could pick his brother Dennis out of a crowd. We thought we should remedy that.

In the early days of the Revolution (Monday through Wednesday), Dennis was right in the thick of things - making coffee runs for the guerillas and embroidering nasty sayings about Batista on throw pillows (one of the most popular was Nice Haircut Fulgencio!). In this photograph Dennis is shown to the right of his more famous brother looking both fierce and sleepy (a very tricky combination). The man with the rifle is Shemp Guevara, Che's older brother.

After the success of the Revolution Dennis took his place in the new government. He went on many trips abroad in his capacity as the Minister of Making Nice. Due to his skill as a good mixer at parties and the fact that he was a dab hand at horsehoes, Dennis spent a lot of time in the former Soviet Union. He is shown here wildly applauding Nikita Krushchev's successful attempt to make Fidel yell "Uncle!" in the old Russian contest of elbow squeezing. Ah, sibling rivalry rears its ugly head.

It was this brother envy that compelled Dennis to leave Cuba for the U.S. in the 70s in order to pursue his dream of becoming an actor in motion pictures or "movies".
Sadly Dennis was almost completely without talent. The high point of his career was a brief stint filling in for Bernie Kopell as the Ship's Doctor on The Love Boat in 1979. Interestingly his character was known for his love of cigars even though Dennis himself did not smoke unless he was on fire.
In 1981 he returned to Cuba, sadder but evidently no wiser as he very quickly ended up on the terrible Cuban sitcom That's Not My Goat!. He was dropped from the cast in the second season.

Little is known of how Dennis spent the rest of the eighties but in 1993 he surfaces in Miami working as a telephone sanitizer. The photo from his company I.D. is shown here. His celebrated fierce/sleepy look is unmistakeable although he was often mistaken for Morton Hombleiner.
Throughout the 90s Dennis lived and worked in Florida marrying 13 times and fathering one child (she is also called Dennis). 11 of his wives died leaving him sizeable inheritances but his twelfth wife turned out to be a grifter and he was left destitute. He is still married to wife number thirteen.

Dennis seems to have moved into the New Millenium with some gusto. He owns and operates a string of fried chicken franchises across the Southern U.S. known as "Uncle Fidel's Tasty Tasty Fried Chicken". He is thinking of adding another tasty.

Now you know.