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Edel Rodriguez
The New Dictator on the Block
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This portrait of Raul Castro is in this week's TIME magazine as a spread illustration.  He was one of the figures chosen for the "People Who Mattered" section, a look at some of the notables of the past year.
I was allowed to do what I wanted with this image.  Since I'm from Cuba, it seemed like the right fit for me.  But, I had issues with doing this portrait, I didn't want it to look like a promotional poster.  Instead, I decided to create what appears to be an old poster, folded, off register, and disheveled.  It's what I feel has happened to the country since the Castros took over.
Raul Castro has been the head of Cuba's Defense Ministry since his brother Fidel took over in 1959.  In that time, thousands of Cubans have been sent to fight and die in places like Angola, Granada, and Central America.  There has never been a referendum or a vote on any of these military actions.  There has never been an election to replace anyone in Cuba, in 47 years.  Now, the Defense Minister, who is the President's brother, has become the President.  Think about that.

Think how you would feel if Bush was President for 47 years and towards the end of his reign, he decided to appoint Rumsfeld as his replacement.  No discussion, no vote.

I realize there are a lot of problems in this country, but there's nothing like having the opportunity to correct them every few years.

Throughout the years, I've had many discussions with artists that love the Cuban Revolution.  I'm always amazed at how some freedom loving people avidly defend the actions of leftist dictators, simply because they stand against Imperialism.  I've always been against dictatorships, of the right, or the left.
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Rodriguez is teaching at TutorMill, an online mentoring site for students of illustration!
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