Cuban Epiphany blast from the past: When the resurrection of the Three Wise Men angered Fidel Castro

From our Bureau of Socialist Spirituality with some assistance from our Bureau of Lingering Traces of Spanish Imperialism

When Castro, Inc. eliminated Christmas it also outlawed Epiphany, consigning Los Reyes Magos to oblivion along with Christ and Santa Claus.

So, when the Spanish embassy decided to resurrect the Three Wise Men so they could distribute candy to Cuban children on 6 January 2001, Fidel Castro blew a gasket, as did all the publications of his Ministry of Truth. This horrific “crime” was sponsored by the Spanish embassy in Havana, which chose all on its own to revive an old Spanish custom.

The boogey man at the center of this assault on Castro, Inc.’s sovereignty was José María Aznar, the only Spanish prime minister who ever dared to denounce Cuba’s dictatorship (while his government facilitated the construction of Castro, Inc.’s apartheid tourist resorts). Aznar was a member of the People’s Party, that is, a representative of the center-right. He was also the only Spanish prime minister with family ties to Cuba, since his father had lived there for several years.

Loosely translated from Periódico Cubano

In January 2001, in the midst of somewhat tense relations with the fourth president of the Government of Spain, José María Aznar López; The Cultural Center of the Iberian nation in Havana, with the support of the embassy, organized the first parade of the Three Wise Men on the island after several decades without being held.

With the permission of the Cuban authorities and the protection of the National Revolutionary Police (PNR) —which made its best patrols and motorized agents available to the event—, the staff of the Spanish embassy dressed up as the Three Wise Men and, mounted on floats, distributed sweets among the surprised residents and excited children who walked along the Paseo del Prado, in the heart of Old Havana.

From there they paraded to the headquarters of the Cultural Center of Spain and returned distributing sweets. Hours later, when the local official media reported the news, the event was portrayed as an “unfortunate and dangerous outcry” by “imported monarchs”, indifferent and insensitive to the joy and childish fantasy that was intended to be conveyed.

The local press branded the Epiphany parade as “clowns, shoddy magicians”, wanting to “give alms” to the country’s children. The newspaper Juventud Rebelde questioned: “With what right do they humiliate our children, throwing candies on the pavement or in the mud, depending on the aim of the clownish fools (mamarrachos)?”

In the midst of this ideological storm, Fidel Castro —always ready for controversy and the victimization of the “assailed Cuba”— declared to the Granma newspaper and the state news that he did not want to “add fuel to the fire of relations with Spain, but that no one doubts that any rudeness, any provocation, any insult will have an adequate response”.

The late Cuban president always accused the José María Aznar administration of allying with the US, of not supporting the Cuban government sufficiently and of trying to interfere in Cuba’s internal affairs.

Continue reading HERE in Spanish

1 thought on “Cuban Epiphany blast from the past: When the resurrection of the Three Wise Men angered Fidel Castro”

  1. Aznar put on a good front, certainly relative to other Spanish presidents, but it was more style than substance, like a dog that’s all bark and no bite. Many Cubans remember him fondly, but as with American Republican presidents, Cubans read too much into mere appearances which are ultimately hollow.

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