Beard News! Fidel Castro, the greatest Beard in history

primopiano_fidel_castro.jpgSince 1959 Fidel Castro (and his beard) have held power in Cuba. The length of his reign and the apparent adulation afforded him by his people mark him as a phenomenon in global politics. How has he achieved this? Regy Growthstein gives us his no nonsense view.

OK, so how has this 80 year old been the main man in Cuba since 1959? Some jackass cheyfidel.jpgcommentators will tell you it’s his domestic achievements; sure, Cuba has one of the highest literacy rates in the world. I guess that means the guys back in Havana can read the bull that so called “intellectuals” peddle about Snr Castro then.  I mean, some of these guys will say the old man’s still there because the Cubans see him as a revolutionary hero, sticking it to Uncle Sam. Others reckon that because he was best buddies with Che and maybe played a bit of golf with the guy that the people love him . Then there’s the bunch of Reagan loving cronies droning on about political oppression. Well, that’s all baloney. It’s the beard, man.

Consider the facts. Between April 15th and 26th 1959, Castro and a delegation of industrial and international representatives visited the U.S. as guests of the Press Club. This visit was perceived by many as a charm offensive on the part of Castro and his fidel_castro_mug_3.jpgrecently initiated government, the fact that Castro hired one of the best public relations firms in the United States nails it. Castro answered impertinent questions jokingly, ate hotdogs and hamburgers. His rumpled fatigues and scruffy beard made him seem an authentic hero. He’s used that communist bit of facial fluff to lethal political effect ever since. It’s the beard that projects proletarian solidarity, it unites the Cuban people under its whispy umbrella.

Would he still be head Cuban honcho if he’d sported a mustache or showed some rev-che-fidel-2.jpgclean Latino face? No way. The US were onto this right back in the 70s. In 1975 the New York Times broke the news that the CIA had developed a shoe polish compound intended to make Fidel Castro’s beard fall out, so that he would lose his “charisma”. The plan failed and here he still is.

Well Mr Fidel, I raise a fat cigar in your honour. The most powerful, iconic beard in history. Get well soon my friend.

Has Regy got it right? Is Fidel’s the most successful beard ever? Have you ever grown a beard for ulterior motives? Share your thoughts with the World (of Beards)


14 Responses to Beard News! Fidel Castro, the greatest Beard in history

  1. Andrew says:

    I think the beards of Darwin, Freud, Marx, Da Vinci and Papa Smurf would disagree.

    What a meeting of beards that would be!

    If you could invite four bearded people (alive or dead) to a dinner party who would it be?

  2. Wulf Slaughter says:

    Thoughtful, moving, considered and incisive. The kind of journalism I’ve come to expect from this website.

  3. Whiskers Away says:

    Greatest ever beard? you’re having a laugh aren’t you? greatest ever bearded tyrant more like. Castro and his beard have basically impoverished an entire nation whilst becoming enourmously wealthy in the process.


  4. Noon says:

    In response to Andrew:

    I would invite my dad, Nick Foulds, Keith Donnelly and Moses to a big old beardy barbeque. I wouldn’t invite Noah under any circumstances. I hear he’s a mean drunk.

  5. Andrew says:

    Thank you for responding to my fictional-beardy-dinner-party suggestion Noon (although for the record, I think that inviting bearded people you actually know is against the rules.)

    My own fictional beardy dinner party would be:
    Ernest Hemmingway (mixes a mean cocktail)
    Monty Panesar (man of the moment)
    Captain Haddock (friend of Tintin)
    Hulk Hogan (for general wrastling moves and the potential for a great beardy face-off with Papa).

    Any further beardy dinner guest suggestions?

  6. Whiskers Away says:

    I’m with Noon on this one – Andrew, your dinner party selection sounds crap. What about:

    Chuck Norris
    Henry John Temple, 3rd Viscount Palmerston
    and finally, W G Grace

  7. Timbo says:

    Blistering barnacles! Glad to hear Captain Haddock getting a mention, I think he offers us all an endearing and heroic image. Originating from a tragic background of alcoholism and solitude, the Captain (real name Archibald Haddock), would become a heroic figure who manage to triumph over adversity. He flew to the moon, defeated gangsters and discovered meteors. Please raise a glass for Captain Haddock!

  8. Paulo says:

    How everyone’s dinner party selection doesn’t include B.A.Baracus is a travesty. I say lets get rid of God – lets be honest; he’s had a few quiet years…and no one wants to hear about the dead sea scrolls again, puts me right off my grub.

  9. old noon says:

    Castro would make a wonderful addition to a dinner party; but I hear he’s on a liquid diet just now, and after all, his work is really done – he has been a role model for an entire nation of beards all his adult life, so it’s time to let him have a well deserved rest.

    So, my invitations would go to Genghis Kahn, Alexander Solzhenitsyn, Louis Riel and Grant Henry, (cause he’s always got some scotch on hand and remains a pacifist regardless of how drunk he gets). I’d really like to invite Fouldsey; but last time I saw him, he was still a bit of a slave to civilization, and scraped his face pretty short. He’s going to have to set his face truely free before he hits my list.

    Of course, if a fifth invitation were allowed, St. Nicholas would get a nod, just to see if the old fart can drink scotch like he drinks milk; but unfortunatley, he’s going to have to settle for first runner-up.

    Gentlemen of the world unite – Free Your Faces! :-)>

  10. Nick Foulds says:

    I’m with you all the way Old Noon but I’m a bit stumped by Louis Riel. What about giving old Charles Darwin a bit of a run?He’d certainly give a good account of the aetiology of the facial fuzz! I’m told George Eliot had a beard but I’m not sure how she’d get on with Alexander S. You’re right about my beard though- and even more right since my accident with a beard trimmer this morning which has led to me resticting my outdoor movements to hours of darkness only!!

  11. fouldsy's mum says:

    A beardy dinner party could last for weeks. Tasty morsels to be discovered deep in the whiskery undergrowth for days at least.

  12. Beardyburkey says:

    If one is keen on easing party-planning woes through efficiency, may I suggest that a single good-sized 1970s southern boogie band and their ‘roadies’ could populate an entire dinner party in one fell swoop and obviate the need to research and subsequently invite any further fans of the furry facial finery. The Allman Brothers, for example. And they would probably bring ‘grits’ or some such.

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