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Juxtaposition, or The Dumpling’s Fate by Photo

Life just isn’t fair. It seems some are just destined for greatness, and others for some kind of sad, Ignatius J Reilly existence. And there’s not much you can do about it, because it’s just flatly written across your face and your posture. You can almost see it as early as kindergarten photos. Winner, meet loser.

That’s what I love about this photo by reknowned Cuban photographer, Osvaldo Salas (signed by him, actually).

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Salas photo of Fidel Castro and fellow revolutionaries, 1959.

On the left, you have proud, heroic Captain José Ramón Fernández, and then you have a few people with at least passing historic significance, namely one Fidel Castro Ruiz accompanied by Osvaldo Dorticós Torrado (president of Cuba 1959-1976) and Augusto Martínez Sánchez (an early member of Castro’s regime, but ousted in 1964 by Castro). Then we have Humberto Sorí Marin on the far-right, looking for all the world like a dumpling that lost both its chicken and noodles.

Let’s reconstitute that paragraph this way.

Captain José Ramón Fernández …. blah, blah …. Humberto Sorí Marin.

Winner? Loser? Care to take a guess?

See Sorí Marin was a part of Castro’s revolution and early government, but left after just a few months and defected to the U.S. with help from the CIA in October 1959.  In 1961, he returned.

As a member of the ill-fated Bay of Pigs invasion.

Four guesses which guy in the photo was sent by Castro to repel the invasion. Right. Ramón Fernández.

Sorí Marin was captured in the invasion and executed by firing squad a few weeks later.

Meanwhile, Ramón Fernández, victorious in repelling the invasion, went on to be a General, garner titles like Hero of the Republic of Cuba, and is currently a Vice President of the council of ministers at the spry age of 91.

Full disclosure: the author himself was a lost little dumpling in his kindergarten photograph.


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