Monday, August 21, 2006

Fidel and Adidas

In two previous posts, I had mentioned how odd it was to see Fidel Castro wearing Adidas. The NYT notes this, and talks to Adidas’ PR person, who notes that not only do they have a longstanding relationship with the Cuban Olympic team, but they also provide shoes to President Bush (I guess Adidas is fair and balanced).

I see parallels to Fidel wearing clothes produced by a huge capitalist multinational, and made by low-wage labor, to kids in the U.S. shopping at the mall wearing Che Guevara t-shirts. Maybe both cases suggest that even for Fidel Castro, the most important thing is to look cool…


Anonymous,  2:32 AM  

Or it shows that the policies of both countries are stuck in rhetoric instead of logic. Fidel wears Adidas (and also has countless other multinationals doing business in his country) while he preaches against "evil capitalism". And he builds global businesses as well. Check out Havana Club and Cohiba for two well known Cuban-owned brands. The idea of a brand itself is not exactly communist either. Meanwhile, the US government preaches against communism while we can't add airline flights for all the business people traveling from the US to China (or Vietnam) fast enough.

Can anyone even remember why the embargo exists?

Greg Weeks 8:21 AM  

I figure that when Fidel dies, the U.S. government response will be, "See, the embargo finally worked!"

MSS 7:20 PM  

Of course, Adidas is not an American company. In fact, most Americans don't even pronounce the name of the company correctly.

Adidas is German, and Cuba under Castro has long had commercial relations with Germany (and most other countries). Cuba also competes, quite successfully, in international sports, and someone has to make their sports apparel, cool or otherwise.

Greg Weeks 7:26 PM  

I don't see how not being American is relevant.

Is it more important to Fidel to support socialism, or to get high quality sports gear? Does the latter trump the former? If so, why?

Greg Weeks 7:39 PM  

Ah, rereading, I see I was responding to Mike's question about the embargo, as opposed to Adidas. The former is U.S.-based, while the latter is not.

For me, though, my questions in the previous comments still hold.

Camilo Pino 9:45 PM  

Have you seen Oliver Stone's apologetic video-interview to Fidel?
Castro wears a pair of Nike shoes (black air trainers) during all recording sessions.

He is also driven in a Mercedes, which by the way is technically an American car now since the company belongs to a US company.

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Unknown 9:21 PM  

Well Fidel it´s just wearing Nike´s because the man can´t know everything. Despite the guy is one of the most well intentioned politics in the world, he doesn´t know that there are shoes with is name.
Just great

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