Fidel Castro: The Beard Keeps Him in Power
By Danno Somavilla
90 miles off the coast of Miami is a little island known for its sugar industry, its surprisingly high-quality yet selectively applied medical facilities, its status as one of the last remaining petrie dishes still harboring the strain of socio-political theory known as communism, and, perhaps most of all, its charismatic leader, the man never seen out of fatigues, out of cigars, or out of his beard—Fidel Castro.
That is all open-source, easily obtainable, and hardly arguable information. Now I’ll switch it up on you, flipmode style. Just so you can buckle up. It may be that there’s no delicate way to say what I’m about to suggest to you, but I’m sure as hell going to try. Here goes.
Castro led a successful revolt against the Batista government in 1959, and since then has been king of the mountain. The man has witnessed the twilight of eight presidential administrations. With a reign lasting 45 years to date, he’s one of the planet’s most experienced living heads of state. I predict, however, that Castro will keep right on living, smugly attending the funerals of Queen Elizabeth II of England and Prince Ranier III of Monaco and will, in 2033, unseat King Louis XIV of France as the longest-reigning ruler EVER.
When I mention “Castro”, however, I’m not talking about the man. I’m talking about the bearrd. I reiterate: the man behind the beard is not the same man who took over Cuba in 1959. The beard is the same beard, and what’s more, that beard is a sentient living organism with a greater yen for statesmanship than your ordinary batch of facial hair.
“Danno,” you may be saying to yourself, “I’m sorry I ever doubted you on the Hemi issue, but now you’re just raving.”
Your trepidation is totally understandable. Just bear with me.
In 1953, a 21-year-old and clean-shaven Fidel Castro joined up with some fellow leftists and led an attack on some barracks of then-dictator Fulgencio Batista’s armed forces. This adventure failed miserably and he was jailed, after which he was exiled and fled to Mexico. It was here that Fidel Castro met the Argentine-born revolutionary, Dr. Ernesto “Che” Guevara.
Prior to this meeting, Che Guevara had studied medicine in Buenos Aires for over 9 years. Motivated by a desire to give aid to the less fortunate, he did extensive work in leper colonies in Argentina and Venezuela, and performed a great deal of experimental research in the study of regeneration, trying to invent a method to preserve the vital functions and prevent decay of severed limbs and body tissue. His journal entries are spotty, but there are implications of progress, and there is documentation of his early work on the subject, which involved test cases of fingernail clippings and hair samples.
It is after this rather sketchy segment of Dr. Guevara’s life that he surfaced in Mexico in 1955 to meet the young Fidel Castro. As the popular version of the story goes, the common ideology of the two men brought them together, they became fast friends, reorganized the Cuban exiles, and successfully invaded Cuba and overthrew Batista, Fidel leading bravely with Che, his loyal right-hand man, alongside him as chief medic and second-in-command, proving his valor in battle many times over during the campaign.
Che Guevara had absolutely no experience with combat. Sorely afflicted since birth with asthma, intense physical situations were something he tried to keep away from. Furthermore, Fidel Castro was a bumbling fool with no flair for strategy, as demonstrated by his laughably quixotic attempt to overrun an army barracks in the Cuban countryside six years earlier. By all accounts, only two things happened to Fidel between 1953 and 1959 that could possibly have turned him into the brilliant leader and master strategist that now enjoys the island of Cuba as his personal fief—his introduction to Che Guevara, and his sudden subsequent decision to begin sporting a full beard.
By now the inductive process is obvious: Guevara meets the hapless Fidel Castro in Mexico, and either coerces or (more likely) persuades him to be a subject in a self-sustaining cell experiment—hence the beard. Applying the sinister procedures he developed in the leper colonies deep in the South American jungles, Guevara grafted a sentient beard onto Castro, which penetrated his facial papillae to take control of his nervous system, using the body as a source of nutrients and a vehicle through which to actualize its will, in a fashion very similar to Krang from Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, who kind of fit in the belly of that big robot body thing.
Initially, Castro’s beard was subservient to Guevara’s will, and was essentially the figurehead of the revolution, with Che calling the shots behind the scenes. The result was a smashing victory for the communists. Castro’s beard became president of the country, and Che became the Minister of Industry—a prestigious post which kept him close to the beard, allowing the two of them to run the country without suspicion.
But all those who want to play Frankenstein must eventually confront the golems they have created. In 1963, Che and Castro’s beard had a falling out, and Dr. Guevara realized too late that he had underestimated the cunning and tenacity of his construct. The beard banished Che from the island, though in public the affair was covered up by a tearful declaration that the great Che Guevara was leaving Cuba to selflessly advance the spread of international communism.
The Central Intelligence Agency was ridiculed in the years following the communist takeover of Cuba for its seemingly farcical attempts to eliminate Castro, including schemes such as exploding seashells and poison cigars. The truth of the matter is that the CIA finally figured out the beard’s secret, and sent in an agent disguised as a call girl to spike Castro’s drink with a powerful chemical designed to make his hair fall out. A Cuban mole within the CIA uncovered the plot was able to get word to the beard in the nick of time, however. Though disaster had been averted, the incident left the beard constantly wracked with paranoia, and the resulting security increase made another such assassination plot unfeasible.
As head of state, the beard placed maximum resources into government medical programs, eventually succeeding in reproducing Guevara’s procedure. This allowed the beard to move from a depleted or ill human body to a younger, healthier one, as a hermit crab moves to a new shell when the old one is no longer suitable. I would estimate that the beard has had no fewer than three separate bodies since 1959. Cuban medical advances allow for the necessary modification of vocal cords to create the illusion of continuity, and allow for incredibly advanced cosmetic surgical procedures to create the illusion of aging. With a static wardrobe of loose-fitting fatigues, other physical discrepancies are well hidden. The deception is so perfectly executed, no one has had a reason to suspect any subterfuge.
Even now, though I have painstakingly exposed the beard’s 45-year lie, I will be denounced as a crackpot conspiracy theorist with no grip on reality. When the beard hears about my discovery on Miami talk radio, it will laugh and call me a counterrevolutionary imperial capitalist warmongering bloodsucker caudillo who is resorting to fairy tales to try to derail the glorious people’s revolution. But I’m not worried—I mean, who are you gonna believe, me or a tyrannical demon beard...