Elpidio Valdés gets old: - I made this drawing and after few days it got quickly more than 1,000 shares on Facebook among Cubans. 

Elpidio Valdés is to Cubans as Superman is to north Americans, our childhood hero. The original younger cartoon character was created in 1970 by Juan Padrón.  As a comic and television shorts films quickly became part of Cuban culture. Elpidio was a colonel fighting against Spanish colonialism of late 19th century, characterized with the strong and brave virtues of our homeland heroes, like Máximo Gómez and Antonio Maceo who fought with machetes against the fire guns Spanish soldiers (hmm... would be nice to make a real-time strategy game about this). 

Now after more than 50 years of a socialist totalitarian system that already failed worsened with the U.S. embargo, there is a serious demographic problem because of low birth rate and high migration of young working force. The aging population problem is perfectly explained here:

Cuba has a major demographic problem - by Elena Holodny 


So we have then a high number of old people that worked hard believing in the Revolution process that currently they are walking the streets selling newspapers, candies,  peanuts or even begging. These are our real life heroes, our fathers, mothers, and grandparents. In the best case scenario, they are at home watching TV and reading newspapers waiting for a call from his sons and grandsons from Florida or many other countries of the world where young Cubans have gone.

Finally linking all together we have the caricature of our elder Elpidio Valdés. Our hero is defeated and behind his gaze, we see all our elders. Waiting for better times,  but the time is everyday shorter for them.

Reactions:

- I uploaded to Facebook the drawing as a video with music from the cartoon series, and it got more than 1,000 shares. Click here to watch.
- Yoani Sanchez, a notorious Cuban blogger ask me to use the image and wrote a post about it.
- Cibercuba.com, a popular news website publish the story and tag my drawing as "viral".
- "El Nuevo Herald" (from The Miami Herald)  ask me for an interview and publish a detailed article about my caricature






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Denys Almaral

Denys Almaral

Denys is a 3D artist with an old passion for game development

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