Hoping to dispel rumors of Fidel Castro's death, the Cuban government has released images of the leader greeting a series of celebrity guests in his never-before-seen living room, and boy is the place tacky. The Miami Herald notes that "To be fair, nothing visible in the photos is remotely as embarrassing or disturbing as, say, the witchcraft tools or the giant portrait of Hitler that invading U.S. troops found in the home of Panamanian strongman Manuel Noriega; nor as downright weird as the mural of bikini-clad women enslaved by trolls discovered in Saddam Hussein's townhouse after his overthrow." But that's about the nicest thing you could say about the place.
"All those colors, blue and green and orange and a different blue — it's just tacky, dictator-tacky." Miami radio host Ninoska Perez says to the Herald.
The Herald follows up with a few more zingers: "Let's just say the enthusiasm he displays for central planning in economies does not extend to interior decorating."
"From multiple shades of paint ('the walls toward the back of the photo are lilac-blue, those toward the front powder-blue, while paintings are garishly yellow and red') to the tubby Asian ceramic figure ('it looks a bit like an overfed Confucius') to a randomly hung plant ('it looks artificial and it's definitely a major dust-gatherer'), Fava couldn't stop his eyes from ping-ponging around the room." Joe Fava is a Miami-based designer.
There is one thing that's a little creepy though. A black panel in one of the images is illuminated in another with a flowery scene. "It might be an illuminated image," says Fava. "But it really looks to me like a two-way glass, like somebody might be standing on the other side, looking through."
· Fidel's living room decor: eclectic or 'dictator tacky'? [Miami Herald]