HAVANA – A graffiti drawing showing a masked man holding up the severed head of US President Donald Trump appeared this week on a wall on a well-traveled street in Old Havana, just days after the mogul announced a toughening of Washington’s policy toward Cuba.
Signed with the pseudonym “2+2=5,” the image can be seen on the corner of Muralla and Bernaza Streets, just a few meters (yards) from the Cuban Capitol building and in a zone frequented by both tourists and local residents, many of the latter saying they feel it is “controversial” because of the strong violent message it sends.
Robert – a young Havana native – admitted to EFE that he was curious about the significance of the drawing showing a masked black man holding up Trump’s head, the US president being recognizable because of his characteristic hair and facial expression, and whose neck is spouting blood.
Over the masked man appears a “thought balloon” containing what appears to be a fried egg and a question mark.
Meanwhile, over Trump’s head, the artist has put the same illustration, but the fried egg is bisected by a diagonal line, the universal symbol for transmitting the idea of “prohibition” or “negation.”
The image also recalls the controversial photograph recently staged by US comedienne Kathy Griffin, in which she appears holding up a fake Trump head, simulating a decapitation, a joke in widely acknowledged poor taste that sparked heavy criticism after its publication.
Robert, who manages a store selling religious items in front of the wall where the graffiti image appeared, told EFE that he never saw the artist who drew it, but it has “attracted the attention of everyone who goes by.”
On June 16, Trump was in Miami to sign an executive order limiting travel by Americans to Cuba and prohibiting business dealings with companies controlled by the Cuban armed forces, as well as conditioning bilateral dialogue on “concrete steps” by the Havana regime to hold free elections on the island, among other measures.
Despite the fact that this reversal of the bilateral “rapprochement” could affect future normalization of relations between the two nations – which reestablished formal diplomatic ties in July 2015 – the graffiti message “is a little strong” due to the violence it projects, said Odania, who was visiting Havana from the eastern city of Santiago de Cuba.
“We find Trump’s attitude a little aggressive, but we must come to a state to state understanding to see if there is better communication,” she said.
“2+2=5” is an expression used in the dystopic novel “1984” by George Orwell to criticize the false dogmas and authoritarianism of the society overseen by the ubiquitous and all-controlling character – or concept – of “Big Brother.”