Former Cuban president Fidel Castro ridiculed U.S. president Barack Obama Monday for planning to wear traditional tropical shirts during the Summit of the Americas in Cartagena.
President Obama is reportedly set to sport a custom-made “guayabera” at the conference, which will host state and business leaders from across the Americas, with the exception of Cuba, which has been banned from attending.
“The funny thing, dear readers, is that Cuba is forbidden from this meeting, but the guayabera, no. Who can keep from laughing?” wrote Castro in his “Reflections” section of Cuba’s state-run newspaper Granma.
There is much debate as to the origin of the guayabera, a light-weight Caribbean garment also known as a “Mexican wedding shirt. Some legends say it came from Cuba while others attribute it to the Yucatan Peninsula in Mexico. One Cuban legend says it was created by a poor countryside seamstress sewing large patch-pockets onto her husband’s shirts so he could carry carrying guava fruit from the field.
In his article Castro asserted that the shirt was Cuban, saying “this Caribbean shirt comes from the shores of the Yayabo River in Cuba, so they were initially called yayaberas.”
The Summit of the Americas will run from April 14to 15 in Cartagena, though preliminary meetings have already begun.