Havana: Cuban revolutionary leader Fidel
Castro has mocked the idea that US President Barack Obama
could wear a "guayabera" shirt at an upcoming Americas summit
in Colombia, while opposing Cuba`s presence at the event.
News reports have said a noted Colombian designer is
making a series of guayaberas for Obama to wear at the summit
of the Americas in Cartagena, April 14-15.
Castro, whose brother Raul formally succeeded him as
president in 2008, offered a history lesson on the origins of
the light, tropical shirt, asserting that it was created in an
area of Cuba that is watered by the Yayabo River.
"That`s why they were originally called yayaberas," he
wrote in an article published in the Cuban press.
Other accounts say the shirt`s name may have come from
the guayabas, or guavas, that could be carried in the large
pockets that are sewn into the shirt`s pleated front.
"What`s curious, dear readers, is that Cuba is forbidden
from attending this meeting, but not the guayaberas. Who can
stop laughing?" Castro said.
The United States and Canada have opposed Cuba`s
participation in the meeting, which brings together 34 heads
of state and government to discuss regional cooperation and a
reduction of physical barriers to integration.
Other Latin American countries had pressed for Cuba`s
inclusion in the summit, but Washington has been reluctant to
end a five decade old policy of isolating the only one-party
communist state in the Americas.
Castro, while president, delegated his duties to Raul in
2006 in what was said to be a temporary transfer of powers but
the move became permanent two years later.