Auction: 17003 - Orders, Decorations and Medals
(x) A rare opportunity to acquire an item of Cuban historical importance: an early example of one of Fidel Castro's famous berets
Khaki beret, approximately 280mm x 240mm, inscribed on the sweatband in a dark blue ballpoint pen 'a Roa de Fidel Castro Junio 12 1959', in good overall condition
The inscription on the beret dates from the year that Castro's rebels finally achieved victory, with Batista fleeing the country on January 1 of 1959, and was probably given as a jeu d'esprit, to the man who would become one of Castro's most trusted and loyal ministers, who charted an increasingly pro-Soviet course in the years after the revolution, thereby shaping much of modern Cuba.
Raul Roa Garcia (1907-82) was Foreign Minister of Cuba from 1959 to 1976. Roa had been both the Dean of Social Sciences at the University of Havana and a Government Minister (Director of Culture) under President Carlos Prio Socarras, before the latter was deposed by Batista in 1952. He was briefly imprisoned in the aftermath, and then exiled.
Sold with a 2014 Certificate of Authenticity (Certification number: Y26244), James Spence Authentication, United States and two photographs of Castro and Roa, their names in ink, verso, one photograph with a Ministry of Foreign Affairs stamp.
Another Castro beret -with provenance- is currently on display at the St. Petersburg Museum of Political History.
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£5,000 to £10,000