MIAMI — An image created for a prominent human rights group showing a cake with Fidel Castro’s face, a thick slice taken out of his mouth and the words, “the voice of oppression,” has gone viral on the Internet.
The image was created for an Amnesty International publicity campaign that was canceled “because it did not fulfill our requirements” — not to avoid offending Castro, Sharon Singh, the group’s spokeswoman, said Wednesday.
“We believe in free speech,” Singh told the Miami Herald by phone from the group’s offices in New York City.
Created by the Euro RSCG Prague advertising company in the Czech Republic, the image was part of proposal for a publicity campaign marking the anniversary of Amnesty International’s founding in London in 1961, Singh said.
It shows a cake in the shape of Castro’s face, wearing his traditional olive green military cap and with a slice taken out of his mouth and chin.
A sign in English in the lower right corner says, “50 years together with you cutting down the voice of oppression” and displays Amnesty International’s well-known logo of a candle wrapped in barbed wire.
Another image proposed by the Czech advertising agency featured Alexander Lukashenko, the authoritarian president of Belarus.
But the image of the former Cuban ruler has been so popular, according to sources, that some people who saw it on the Internet have asked for a recipe for the cake — which appears to have layers of chocolate and vanilla.
Singh said Amnesty was not aware of any complaints from Castro supporters. It was somehow posted on the Internet, she added, and “went viral.”
An uncredited report published April 9 in the Chilean branch of Terra, a Web portal based in Spain, said the image “ridicules Fidel Castro and brands him as ‘an oppressor.'” Its headline said the image had “generated a polemic” but gave no details.
The report added that Amnesty International has been “especially critical” of the Cuban government headed by Castro’s brother Raul and this year “tried to intercede, without success, to allow dissident blogger Yoani Sanchez” to attend an event in Brazil.
Amnesty International describes itself on its Web page as “a global movement of more than 3 million supporters, members and activists in more than 150 countries and territories” who campaign against “grave abuses of human rights.”
(c)2012 The Miami Herald