Political Symbols 3: The Unholy Trinity: Castro, Reno, Clinton

The Unholy Trinity

Almost as a kind of united "constellation," the names and faces of Bill Clinton, Janet Reno, and Fidel Castro continually appeared together in a variety of signs and images, linking all three implicitly together.

Castro, Clinton, and Reno were called "the New Stooges," or, as in the sign on the right, called "the dictator," "the traitor," and "the enforcer." Notice that Elian's father is also shown as a "victim," but he is chained to Castro, who rides Clinton in the form of a (Democratic?) donkey. Reno's head is shown on the body of the INS agent from the AP photo.

Numerous signs accused Clinton and Reno of being communists, or at least agents or dupes of Castro, carrying out his orders.

Other images were even less charitable, showing all three as co-equal cigar-chomping co-conspirators or "three equal legs of a table". It is interesting that in the first image, Castro wears an "INS" hat.

In this first sign, it is interesting that Reno, Castro, and Clinton are said to be part of a "love triangle". The sign is even adorned with the triangle which is used by gay activists as a symbol of homosexuality. (Many people have claimed Reno, who is unmarried, is also a lesbian.) In the second image, Reno is shown handing Elian over to a gaunt, skeletal Castro.

Taking Aim


Slogans attacking all three appeared on sidewalks all over the Little Havana neighborhood. One demonstrator showed a bold "solution" to the entire problem, which was Fidel Castro's head on a metal pike.

Throughout one demonstration I witnessed, several Clinton effigies appeared, each one more ridiculous than the previous one. One testiment to the power of the Internet seems to be that now even political signs carry web URLs.

Greg Craig, the attorney who represented Elian's father, was frequently accused of being a Cuban agent. Castro, in the second (altered) photograph, appears as he does in many images, looking over the shoulder of Bill Clinton.