Etching and aquatint with drypoint. Signed, dated and numbered in an edition of 50. Printed on white Somerset Satin paper by Peter Pettengill at Wingate Studio, Hinsdale, New Hampshire. Published by Blue Heron Press Inc., New York.
Plate: 91.4 x 61 cm (36 x 24 in) Sheet: 111.8 x 78.7 cm (44 x 31 in)
"Once numerous, the brightly-colored Cuban red macaw is now extinct. Walton Ford’s solitary, splendidly feathered macaw sits on a branch, beset by pesky flies and surrounded by various traps to capture him. The clue to the allegory is in the title, “La historia me absolvera” – “History will absolve me.” This was Fidel Castro’s final statement in a lengthy dec-laration against the abuses and corruption of the Batista government, delivered as his self-defense during a secret trial after the failed attack on an army barracks in Santiago, Cuba, in 1953.
Sentenced to fifteen years in prison, Castro was released two years later under a general amnesty for political prisoners; four years after that, Batista fled as Castro’s forces seized Havana. Attempts to oust Castro by force or assassination in the early 1960s failed; Castro remained president of Cuba until his resignation in 2008. Ford here illus-trates these attempts to unseat Castro as flies and traps, and adds a text about bomb-rigged seashells and a fungus-impregnated diving suit. But only the future will answer Castro’s defiant statement of 1953.”