CASTRO'S SECRETS by Brian Latell


The CIA and Cuba's Intelligence Machine
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An analysis of Fidel Castro focusing on Cuban spy activity, by a retired CIA officer who specialized in tracking the Castro brothers.

Latell (After Fidel: The Inside Story of Castro's Regime and Cuba's Next Leader, 2005) was bound by his employment contract to submit this book to CIA censors, and he claims they asked for only a few minor changes. Many of the fresh allegations about Castro, his crackerjack spy agency and U.S. efforts to undermine him are based on conversations between the author and Florentino Aspillaga Lombard, “the most knowledgeable Cuban defector ever to change sides.” That means the credibility of many of these allegations depend heavily on Aspillaga's credibility, though Latell states that he has no doubt about Aspillaga's memory or the purity of his motives. Perhaps the most dramatic revelation is that Fidel Castro, and presumably his brother, a key member of the Cuban revolutionary autocracy, knew ahead of time that Lee Harvey Oswald would assassinate President Kennedy in Dallas. Latell does not sugarcoat the reasons for the anger of the Castro brothers aimed at Kennedy; rather, the author offers considerable information about how the U.S. government tried continually to overthrow the Castro regime, including plans that could have led to the assassination of one or both Castro brothers. In addition to information about assassination plots, Latell explains how a small island nation built an impressive spy agency. Though the author does not find the CIA wanting, he acknowledges that sometimes the information gathered turned out to be outdated or incorrect.

An insider’s account that by definition is difficult for outsiders to evaluate because the author and many of his key sources are trained dissemblers.

Pub Date: April 24th, 2012
ISBN: 978-0-230-62123-7
Page count: 288pp
Publisher: Palgrave Macmillan
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15th, 2012


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