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Lee Lockwood is a photographer who has made several trips to Cuba since the revolution. In 1965 he spent fourteen weeks there and at that time conducted the eight day interview with Castro which forms, along with his pictures and comments, what he calls ""a highly personal and impressionistic report...about Castro and Cuba."" His overall judgment as an intermittent visitor is that the Cuba pictured in the U.S. bears little relation to the Cuba he saw. The material improvements for all are evident but, more important, as other observers have also pointed out (notably Oscar Lewis in La Vida), is the spirit of the people who, though still poor by our standards, exhibit the confidence that their future is in their own hands. Lockwood's questions to Castro are the standard bothersome ones: what about elections, censorship, the alienation of the middle class, the evolution towards a Communist state, the ""missile crisis,"" the cult of personality, etc. Castro's answers are expectedly lengthy but forthright, relatively free of political jargon, and, within the context of the situation, understandable if not always satisfying. The differences between the liberal's concept of reform and the revolutionist's concept of total change are made clear during the interview. Lockwood's ""conclusion,"" therefore, in which he disputes some of Castro's replies, actually serves as a clarification of the interviewer's own views since it is doubtless necessary not to appear as an apologist for an unacceptable regime. But there is no essential contradiction between Lockwood's Cuban observations and the substance of the interview. The Cuban Premier emerges here as a man of boundless energy and enthusiasm, a zealous, didactic visionary devoted to the advancement of his people, and a committed Communist who has no reason at all to alter his anti-Americanism.

Pub Date: March 1st, 1967
ISBN: 159244279X
Publisher: Macmillan