THE UNSUSPECTED REVOLUTION: The Birth and Rise of Castroism by Mario Llerena

THE UNSUSPECTED REVOLUTION: The Birth and Rise of Castroism

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KIRKUS REVIEW

To be taken as an example, this is the tale of a social democratic intellectual's involvement and disillusionment with Castro's 26th of July Movement before its accession to power. Having opposed Batista in organizations which proved ineffectual, Llerena, in spite of some misgivings, accepted Castro's invitation to participate in his Movement, and, when exiled from the island, was appointed its Director of Public Relations Outside Cuba. This book is a revised version of an unpublished manuscript consulted by Hugh Thomas and Theodore Draper for their books on the Cuban Revolution. It offers no startling revelations, but Llerena played an important role at a critical time, and provides a coherent account from his special perspective. He did not believe Castro to be a Communist, and often had occasion to hotly deny it. The material he wrote for the Movement emphasized its democratic character. The document known as the Sierra Manifesto, signed by Castro and others, had been prepared by Llerena, he tells us, in the spirit of the democratic ideals of Romulo Betancourt, Jose Figueres, and Luis Munoz Marin--Latin American leaders for whom Castro later revealed a particular hatred. Llerena believes Castro to have been a man primarily interested in power who was guided into a Communist ideology by those around him, but who still remains more caudillo than Communist. Llerena resigned his post when it became apparent to him that Castro no longer stood for the principles of the democratic left. Returning to Cuba after Batista's fall, he contributed to the independent press, while it lasted, and finally returned to exile in the United States. A sober memoir with some curious and interesting details useful for rounding out one's view of Castro's revolution.

Pub Date: May 29th, 1978
Publisher: Cornell Univ. Press