CUBA AND CASTRO by Teresa Casuso


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The author of this rather tragic book about Cuba and Castro was until a year ago, Cuba's Ambassador at large, assigned to the UN; prior to that close to the Castro regime, handling press relations, foreigners, and so on; and even before that briefly Acting-Ambassador from Cuba to Mexico, during the lense few weeks following Fidel Castro's successful coup and overthrow of the government. This is less her personal story than the story of Castro and the tragedy of the effect of power on a young man who had earlier shown immense capacity for dedication, courage, inspiration, and whose magnetism won support everywhere. The opening chapters of her book are a frank statement of the unsavory history of United States' relations with Cuba, when the idea of annexation shifted from one to another, leaving a lasting scar on Cuba's struggle for independence and on her economic security. It is not a pleasing record; perhaps we need to be reminded of it. She interweaves with this Cuba's checkered history up to the generation of the 30's to which she belonged and their exile from Batista's dictatorship, and the silence, terror and crowded jails. Today, under Fidel Castro's dictatorship, Cuba has come full circle to the same state. There were points at which Cuba might have been saved; the author blames Washington for failure to seize these chances. It was in 1956 she met Castro-and almost immediately was caught up in the surge of faith and aspiration which he engendered. The balance of her story traces the whole pattern of his movement; at a distance she reports the invasion, the guerrilla nativities from the mountains- and then success. And from then on, hopes rose and fell; people responded from every social class-and later left Cuba in despair. Mounting adulation of Castro was sheer disaster. And today Castro is driven by pear and a perseculation , ridden by periods of depression; money matters are in a mess; dominates the whole government; failure stalks -- in agriculture, in housing, in all the areas where much was promised. And Fidel- who for long fought any emergence of Communism, has gone over. His lack of a concrete ideology or plans has caught up with him. And so- with heartbreak-Teresa Casuso resigned. The Cuba she loves will come to life again, but she feels she can no longer link herself with Castro.... There is a different angle on what is happening there, and the book, while very personal in approach, has important things to say.

Publisher: Random House