Fidel Castro publishes memoir
Fidel Castro is back in the public spotlight, and this time it’s not because of his health.
Cuban media reported over the weekend that the 85-year-old former communist leader and supreme commander of Cuba for more than four decades, published his memoirs on Friday, celebrating the occasion with a six-hour-long book launch, in which he apparently spoke much of the time, and seemed to be in good spirits.
The 1,000 page book, titled Guerrillero del Tiempo, or A Guerrilla of the Time, covers Castro’s youth and his early days as a political activist and guerrilla fighter, but stops in 1958, just before the start of the Cuban revolution, leaving the reader to wonder if there will be a second 1,000 page volume, that covers the more juicy parts of Castro’s life, such as the U.S. backed Bay of Pigs invasion, the economic crisis in Cuba following the collapse of the Soviet Union, or how he survived at least a dozen CIA assassination attempts.
Still, there could be plenty of action in part one of the Castro saga, which is written in the form of an informal conversation between Castro and Cuban journalist, Katiuska Blanco. (Castro prefers old boots, old glasses, and old watches, he reportedly says in the book, but in politics he wants everything to be “new.”)
Castro grew up in a large farm run by his father, Angel, a Spanish immigrant from Galicia who had become a fairly wealthy landowner in Cuba. By the time he was studying law, however, Castro had joined dissident groups seeking to overthrow U.S.-backed military rule in Cuba.
In his mid-twenties Castro organized an attack on the Moncada military base in Santiago de Cuba, becoming the government’s public enemy number one. He was released from jail following an amnesty for political prisoners and was soon after in Mexico, plotting an invasion of Cuba by a group of revolutionaries that included an idealistic Argentine doctor, Ernesto ‘Che’ Guevara.
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