Ro­manc­ing the truth

BBC History Magazine - - Letters -

I en­joyed the piece about Fidel Cas­tro ( How Should His­tory Re­mem­ber Fidel Cas­tro?, Jan­uary) but the ‘ro­mance’ of Cas­tro and Ar­gentina’s Che Gue­vara seems to have hid­den the fact that the Cuban leader was, from the be­gin­ning, con­cerned mainly with his own de­sires and self-ag­gran­dis­e­ment. Even as a young­ster at school he was some­one who could not cope with be­ing told what to do. He al­ways knew bet­ter.

Cas­tro had been in­volved with rev­o­lu­tion­ary pol­i­tics since his univer­sity days in Ha­vana and was as well-ac­quainted with the gun and club as any of Hitler’s Brown­shirts in 1920s and 1930s Ger­many. His pri­mary aim, once he had seized power in 1959, was to en­sure that he re­tained it. To that end he would use any­one he could.

If Cas­tro was merely a puppet, ma­nip­u­lated by Khrushchev – and there is a de­gree of truth in that idea – his in­volve­ment with the Cuban mis­sile cri­sis of 1962 hides the fact that he was not the vil­lain of the piece and cer­tainly not the hero. These roles were filled by Khrushchev, the man who be­gan the whole ter­ri­fy­ing af­fair but who was also the only leader with enough bot­tle to back down when things got out of hand, at the ex­pense of his own po­si­tion. Phil Car­radice, Glam­or­gan

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.