Romancing the truth
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