Produce by The Washington Post Writers Group, a few days ago The Denver Post published a review of two recent books about Fidel Castro.
And the headline clearly hints the tone:
"Two new books look at Castro through friends' eyes"
I have to say that, coming from The Denver Post is, oddly, a very acccurate take on (c) astro I and the everlasting liberal love story with it.
Since we are in the era of fairness and balances in all forms for free expression, to kind of keeping up with the mood, I would only add three things, to round up Mary Speck's take:
The author dismisses Guevara's responsibility for the summary execution of anywhere from several dozen to several hundred people as "swift revolutionary justice" and examines it no further. He sums up the public show trials that Castro instigated as a "terrible mistake," presumably because many foreign reporters reacted with revulsion as crowds filled Havana's stadium, jeering at the suspects and calling out for firing squads.
Here I would immediately recommend the reader Humberto Fontova's "The Real Che Guevara and the Useful Idiots Who Idolize Him" and "Fidel Castro, Hollywood's Favorite Tyrant" to get their fair share on the other side of the story that is missing.
We learn little about the inner reservations García Márquez may have had about Cuba's deterioration into a battered autocracy running mainly on inertia and repression.
After this, I would also add the recently declassified documents from Mexican Mexico's Federal Direction of Mexican Security (DFS), revealing that the Nobel winning author Gabriel García Márquez, began acting as an agent of propaganda to the service of the Direction of Cuban Intelligence in 1967. (The headline in Spanish, BTW, means "Gabo, the great Cuban spy")
Finally, I would have adventured myself adding an extra word (emphasis mine) and an answer to her final question:
Why, in the latter half of the 20th century — an era already scarred by the messianic ravages of larger-than-life totalitarian leaders in Europe and Russia — did so many intellectuals greet Castro's iron rule and utopian promises with such blinkered euphoria?
Because in today's society, there is a widespread toxic contaminant called liberal hypocrisy.
Because, as my mother says, it is very easy to swim when you are outside the water.
Because it is easy to side with the tyrants and defend their causes, from the coziness of your pricey house in the land of the evil empire, where liberals enjoy First Amendment Rights that nor myself or my fellow countryman have never had in castro's Cuba.
Because if you chose to say the entire truth, then you are called sick, twisted freak, radical and/or rabid anticastro - or all of the above.
Because in life, you can chose to do right or wrong. And, doing the right thing sometimes is not the most popular choice.