New Book Exposes the Misdeeds of Cuba’s Dictator
by Jim Burns, Human Events Online Apr 18, 2005
Humberto Fontova will never be interviewed on CNN’s “Larry King Live.” Chris Matthews will never want to talk to him on “Hardball.” The reason: Fontova has written a book titled Fidel: Hollywood’s Favorite Tyrant (published by Regnery, a HUMAN EVENTS sister company) that dramatically explains Hollywood’s love affair with Fidel Castro, Cuba’s “maximum leader.”
Why do Hollywood and the mainstream media so love him? Why do hordes of American lawmakers and business executives flock to him? Castro is a murderous dictator. Would these Hollywood and liberal types who wine and dine with him have wined and dined with Adolf Hitler?
This book answers those questions with hard-hitting detail on what a societal misfit Castro is. Fontova, a Cuban exile, has done a beautiful job telling the story of the America-hating paranoiac. He has documented his findings from extensive research and interviews with many of those who were connected with the repressive Castro regime. It will be hard for this book to make the New York Times bestseller list because it is so truthful and in many ways frightening that many Americans might shy from reading it.
After observing Cuba for several years and listening to Radio Havana broadcasts to North America, I can believe Castro is Tinseltown’s favorite tyrant. The actor Jack Lemmon was praised by the Castro government at his death for being “a friend of Cuba.” America-bashing filmmaker Oliver Stone was treated like royalty by the dictator during a visit to Havana. Danny Glover travels there quite a bit, as do Ed Asner, Harry Belafonte, Gina Lollobrigida and others. It is a wonder that Castro doesn’t have his own Hollywood colony. Or maybe he does have one and is not telling his state-run media about it.
Film director Steven Spielberg accepted an invitation in 2002 from Cuba’s film institute to attend a Cuban film festival featuring Spielberg’s work. His movies E.T., Schindler’s List, Saving Private Ryan, Raiders of the Lost Ark, Empire of the Sun, Jaws and Duel were shown at four Havana theaters—at least if the Castro government propaganda is to be believed.
Omar Gonzales, Castro’s director of the Cuba School of Film and Television, gushed over Spielberg. He said at the time, “Steven Spielberg is a filmmaker whose work is well known and widely admired in Cuba, by filmmakers and audiences alike.”
In Their Own Words
It is amazing how Castro has caused so many liberals and Hollywood types almost to swoon. Hitler in Berlin would have been hard-pressed to have done it better.
Fontova has compiled many astounding quotes about the brutal dictator from those who have been snowed:
“Viva Fidel! Viva Che! Castro is the most honest and courageous politician I’ve ever met.”—Jesse Jackson.
“Very selfless and moral. One of the world’s wisest men.”—Oliver Stone.
“Cuba’s Elvis.”—Dan Rather.
“Castro is at the same time the island, the men, the cattle, and the earth. He is the whole island.”—Jean Paul-Sartre.
“A dream come true!”—Naomi Campbell.
“If you believe in freedom, if you believe in justice, if you believe in democracy, you have no choice but to support Fidel Castro!”—Harry Belafonte.
“A genius.”—Jack Nicholson.
“Fidel, I love you. We both have beards. We both have power and want to use it for good purposes.”—Francis Ford Coppola.
“The first and greatest hero to appear in the world since the Second World War.”—Norman Mailer.
“Socialism works. I think Cuba might prove that.”—Chevy Chase.
“Castro is an extraordinary man. He is warm and understanding and seems extremely humane.”—Gina Lollobrigida.
Decades of Tyrannical Reign
Fontova shows clearly how the New York Times—through its biased “reporting” back in the 1950s—helped propel Castro to overthrow the Batista leadership and seize control of the country. HUMAN EVENTS, however, was reporting as early as 1957 that Castro was a Communist and complaining about how American officials refused to acknowledge this fact. HUMAN EVENTS was disbelieved until Castro took over and viciously spread communism throughout Cuba. At the time, HUMAN EVENTS’ reporting was tantamount to Britain’s Winston Churchill warning his countrymen to read Mein Kampf to determine what Hitler was really like. Not many Brits read it and they paid for their ignorance during World War II.
Fontova talks with people you won’t read about in the New York Times or hear about on CNN. He describes how New York City almost had a Castro-perpetrated terrorist attack in 1962 that could have been equal to or worse than 9/11. He explains how Castro operatives working out of the UN mission were plotting to blow up buildings and even the Statue of Liberty after the Cuban missile crisis was allegedly resolved. He writes that if the FBI had not infiltrated some of the Castro organizations, New York City might have been heavily damaged.
Fontova contends that Castro has imprisoned more people than even Hitler or Stalin. His firing squads have killed thousands of Cubans. Fidel illustrates convincingly why so many people get on any semi-seaworthy craft, fly any type of aircraft and do anything humanly possible to escape Cuba and its repressive regime.
This book makes the point many of us who have watched Cuba have known for years: Castro is intent on destroying or seriously harming the United States and, Fontova says, actually has the nuclear weapons to do it. A Cuban version of Saddam Hussein, he is only 90 miles away from the United States.
One very interesting part of the book is Fontova’s conversations with the Diaz-Balart family. He explains how Castro betrayed the father of Florida Congressmen Lincoln and Mario Diaz-Balart, a classmate of Castro at University of Havana, and how the family had to flee the country. You also learn why both Diaz-Balarts have bitter feelings about Castro and what he did to their home country.
United States weakness has kept Castro at the helm. It seemed that the only time Castro became afraid of America was when President Reagan sent troops into Grenada in 1983 to topple Castro’s puppets in charge there. Indecisiveness by President John F. Kennedy at the Bay of Pigs and an incompetent Central Intelligence Agency kept Castro as a thorn in the side for all these many years.
The book highlights how even the Soviet Union’s Nikita Khrushchev had his problems with Castro, which is why the Soviets retreated during the Cuban missile crisis while Kennedy gave away our bases in Turkey.
The Elian Gonzalez case is not overlooked. Fontova describes how Greg Craig, President Bill Clinton’s lawyer during his impeachment, stage-managed Dan Rather’s “60 Minutes” interview with Elian’s father, feeding the questions to Rather.
Fidel is a must read for those who want to learn about the tensions between the United States and Cuba and why it is an American issue and not just a Cuban exile and South Florida issue. The book is not for a weak stomach, as it documents how a repressive dictator has snowed many Hollywood actors and actresses, validating the old P.T. Barnum maxim that “There’s a sucker born every minute.”