By Pilar Montes

Fidel Castro and Richard Nixon in April, 1959.
Fidel Castro and Richard Nixon in April, 1959.

HAVANA TIMES — The Spanish newspaper La Vanguardia recently published an anecdote involving Fidel Castro that I had heard before, but I hadn’t put much stock in the source until reading the article. The version published by the newspaper includes a date, names and context.

“Richard Nixon had been sworn in for his second term as president of the United States, the Vietnam War was coming to an end and, following his return from Southeast Asia, Fidel offered a press conference with foreign correspondents.

“The British journalist Brian Davis asked him: “When do you believe relations between Cuba and the United States, countries that are quite distant despite their geographical proximity, could be re-established?’ ”

“Castro answered in a very loud tone of voice, so that everyone could hear him: ‘The United States will sit down and talk with us when it has a black president and the world has a Latin American Pope.’ ”

“Argentinean journalist and writer Pedro Jorge Solans picked up the anecdote during a recent trip to Cuba, while doing a report about the re-established relations between the United States and Cuba. Solans’ source was taxi-driver Eduardo de la Torre, who was in university in 1973.

“De la Torre told Solas he was certain of the veracity of the anecdote. He also recalled the many times they announced the Comandante’s death, inviting Solas to count the number of times the international press reported his death and the many times he came back to life.”

Of course, it would have been impossible at the time to foresee that the humorous phrase would become reality. If such a prediction was unlikely, even less realistic were the words spoken 17 years before at Cinco Palmas, at the foot of the Sierra Maestra Mountains, when the handful of survivors of the Granma yacht landing gathered to continue the fight against Batista.

Faced with the sorry remnants of his troops, made up of a dozen inexperienced combatants and less rifles, Fidel exclaimed: “Now we can be certain we’ll win this war,” leaving the rebel’s brother [today’s president] dumbstruck.

The most recent prediction that came true is perhaps the one regarding the Cuban Five.

Shortly after the trial they were subjected to more than 15 years ago, Castro said “They will return.” It’s true that two (Fernando Gonzalez and Rene Gonzalez) served out their sentences, but, back then, any kind of negotiation leading to their and the other three Cubans release seemed impossible.

The worldwide campaign calling for their release, which saw the support of personalities from the arts, sciences, parliaments, governments, political parties and religious leaders helped bring this about, but none of that existed when Fidel said: “Have no doubts, they will return.”

Gabriel Garcia Marquez and Eduardo Galeano said that Fidel travels to the future and comes back to tell us how events will unfold.

I could mention other predictions, having to do with climate change (pronounced at the Rio Summit in 1992), the aid to development that an end to the arms race would spell, and others…but those have not come true…yet.


65 thoughts on “The Predictions of Fidel Castro

  • Where is the ref for what castro said?

  • Ryan;

    Sure it is, Sport….SURE it is! [grin!]

    It seems that all over the world, people are expressing their admiration of the Cuban government…and are pulling out all the stops in their rush to reside in that socialist paradise it oversees, aren’t they? [smile]

  • Ryan;

    Gosh, you’re good at attempting to justify immoral and criminal conduct, aren’t ya’! [smile]

    Do you LOOK at the crappola you’re putting down in black and white before you post it? Do you actually believe that “the majority of the population” think they are doing better under the CURRENT dictatorship in Cuba than they were under PAST ones? If so, why have such numbers of that population chosen to FLEE that tortured land? Or are those numbers of political and economic refugees simply a product of my imaginative “ignorance”? [grin….South Florida must be a grand illusion, ‘eh?!]

    At least under past Cuban dictatorships, there existed an element of the ability to travel freely. Now, doctors aren’t “leaving to make more money”; instead, they’re “leaving” in terms of ESCAPING a repressive regime at any chance they get. And I see damn few individuals of any profession – other than outright criminals – fleeing other countries seeking refuge IN Cuba. One wonders why. Weird, isn’t it? [“smile” again]

    As for your contention of “support of revolutions”…how do you think you’d feel if an outside entity supported with ACTUAL TROOPS a revolution against that criminal regime that is crushing Cuban citizens today? Or isn’t what’s good for the goose good for the gander? [cackle]

  • Offered compensation? Are you talking about the BILLIONS of property that the Castro boys EXPROPRIATED? That wasn’t property “left behind” by its owners….it was criminally confiscated property – read STOLEN – that was taken WITHOUT being paid for.

    Got other news for ya’, Sport….since when has it been the obligation of property owners “to accept” a sale under ANY conditions if they didn’t want to execute such a sale…REGARDLESS of what he might have declared the value of the property at one time or another? Think people like the Castro’s (and you, apparently) have “the right” to simply TAKE what you want without EARNING IT?

    Sorry, but to my mind, such thuggish conduct as YOU apparently are supporting is NEVER justified….especially with the type of lame, dishonest excuses you’re offering-up.

    Tell ya’ what, though…if you’re willing to let us consider YOUR property “undervalued” and will stand by while it is taken from YOU, then maybe we’ll see things differently. How about it, Sport? Wiling to put things which YOU value in the same boat? [smile]

  • The esteem you speak of is not as you make it seem. Sure, they root for little Cuba to continue to resist the big, bad ole’ US. But when it is time to send their kid to college and the choice is between Harvard University and the University of Havana, guess which one they pick? If they have a choice to buy medicine made in the US or LabioFam in Cuba, guess which one they pick? So what that they think Fidel is cool? They don’t want to live in Cuba. How high is that “esteem” really?

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