In the middle of August, the Cuba Travel situation continues to change, and remains the same. If this sounds strange, just wait until you get to Cuba! You will discover numerous “duality of reality” scenarios. This paradox allows one to “prove” anything you’d like about the Castros, Cuba, and its relations with the United States. If you keep this in mind, then articles and speeches by various individuals won’t sound quite so confusing.
August the 13th was Fidel’s 86th birthday. His health has been steadily deteriorating, and he apparently hasn’t been seen in public for awhile. I believe that this is Fidel’s last year (I guess you could say he will probably be 86’d at 86). His kid brother, Presidente Raul Castro, is 81 and reportedly in fair-to-poor health, so they both won’t likely be around too much longer. What will Cuba be like after that? Nobody knows. All predictions are just semi-educated guesses. One school of thought is to read the detailed reports about Cuba written by C.I.A., then expect the opposite to happen. The Agency has been consistently wrong about Cuba for decades. (I say this as a middle-of-the-road patriot, not as an ideolog.) If you are interested in U.S.-Cuban relations over the past half century, I suggest you read the recently-published: Castro’s Secrets—The CIA and Cuba’s Intelligence Machine, by Brian Latell. He was a CIA National Intelligence Officer and has tracked Fidel Castro for CIA since the sixties. He probably knows more about Fidel than anybody outside of Cuba, and is considered to be the foremost authority on Cuba’s intelligence service. After reading his book, I realized that many puzzles and contradictions I had heard about Cuba suddenly made a lot more sense. For example, just after the revolution in 1959, when Cuba finally and suddenly found itself free from foreign domination by Spain and the U.S., everybody expected Cuba’s intelligence service to be a joke, a type of banana-republic “gang who couldn’t shoot straight.” Cuba’s DGI exploited this misperception and fostered this image, even as it was rapidly building up an intelligence system that became “one of the best and most aggressive anywhere. Latell argues that the CIA grossly underestimated the Cubans’ extraordinary abilities to run moles and double agents and to penetrate the highest levels of critical American institutions. He reveals new details about the CIA’s most deplorable plots against Cuba and shocking new findings about what Fidel actually knew of Lee Harvey Oswald prior to the assassination of John F. Kennedy.” (Quoted from the cover of Castro’s Secrets.)
I warn you—the topic of Cuba is very addicting. The answer to every question leads to five more questions. Today it is one of the world’s most fascinating countries, but it is also among the least-understood by most Americans.