Gabriel Garcia Marquez: Castro’s Propagandist & Snitch

casThe eulogies for Nobel-winning author Gabriel Garcia Marquez upon his death last week make two points official:  

1.) No amount of moral and intellectual wretchedness will earn an artist even the mildest rebuke from most of his professional peers and their related institutions — so long as the wretch hires himself out to communists.

2.) The masochism of Democratic U.S. Presidents is boundless.

This is not to suggest that the media eulogies sidestep Garcia Marquez’s politics. Most are quite upfront about it. Let’s take the one run by The New York Times as emblematic:

Like many Latin American intellectuals and artists, Mr. García Márquez felt impelled to speak out on the political issues of his day. He viewed the world from a left-wing perspective, bitterly opposing Gen. Augusto Pinochet, the right-wing Chilean dictator, and unswervingly supporting Fidel Castro in Cuba. Mr. Castro became such a close friend that Mr. García Márquez showed him drafts of his unpublished books.

Notice the word “dictator” above. But with whom does the New York Times associate it?  Pinochet, of course. Does Fidel Castro also qualify as dictator?  The New York Times does not tell us.

“Mr. García Márquez’s ties to Mr. Castro troubled some intellectuals and human rights advocates,” continues the NYTimes,

Susan Sontag wrote in the 1980s, “To me it’s scandalous that a writer of such enormous talent be a spokesperson for a government which has put more people in jail (proportionately to its population) than any other government in the world.” … He attributed the criticism to what he called Americans’ ‘almost pornographic obsession with Castro.’ But he became sensitive enough about the issue to intercede on behalf of jailed Cuban dissidents.

In fact, fully contrary to The New York Times’ whitewash, Garcia Marquez’s “intercession” is what got some of those dissidents jailed and tortured by his friend Castro in the first place. Let’s not mince words. Let’s call out Garcia Marquez categorically: on top of his decades of pro-bono propaganda services for Castroism, Garcia Marquez was also a volunteer snitch for Castro’s KGB-mentored secret police.

At this juncture I’ll turn over the floor to someone intimately familiar with the issue: Armando Valladares, who himself suffered 22 torture-filled years in Castro’s prisons and who was later appointed by Ronald Reagan as U.S. ambassador to the U.N. Human Rights Commission:

“Many years ago Garcia Marquez became an informer for Castro’s secret police,” starts a recent exposé by Mr Valladares,

At the time, back in Havana, Cuban dissident and human-rights activist, Ricardo Bofill, with help of the then-reporter for Reuters, Collin McSevengy, managed to enter the Havana hotel where García Márquez was having a few drinks. In a quiet corner, with absolute discretion, Bofill gave García Márquez a series of documents relating to several Cuban artists. A few weeks later Castro’s police arrested Ricardo Bofill–and displayed on the table right next to Castro’s secret-policeman — were the very documents which Bofill had given García Márquez.

Bofill, a peaceful human-rights activist inspired by Gandhi and Martin Luther King Jr., went on to suffer 12 years in Castro’s prisons—thanks to Gabriel Garcia Marquez. On October 13, 1968, the Spanish newspapers ABC and Diario 16, published Bofill’s disclosures and headlined that: “García Márquez[‘s] revelations led to the imprisonment of numerous Cuban writers and artists.” 

All of this was conveniently “forgotten” by most media outlets last week.

But enough from me. Instead, let’s hear from some folks much closer to this issue. Let’s hear from Cuban writers who were suffering in Castro’s KGB-designed dungeons and torture chambers while Gabriel Garcia Marquez contributed his literary influence and might towards glorifying their torturer.

The late Reynaldo Arenas’ autobiography Before Night Falls was on The New York Times‘ list of the ten best books of the year in 1993. In 2000, the book became a movie starring Javier Bardem, Johnny Depp and Sean Penn. Throughout the ’70s, Arenas was jailed and tortured by Castro’s police for his rebellious writings and gay lifestyle. He finally escaped on the Mariel boat-lift tin 1980. Here’s his take on Gabriel Garcia Marquez from 1982:

It’s high time for all the intellectuals of the free world (the rest don’t exist) to take a stand against this unscrupulous propagandist for totalitarianism. I wonder why these intellectual apologists for communist paradises don’t live in them? Or is it that they prefer collecting payment there and here, while enjoying the comforts and guarantees of the western world?

In fact, Garcia Marquez did live on and off in Cuba, in a (stolen) mansion Castro gifted him, where he frolicked with adolescent girls between traveling through Havana in a (stolen) Mercedes also gifted him by Castro.

Here’s Cuban-exile author Roberto Luque Escalona, briefly an Amnesty International prisoner of conscience, who escaped Cuba in 1992:

Only a five star-scoundrel would put his literary fame in the service of a cause as vile and malignant as the Castro tyranny. Simple frivolity cannot possibly justify an embrace so long and strong as the one Garcia-Marquez gave someone who devastated a nation, murdered thousands, jailed and tortured tens of thousands dispersed an entire nation and debased the rest.

Now let’s hear from some people whose fate allowed a more detached view of Gabriel Garcia Marquez than Arenas and Luque Escalona: Bill Clinton and Barack Obama.

“I once had the privilege to meet him in Mexico,” President Obama was quoted in Politico last week,

where he presented me with an inscribed copy that I cherish to this day. As a proud Colombian, a representative and voice for the people of the Americas, and as a master of the “magic realism” genre, he has inspired so many others….I offer my thoughts to his family and friends, whom I hope take solace in the fact that Gabo’s work will live on for generations to come.

“I was saddened to learn of the passing of Gabriel García Márquez,” mourned Bill Clinton. He continued:

From the time I read “One Hundred Years of Solitude” more than 40 years ago, I was always amazed by his unique gifts of imagination, clarity of thought, and emotional honesty. I was honored to be his friend and to know his great heart and brilliant mind for more than 20 years.

In an interview with France’s Le Monde in 1981, Garcia Marquez remarked that, “the problem with visiting men like Fidel Castro is that one winds up loving them too much.” A few years earlier he was denouncing the desperate Vietnamese boat-people as “war-criminals,” “Yankee-lackeys” and worse.

Garcia Marquez shared all of Fidel Castro’s hatred against the U.S., a passion that contributed much to their long and warm friendship. Given this rabid hatred for the nation that elected them, you’d really think — especially given White House speech writing budgets — that these U.S. Presidents could have found a way to express their admiration for Garcia Marquez’s art without so warmly embracing the wretched artist himself.

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  • truebearing

    Clinton liked “One Hundred years of Solitude.” That figures. I liked nothing about it. I never finished it. It was one of the most overrated books I have ever had the displeasure of reading, what little of it I actually read. May it languish in 100,000 years of obscurity.

    • Frederikahere

      I liked his “Love In The Time of Cholera” but you are absolutely right about “100 yrs of solitude.” I couldn’t finish it either and thought it was needlessly over-involved to the point of being boring.
      I did not know he was Castro’s snitch. I’ll avoid reading any of his books again. May he fall into literary obscurity.

      • DB1954

        Perhaps you could just avoid buying any of his books.

        • lisa741

          my Aunty Grace got a nearly new blue Kia by
          working part time from the internet. look at this now F­i­s­c­a­l­P­o­s­t­.­ℂ­o­m

  • UCSPanther

    This is one snitch who should have gotten stitches a long time ago.

  • Hotel Teleconstructia

    I agree UCSPanther. He’s right. But I also liked the book.


    Hotel, cazare, piscina, tenis, schi, spa, tratament Slanic-Moldova

  • Johnny Palestine

    This writer from Colombia, a country that has a bad image, as far as I know, never wrote about the evil FARC that is the Colombian version of the PLO, that has killed and kidnapped and displaced so many. He never helped his country’s image as best I can see. This friend of Clinton, who has done so much damage to Colombia, wrote ”about” Pinochet but never about Castro even in a mocking fashion. I have read some of his stuff in Spanish. Too boring to compelte. I do not know why he became so popular.

  • Pepe Turcon

    You can be an excellent novelist and a cheap criminal hypocrite at the same time, Gabo was both.

    • truebearing

      I agree on the criminal part. I can’t stand reading his books.

      Hemingway was better writer, but a political idiot, like Marquez. Hemingway’s talent was the way he painted, more than wrote, his books.

  • Anti sharia

    One of the most overrated writers. Ever. His books were barely readable, his accolades came from his politics not his literary skill.

  • bones

    Dear Mr. Fontova – it is Democrat, NOT DemocraTIC, thanks.

  • Hilda

    I had to endure Marquez’s writing as a literature major. His writing is overrated and intolerable. But even worse is his active participation in Catro’s atrocities and his promotion of Marxism. His so called Magic Realism, which requires willful suspension of disbelief, infected his mind when it came to facing the very real consequences of Communist dictatorships, and for that, many will be celebrating his death.

  • The Facts

    Mr. Fontova is right. Life would have been so much better if Batista and the Mafia continued to run Cuba.

    • UCSPanther

      Would have been way better off than it is now.

      I wager you are a Castro Loyalist…

    • American Patriot

      The Mafia did not run Cuba, you Communist propagandist. Batista was nowhere near as brutal as the Castro crime family running Cuba, The Fiction. Cuba had political problems, not socioeconomic, during the 1950s. Quit repeating Communist propaganda, you lowlife troll.

  • medea

    castro is a god.
    we will destroy you.

  • eyeswideopen

    I love how Clinton, quite true to form and perfectly in character, turns a tribute to somebody else into a self-congratulatory statement. I suppose it’s so ingrained he does it automatically. Classic.

  • eyeswideopen

    The Dem presidents alluded to were/are not masochistic, just weak and/or fellow travelers. There’s a difference. As for Obama in particular, if he was fine with hearing “God damn America” from his “spiritual adviser,” why would García Márquez bother him?

  • Steve Bryant

    Fontova, thankfully, is a strong and enduring voice that exposes what Fidel Castro really was, and is. Cuba is a crap hole where its citizens enjoy a “free” piece of everything. Everything, that is, that can be found within the tether length of a marooned society. While having complete freedom to interact with the rest of the entire world, somehow an embargo with the Satin US has prevented their Utopia from flowering. An ocean is the only reason Castro didn’t have to build a wall around the sad strip of land.

  • ELBK

    He still was a wonderful writer. We (the U.S.), too, supported Castro in the beginning.