Frontpage Interview’s guest today is Humberto Fontova, the author of three critically-acclaimed and internationally-published books on the Cuban Revolution. He was born in Havana, Cuba in 1954 and escaped from Castro’s communist regime in 1961 with his family. His father remained briefly in Cuba as a political prisoner while Humberto and his family were accepted as political refugees in the USA. He holds a B.A. in Political Science from the University of New Orleans and a Masters Degree in Latin American Studies from Tulane University. Humberto has become FoxNews’ “go-to-guy” on Cuban matters and has been a regular Frontpage Magazine contributor for almost a decade. He is the author of the new book, The Longest Romance: The Mainstream Media and Fidel Castro.
FP: Welcome, amigo.
Fontova: Great to be here, Jamie. Thanks for the invite.
FP: Let’s begin with what inspired you to write this book.
Fontova: I’m gritting my teeth as I write this, because I normally detest the term “consciousness-raising,” —but I simply can’t avoid it here. That’s precisely what I’m attempting with this book, as I have with my previous ones on the so-called Cuban Revolution. Few events in modern history are as misunderstood. Few have been as effectively propagandized. Among historical figures, Fidel Castro wins, hands down, as the most persistently effective liar of modern times. Castro’s colorful cachet as worldwide icon of anti-Americanism and as pioneering beatnik allows his record as a warmonger, racist/Stalinist and the godfather of modern terrorism to be forgiven, ignored and falsified. The Longest Romance exposes this record, the abettors and the falsifiers.
FP: So what story does The Longest Romance tell and how is it different from other books on the subject?
Fontova: Well, to begin with, there are no other books precisely on this subject. Yes, biographies on Fidel Castro and Che Guevara abound, but most have been written – to some extent or the other — in collaboration with the regime or using leftist or communist renegade critics of the regime as primary sources. As if the only acceptable histories of the Russian Revolution and Bolshevism should be written by Trotskyites or Mensheviks. Of course these sources have important material to contribute — but they also have much to hide, namely their own responsibility for the disaster.
In my books, I make it point to include the accounts of people who had Castro and Che’s number from day one. Amazingly, these invaluable sources are habitually shunned. For instance, I wonder how many people realize that the CIA, in collaboration with some of Cuba’s aristocracy, had a major role in helping Castro and Che into power?
FP: Expand for us on the evil of Castro and his regime.
Fontova: Castro jailed political prisoners at a higher rate than Stalin during the Great Terror, murdered more Cubans in his first three years in power than Hitler murdered Germans during his first six and came closest of anyone in history to starting a worldwide nuclear war.
In the above process the Castro brothers and Che Guevara converted a nation with a higher per-capita income than half of Europe and a huge influx of immigrants into one that repels Haitians and boasts the highest suicide rate in the hemisphere. Who would guess any of this from reading the mainstream media? Instead we read almost exclusively about how Castro freed Cuba from the greedy clutches of U.S. robber barons and bestowed his formerly downtrodden countrymen with free healthcare and education.
In fact, as recently as 2011, Newsweek magazine ranked Cuba among “The Best Countries in the World” for its “exceptional quality of life.”
Most Americans would never know this from the major media but an official “state-sponsor-of terror” ( as Cuba is designated by our State department) sits 90 miles from U.S. shores essentially under the same leadership as in 1962 when it craved – and came within a whisker – of igniting a worldwide nuclear war.
“What!” Khrushchev gasped on Oct. 28th 1962, as recalled by his son Sergei. “Is he (Fidel Castro) proposing that we start a nuclear war? That we launch missiles from Cuba?…But that is insane!…Remove them (our missiles) as soon as possible! Before it’s too late. Before something terrible happens!” commanded the Soviet premier.
It’s really saying something that the man appalled by Castro’s bloodthirstiness was Nikita Khrushchev, who performed faithfully as Stalin’s butcher and enforcer in the Ukraine during the famine and Great Terror.
“My dream is to drop three Atomic Bombs on New York City (Raul –not Fidel—Castro, Nov. 1960.)
While imprisoned for terrorism in 1955 Fidel wrote to a communist colleague: “Propaganda is the heart of our struggle. We must never abandon propaganda.”
In his famous diaries published in 1959, Che Guevara revealed: “Much more valuable than recruits for our guerrilla force were American media recruits to export our propaganda.”
Most Cuba-watchers notice that Castro and Che’s propaganda is still being very effectively exported worldwide. Decades before the terms “spin” and “damage-control” entered the political lexicon, Fidel Castro was a virtuoso of both.
FP: How do you explain the complicity of major U.S. media players in spreading Castro’s propaganda? Can you name some of the major accomplices?
Fontova: There’s a “coolness” and “hipster” cachet that hovers around the leaders of the Cuban Revolution that simply will not dissipate, despite a half century of Stalinist crimes.
“They saw in him (Castro) the hipster who in the era of the Organization Man had joyfully defied the system,” wrote President Kennedy’s adviser Arthur Schlesinger Jr back in 1961.
In fact, the brain-shackled robot the Castro brothers and Che Guevara tried to create with their firing squads, forced labor camps and Stalinist indoctrination makes the Eisenhower era’s Organization Man look like a combination of Jimmy Hendrix and Jack Kerouac.
The notion of Castro’s Cuba as stiflingly Stalinist nation never quite caught on among the “enlightened.” The regime was founded by “beatniks,” after all. In 1960 Jean Paul Sartre hailed Cuba’s Stalinist rulers as “_les Enfants au Pouvoir_” (the children in power). A few months earlier Fidel Castro spoke at Harvard the same bill as beat poet Allen Ginsberg. And ever since then, long-haired Che Guevara has reigned worldwide as top icon of youthful rebellion. The reality, as documented in my book, differs grotesquely:
“Youth must refrain from ungrateful questioning of governmental mandates!” raved Che Guevara in a famous speech in 1961. “The very spirit of rebellion is reprehensible,” commanded this icon of Flower Children. “Instead the young must dedicate themselves to study, work and military service.”
For close to a decade, over half of what Americans have read about Cuba in the mainstream media has been doctored by Castro-regime “agents-of-influence” working in concert with the Castro regime’s Intelligence service. To wit: among the mainstreams media’s favorite sources on Cuban matters are The Council on Foreign Relations’ Julia Sweig, and the Cuban Research Center’s Phil Peters.
Well, in my book the Defense Intelligence Agency’s top Cuba spycatcher Lieut. Col. Chris Simmons identifies Ms Sweig as a Cuban “agent of influence.” In the very acknowledgements to her book, Ms Sweig thanks the “warm friendship” and “support” of six different Cuban spies and terrorists–three of whom were expelled from the U.S. for terrorism and/or espionage.
My book also includes a court discovery document showing how Phil Peters long received under-the-table payments from one of Castro’s biggest Canadian business partners.
A rising star as “Cuba expert” among the major media is Denver University scholar Arturo Lopez-Levy. In fact my book discloses that his real name is Arturo Lopez-Callejas, a former Cuban intelligence analyst, who is also Raul Castro’s nephew–in-law.
Nobody would guess any of the above from reading the bios or intros to these Cuba “experts “as run by the New York Times of NPR.
FP: What do you hope this book will achieve?
Fontova: At least alleviate this grotesque disconnect between the “hipster/health-care” image of the Cuban Revolution and the horrors of a Stalinist police state.
FP: Humberto Fontova, thank you for joining Frontpage Interview. It was an honor to speak with you and thank you for dedicating yourself to telling the truth about communist monsters and those who worship them. We wish you the best.
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