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Rewriting History a [c]astro Family Affair

There has been a media  blitz  of late to promote Juanita [c]astro’s new book that supposedly tells the “untold story” of her infamous family and tries to reclaim some of the family “honor” through “krakatoan revelations.”

Blog friend and [c]astro scholar Dr. Mario Beira was brave enough to actually read Juanita’s book and has discovered that her facts simply don’t add up:

If true, as Juanita claims, that Lina had been 57 years old when she passed away in 1963, she could not have been 19 years old when she slept with Angel Castro to conceive Angelita, their first child. Angelita, says Juanita Castro on page 46 of her text, was born April 2 of 1923. The date squares with the one found in the birth certificate that Katiuska Blanco offers on page 521 of her study. If Lina was born in 1906 as Juanita claims, however, she would have been 15 ½ or 16 years old, below 19, when Lina first became pregnant by Angel Castro in the summer of 1922.

Yet, Juanita claims not only that her mother was 57 years old when she passed away in 1963 but, rebutting past Castro family biographers, that it was “a los diecinueve años, y no a los treces” (at the age of 19 and not 13) that Lina “left her father’s house to begin her own family next to Angel Castro Arguiz” (dejó la casa paterna para comenzar su propria familia junto a Ángel Castro Arguiz), pg 44-45.

Impossible! The numbers simply don’t add up!!

It’s amazing the minute efforts  made by "experts" and the media at the many attempts to whitewash the [c]astro’s legacy and rewrite history. Perhaps that’s because they are too busy trying to discredit those who like Dr. Beira are trying to set the factual record straight.

Perhaps some intrepid reader who goes to the Miami Book Fair International this weekend will ask Juanita to clarify her inconsistencies since the professionals haven’t.

Dr. Beira’s entire paper is below the fold…enjoy!

ERRORS, POSSIBLE FALSEHOODS AND LOGICAL INCONSISTENCIES.

A PRELIMINARY REPORT ON JUANITA CASTRO’S RECENTLY PUBLISHED BIOGRAPHY OF HER RELATIONSHIP WITH THE CASTRO BROTHERS.

MARIO L. BEIRA, PH.D.

From error to error, one discovers the entire truth.

Sigmund Freud

Miami has been abuzz during the past week and a half. Juanita Castro has not only published “the secret history” (la historia secreta) of her life and relationship with Fidel and Raul Castro before she decided to leave Cuba for good in 1964, but has been appearing nearly non-stop in local television and radio shows since her book hit the market to present her view of the Castro family. As Carlos Alberto Montaner suggests in the prologue he wrote and contributed to her book, the principal reason  why Juanita decided to publish her memoirs at this time was to “defend” and “vindicate” the honor of the Castro family, the relationship between Angel and Lina, her parents, in particular.

Juanita’s effort is in my view not very convincing. Her book is not only riddled with errors and logical inconsistencies but repeatedly ignores established facts and the historical record. My purpose here is to offer a preliminary report on some of the errors, possible falsehoods and logical inconsistencies found in Juanita’s recently published text.

***

In a book written by Katiuska Blanco (2005) that was published in Havana with the help and consent of the Cuban government, Fidel Castro for first time allowed for the publication of identity documents bearing on members of his birth family. The birth certificates of his parents and siblings, along with other identity documents bearing on the Castro family, are found in the final section of the text published by Ms Blanco, in a chapter entitled “Iluminaciones” (pages 479 and 574).

The first of the birth certificates Katiuska Blanco presents is that of Fidel Castro’s mother (pg 481). The document, issued in Cueto (province of Oriente) on February 25 of 1943, indicates that Lina Ruz Gonzalez was born at 10:00 pm on the evening of July 23rd of 1908. It further pinpoints that Lina entered the world in the eastern part of the island, in Oriente, and that she was the daughter of Francisco Ruz Vazquez and his wife, Dominga Gonzalez Ramos.

This certificate executed in the small town of Cueto for Fidel Castro’s mother in February of 1943 was likely performed in anticipation of an event that took place just two months later, namely, the legal marriage of Lina Ruz and Angel Castro, the man Lina had been sharing a home with for a number of years in Birán. A “note” added to the 1943 document testifies that the person referred to in the document (Lina Ruz) had contracted legal matrimony with Angel Castro Argiz on April 23 of 1943.

As Katiuska Blanco quickly explains in her book, however, this 1943 birth certificate issued for Lina Ruz in Cueto contained false information. Lina, claims Blanco, was not born in Oriente in July of 1908. Her baptism certificate, found in the archives of the Church of Ascenso de San Idelfonso in Guane (province of Pinar del Rio), not only records that Lina Ruz was born in the other side of the Cuban island (in Cuban’s westernmost province of Pinar del Rio) but that she entered the world on September 23rd of 1903 in the city of Las Carolinas. As Ms. Blanco explains, Lina Ruz always celebrated her birthday with her family on September 23rd, a fact that, according to Blanco, renders the baptism document found in Pinar del Rio credible and authentic.

No explanation is offered by Ms Blanco as to why a legal document was executed for Fidel’s mother in Oriente in 1943 with information completely contradicting material recorded in a baptism certificate found in the opposite side of the island. Nearly all scholars of Castro’s life have by now accepted September 23, 1903 as the date that Lina Ruz, his mother, was born.

The next identity document that Katiuska Blanco comments upon in her official Cuban biography of Fidel Castro is Angel Castro’s baptism certificate (pg 483). Things are more clean and clear in the case of Fidel Castro’s father. Angel’s baptism document, dated December 6, 1875, reports that he was born in the town of San Pedro de Lancara (in Galicia, Spain) on the previous day, December 5, 1875. Angel, however, maintained that he was actually born a day earlier, on December 4, and always celebrated his birthday on that day.

If Lina was born in 1908, as the 1943 Cueto document reports, she would have been 33 years younger than Angel Castro when they first met in Oriente. If she had entered the world in 1903, as Katiuska Blanco claims by pointing to Lina’s baptism certificate, she would have been 28 years younger than her future husband.

With this background information in mind, let us now analyze and examine some of the arguments Juanita Castro offers in her biography, in her effort to vindicate her family.

***

Ms. Castro presents us with a story that completely contradicts what Katiuska Blanco offers about Lina Ruz in her study - hagiography would be a more fitting term - of Fidel Castro and his family. If we turn to page 29 of her text, for example, we read to find Juanita saying that her mother died suddenly of a massive heart attack on August 6, 1963. She further states that Lina was “only 57 years of age” (sólo tenia cincuenta y siete años de edad) when she passed away in Juanita’s house in Habana. If so, it would mean that Lina was neither born in 1903 (as Ms Blanco claims) nor in 1908 (as the 1943 Cueto document records) but rather in 1906. The matter is simple and elementary enough: 1906 + 57 yields 1963.

As for her father, Juanita neither questions nor disputes that he was born in 1875. I cite her words:

Ángel Castro Argiz, mi padre, era español, gallego de San Pedro de Láncara, provincia de Lugo, en Galicia, donde nació el 4 de diciembre de 1875 (pg. 42)

Translation:

Ángel Castro Argis, my father, was a Spaniard, a gallego from San Pedro de Láncara, province of Lugo, in Galicia, where he was born on the 4th of December of 1875.

Juanita must clearly remember that Ángel Castro celebrated his birthday not on the 5th but on the 4th of December. She has no quarrel, to be sure, and does not question 1875 as the year that Angel Castro entered the world in Galicia (Spain).

Ms. Castro frames her effort to defend her parents, the truth and honesty of their relation, by arguing that her mother, Lina Ruz, had been an adult when she met and decided to move in with Ángel Castro. I quote her words:

En innumerables ocasiones, los biógrafos han afirmado que mi mamá era una sirvienta que trabajaba en la casa de Ángel Castro y que ahí habían comenzado los amores entre ellos. Falso. Se conocieron en la casa de sus padres y, si mi madre hubiera sido sirvienta, yo no lo negaría porque ser sirvienta es un trabajo decente (pg. 44)

I offer this translation:

On innumerable occasions [Castro family] biographers have suggested that my mother had been a maid who worked in the home of Angel Castro and that it was there that love relations between them began. This is false. They [first] met in her parent’s home. Had my mother been a servant [or maid] I would not deny it; the work of a maid is decent and honest work.

Juanita relies on information directly provided her by Lina’s sister, María Julia Ruz, to substantiate and back up her claim that Lina was 19 years old when she moved in with Angel Castro. According to María Luisa, as recounted by Juanita, Ángel Castro had been a friend of Lina’s father, Francisco Ruz, when he one day stopped by to visit Franciso. He fell for Lina the minute he laid eyes on her and began to regularly visit the Ruz home in an effort to woo young Lina. Angel Castro, Maria Julia reportedly informed Juanita:

Era un hombre muy respetuoso que siempre tomó en cuenta a mi padre en el noviazgo con mi hermana. Sin embargo, para Francisco Ruz, un hombre serio y recto, la situación que se le presentaba en su familia era muy difícil de aceptar: Ángel era un hombre, que aunque todo el mundo en Birán supiera que estaba separado de su mujer, no estaba divorciado, y eso era algo inaceptable para mis padres. Pero el amor entre ellos dos fue más fuerte que todo, y así es que Lina, enamorada de Ángel, tomó el gran paso, poco después de haber cumplido los diecinueva años, y decidío irse a vivir con el amor de su vida (pg. 44)

Translation:

[Angel] was a deeply respectful man who always considered my father [Francisco Ruz] during his courtship of my sister [Lina]. For an honest and serious man like Francisco Ruz, however, the situation that presented itself to his family was very difficult to accept: Angel was a man who, despite the fact that everyone in Birán knew had been separated from his wife, was not legally divorced. This was something unacceptable to my parents [Francisco Ruz and his wife Dominga]. The love between them, however, was stronger than everything else and this is why Lina, in love with Angel, took a great step, soon after turning 19, and decided to move in and live with the love of her life.

According to Maria Julia, Angel too was deeply in love with Lina and, responsible and honest man that he was, talked to Lina’s parents and promised them that he would legally divorce his first wife, Maria Luisa Argota, and marry Lina.

According to María Julia, Angel had been separated from Maria Luisa Argota, his first wife, for 5 years when he first met Lina. I quote Maria Julia’s words as presented by Juanita in her text:

Aunque el divorcio era algo difícil de lograr, [Ángel] les dio su palabra de lo que haría porque él amaba a Lina y no quería vivir fuera del matrimonio con ella. A mis padres no les quedó más que aceptar aquella promesa de un hombre cabal. Luego el tiempo los fue convenciendo de que Ángel en verdad había establecido un compromiso verdadero con Lina, a quien protegía y respetaba como su legítima esposa (pg. 44)

Translation:

Despite the fact that a divorce was difficult to obtain, [Angel] gave them his word. He loved Lina and did not want to live outside marriage with her. My parents had no option other than to accept the promise offered them by a man of integrity. Time convinced them that Angel had established an honest and true commitment with Lina, whom he respected and protected as his legitimate wife.

Did Angel keep his word? Yes, but not without some heavy pushing and only many years after he had supposedly offered his solemn word and promise to Lina’s parents.

***

In his excellent biography of the Castro brothers, Brian Latell reports on a visit that he paid to members of Fidel Pino Santos’s family living in Puerto Rico. Members of the family, reports Latell, years later presented him with a copy of a letter that Lina Ruz had sent Mr. Fidel Pino Santos, Angel’s best friend and Fidel Castro’s godfather to be, from Birán on December 8th of 1938.  In it, Lina begged Mr. Pino Santos to intervene on her behalf and help convince Angel Castro to marry her and legally recognize the children he had fathered with her as his own.

Lina, notes Latell, pleaded with Pino Santos to convince Angel to live up to his duty and take the necessary steps to correct the long standing legal limbo existing between them. Lina, in her communication, referred to the children Angel had fathered with her as poor and helpless creatures (pobres criaturas) who, living without the benefit of the Castro family name as they indeed had been for many years, had been unduly and unnecessarily suffering and experiencing “the pains of life” (los dolores de la vida) as a result of their status.

The letter had no immediate effect and another four and a half years elapsed before Angel Castro decided to finally wed Lina Ruz on April of 1943. Angelita Castro, born in April of 1923, according to Juanita, and the first child born to Lina Ruz as a result of her liaison with Angel Castro, was by then 20 years of age, a fully grown legal adult. Juanita herself, born in May of 1933, was in her 10th year of life when Angel married Lina to offer legal recognition and the Castro family name to the children he had fathered with her.

But did Angel Castro truly “respect” and “protect” Lina Ruz as his “legitimate wife” prior to their marriage in 1943 as Juanita Castro claims? It all depends, of course, on what we understand the word “respect” to mean.

Lina’s letter to Mr. Pino Santos in December of 1938 clearly presents us with a less than ideal relationship between her and Angel. It reveals Lina as frustrated and tired of not being legally recognized by a man she had been living with for many years, a man who, judging from the contents of her communication, was avoiding, perhaps even refusing to live up to his word. Angel, to be sure, seems to have been less than enthusiastic about marrying Lina and, as noted, waited for more than 20 years to legally recognize the children he had fathered with her.

Indeed, more recent evidence confirms that the relationship between Lina and Angel had been rocky during the decade of the 30’s and that it had been particularly shaky circa 1930, between 1927 (when Fidel was born) and 1931, when Lina gave birth to Raul Castro, her next child, in Birán.

Ray Sanchez, a reporter for the Florida Sun-Sentinel who has been covering Cuba now for a number of years, arranged with the Cuban government to visit Biran in order to do a report on Fidel Castro’s home town. Mr. Sanchez published the story of his visit to Biran in the June 10, 2007 issue of the paper. As Sanchez informed me via email communication soon after publishing his piece and in response to an email I had sent him, he had innocently inquired, during his visit to Castro’s hometown, as to whether any members of the Castro family still lived in the area. A local Cuban government official, he says, informed him that a half-brother of Fidel Castro, a certain Martin Castro, lived very near by. Mr. Sanchez was then taken to meet Martin Castro and interviewed him for his piece.

Martin Castro, Sanchez reported, was born in 1930 and was the product of a sexual relationship Angel Castro had with Generosa Mendoza, a young woman in her early 20’s when she gave birth to Martin. Sanchez was informed, by Martin we presumed, that his mother Generosa worked for Angel Castro in Birán when she became pregnant. According to Sanchez, everyone in and around the area knows of Martin Castro. He has lived in the area his entire life. According to Martin, as reported by Sanchez, Fidel Castro himself offered him a house and an invitation to move and relocate to Havana. Martin, however, turned his half-brother’s offer down as he wanted to remain in Birán to work the land and live as a farmer.

According to Sanchez, Martin Castro seems to share a particularly close relationship with Fidel’s older brother Ramon Castro, who often stops by to visit him when in Birán. In his piece, Sanchez included a photograph taken of Martin Castro during his visit to Birán. He is tall, lanky, lean and muscular, a near perfect copy of Angel Castro’s first two male children with Lina, Ramon and Fidel Castro. [1]

Mr. Sanchez published yet another piece on Fidel Castro in January of 2009 where he again discussed Martin Castro, “el hijo escondido”. In it he reports that Martin continued to live in Birán and, further, that despite the fact that he was a simple farmer and held no Communist Party hierarchy position in Cuba, received regular visits from Castro government officials who stopped by to inform and appraise him on the status of his half-brother Fidel in Havana.

The birth of Martin Castro in 1930 reveals that Angel Castro cheated on Lina in 1929, after the birth of Fidel and before the arrival of Raul Castro in June of 1931. Lina must have grown extremely anxious and worried in 1930 upon hearing that Angel had slept with Generosa Mendoza, one of his farm hands, to father a child. This might explain why she decided to write Mr. Pino Santos 8 years later. She was likely concerned, if not afraid, that Angel might repeat the earlier gesture, with Generosa or some other woman, and abandon her and the children altogether. It would not have been the first time that Angel had cheated on one of his “wives” with one of his female servants.

Juanita makes no mention of her half-brother Martin back in Birán in her book. Her parents, she argues in her text, enjoyed a smooth, trouble-free, honest and ideal relationship, one full love and mutual respect. The arrival of Martin Castro on the scene proves otherwise and, when all is said and done, might clarify and shed light on the by now long-standing rumor that Raul Castro was not fathered by Don Angel. Born a year after Martin, Raul looks nothing like any of the Castro brothers: Pedro Emilio, Ramon, Fidel and Martin.

Does Juanita know of the existence of Martin Castro? She probably does. In fact, there is a passage in her text that, read with an attentive eye and analytic ears, seems to point to her possible knowledge of Angel’s liaison with Generosa Mendoza in 1929 to father Martin. I quote from page 53 of Juanita’s text:

Mi papá fue el primer hombre generoso que conocí. Repito, hombre generoso, trabajador como pocos y hombre de palabra . .

Translation:

My father was the first generous man I knew. A generous man, I repeat, and a worker like no other as well as a man of his word . . .

Why the need to not only repeat the word “generoso” when praising Angel and to describe him as a man of his word, but to do so by invoking the word “repeat” (repito) in the process as well? Psychoanalysis, to be sure, has, since the beginning, called on us to heed and pay close attention to repetition as an indication of repression, an instance of the appearance and speaking of the unconscious.

A true man of his word, I would argue, does not wait more than 20 years to marry a woman who, if we are to believe Maria Julia, promised Mr. and Mrs. Ruz that he would wed Lina as soon as it was possible for him to do so. A man of his word, to be sure, does not cheat on his common-law-wife, a woman who for years cared for and attended his business, had already presented him three children and been patiently waiting for him to marry her and live up to his word and promise.

Angel Castro was “generoso” indeed! So generoso in fact that he slept with Generosa and, no doubt generously spreading his love around, fathered a child with her to break his word and promise to Lina and her parents.

Finally, and to bring this preliminary report on Juanita’s text to a close, let me now examine the most curious and perhaps perplexing of all the inconsistencies and contradictions found in her book.

***

If true, as Juanita claims, that Lina had been 57 years old when she passed away in 1963, she could not have been 19 years old when she slept with Angel Castro to conceive Angelita, their first child. Angelita, says Juanita Castro on page 46 of her text, was born April 2 of 1923. The date squares with the one found in the birth certificate that Katiuska Blanco offers on page 521 of her study. If Lina was born in 1906 as Juanita claims, however, she would have been 15 ½ or 16 years old, below 19, when Lina first became pregnant by Angel Castro in the summer of 1922.

Yet, Juanita claims not only that her mother was 57 years old when she passed away in 1963 but, rebutting past Castro family biographers, that it was “a los diecinueve años, y no a los treces” (at the age of 19 and not 13) that Lina “left her father’s house to begin her own family next to Angel Castro Arguiz” (dejó la casa paterna para comenzar su propria familia junto a Ángel Castro Arguiz), pg 44-45.

Impossible! The numbers simply don’t add up!!

The argument offered by Juanita in her book suggests that Lina, were she to have been 19 years old when she moved in with Angel, could only have become pregnant by him in 1925. The fact would obviously fails to explain how Lina could have become pregnant with Angel’s child in 1922, and a year later, in 1923, to create Ramon Castro, the next child born to Lina.

How are we to interpret these logical inconsistencies found in Juanita’s text? Frankly, I am not surprised that Ms. Castro committed these errors. She is, after all, herself caught up in the whirlwind of the less than ideal circumstances surrounding not only her origins but the birth of all the other children born to Lina Ruz in Biran, all of whom were conceived and born out of wedlock.

While I admire Juanita and applaud the fact that she helped and protected many from her brother’s brutal regime during the early years of the revolution, the fact is we have a higher duty to seek the truth, regardless of the consequences.

What is truly most puzzling, at least to me, is that Juanita’s text likely passed through the hands of the best editors at the Santillana publishing house, all of whom failed to detect the logical mistakes I’ve highlighted in this preliminary report. The text was no doubt also edited, if not scrutinized, by María Antonieta Collins, a seasoned and experienced journalist who collaborated with Juanita on the project. She too failed to pick up on these as well as other inconsistencies and logical errors circulating throughout Juanita’s text. Finally, and most inexplicable to me, is the fact that a gifted, talented and erudite writer like Carlos Alberto Montaner, who read the text before publication, likewise also failed to pick up on these mistakes.

Indeed, Montaner, whom I deeply respect and admire, not only underscores and highlights Juanita’s claim that Lina Ruz was 57 years old when she died in 1963 and that she had been 19 years old when she joined Angel Castro in love and began to produce children with him but also concludes, on page 17 of his prologue to the book, that Angel Castro was “veintiséis años mayor que Doña Lina” (26 years older than Lady Lina).

This too is unlikely if not impossible! There is no argument about the fact that Angel Castro was born in 1875 and there are only three possible figures vying for Lina’s year of birth. If the baptism certificate found in Pinar del Rio is correct and Lina was born on September 23 of 1903, she would have been 28 years younger than Don Angel. If, as Juanita claims, Lina was born in 1906, she would have been 31 years younger than her future husband. Should Lina have entered the world in July of 1908, as the 1943 Cueto document suggests, she would have been 33 years younger than Angel. None of these three figures match the number 26 Mr. Montaner calls upon in his prologue.

How, then, are we to explain his calculation error? I blame it neither on his talents, nor on a faulty calculator he might have used, nor on a temporary decrease of his mental powers. As I’ve argued in my psychoanalytic study of Fidel Castro (Beira, 2007), it is the number 26, as signifier, that the Cuban dictator has time and time again turned to and called upon to engage in revolutionary action and to do battle against his enemies.

In the case of Fidel, the number 26 has been inscribed in his psyche as a signifier that points to a symbolic gift from his father, the only sign of recognition and love that Angel presented Fidel during his painful and confusing early years in Santiago de Cuba, when young Fidel felt completely lost, neglected and abandoned by his parents, before Angel was able to present his son with the Castro family name and legally recognized him as his son.

During my research on Castro, I have time and time again encountered authors who, when writing on him, mistakenly refer to and call on the number that is today most associated with his revolution, the 26 signifier that hits on the unconscious dimension around which the entire Cuban drama has circulated and revolved around since Fidel, in 1952 and supposedly during his 26th year of life, decided to attack the Moncada Barracks on the 26 day of July. Montaner, in short, appears to have temporarily caught “la fiebre del 26”. [2]

I have referred to the present communication as a “preliminary report” because I expect to offer a detailed and more extensive communication that will pinpoint other errors, possible falsehoods and inconsistencies found in Juanita Castro’s recently published biography. I hope to present the text here in Miami in the near future, following the screening of Andy Warhol’s 1965 classic film “The Life of Juanita Castro”.

For the record, Juanita appears to be particularly peeved with what she, in her book, refers to as the “historiadores del bolsillo” (cheap historians) and the “sicólogos instantaneous” (amateur psychologists) that, in one way or another, have attempted to understand and explain Fidel and Raul Castro’s behaviors in light of Angel Castro.

Dictators, history teaches us, are never born but made and no child is born a tyrant. Dictators are typically the product of an arbitrary and brutal father who either rejected them or physically mistreated and abused them, a father who was unloving and inconsistent in the way he communicated with and treated the child during his early developmental years. Such is the case with nearly every dictator in the 20th century: Mao, Hitler, Sadaam Hussein and, yes, our own home grown Caribbean tyrant, and Juanita’s brother, Fidel Castro Ruz.

Miami, Florida

11/13/09

REFERENCES

Beira, Mario (2007) Fidel Castro Ruz: Una Interpretación Psicoanalítica, 113 pages, introduction to Julia Miranda’s Diario para Uchiram (Cuba 1962-1969). Madrid: Verbum.

Beira, Mario (forthcoming) Fidel Castro Ruz. A Psychoanalytic Study. Ámsterdam (Holland): Rodopi Publishers.

Blanco, Katiuska (2003) Todo el tiempo de los cedros. Paisaje familiar de Fidel Castro. La Habana: Casa Editorial Abril.

Castro, Juanita (2009) Fidel y Raúl Mis Hermanos. La Historia Secreta, contada a Maria Antonieta Collins, Prólogo de Carlos Alberto Montaner. Miami: Santillana USA Publishing Company.

Latell, Brian (2005) After Fidel: The Inside story of Castro’s regime and Cuba’s next leader. Palgrave Macmillan.

Sanchez, Ray (2007) “Castro: The Early Years. A visit to the childhood home of Fidel and Raúl Castro offers a glimpse into what created Cuba’s leader”, in The Florida Sun Sentinel (June 10, 2007).

Sanchez, Ray (2009) “Where is Fidel”, in The Florida Sun Sentinel (January 13, 2009).


[1] I am grateful to Brian Latell who kindly forwarded me the text of Mr. Sanchez story on Martin Castro via email when it was first published. I also thank him for the excellent feedback he has offered on this “preliminary report” on Juanita’s book.

[2] On the signifiers animating Fidel Castro’s unconscious desire for revolution and his symptoms, I can only refer the reader to the published text of my study. It is not so much a question of being versed in the art of phenomenological hermeneutical interpretive praxis that makes a difference when it comes to interpreting the logic of the unconscious but, precisely, of adhering to and affirming the very founding principles of Freudian practice. It is via repetition and error, said Freud, that we manage to gain access to the unconscious.

7 comments to Rewriting History a [c]astro Family Affair

  • Rayarena

    I haven't read Juanita's book, however, I looked it over and from what I saw, I do not like it. Let's not forget that this is the same woman who sued her niece, Alina Castro, because she claims that Alina's tell-all biography was slanderous. [By the way, I have read Alina's book and I think that it's great. It provides a lot of information that was previously little or unknown. Juanita's book by comparison [from what I saw of it] is whitewashed.]

    This is the same woman who publicly denounced the Cuban community for celebrating her brother's death when we thought that he had died.

    Juanita--who was formerly at the foreground of denouncing her brother's abuses-- seems to have changed a bit. She may be loyal to her family, but her family, also, has a big, big debt to pay the Cuban people. It's not the time to whitewash their sins if this in any way compromises Cuba's history. If she can't see this, then she has serious issues.

  • 65alejo

    It was in 1953 not 1952 that Castro launched the attack on the Moncada Barrracks on July 26th. He was still 26 years old at the time.

  • Larry Daley

    Although such is not approved today in this country and rightly so in my opinion.

    one might keep in mind that as in the Taino era, in rural Oriente Province of that time and in more remote areas until much later ... female sexual initiation commonly occurred --in and out of marriage-- soon after puberty ...

    Boys too were commonly initiated as soon as they were able ...

    Then there was no shame attached to that ...

  • antonio2009

    "In the early 1920s the peasant Francisco Ruz and his family arrived at Manacas looking for work and settled in a bohio half a mile from the main house. The plantation master employed their illiterate teenager Lina Ruz Gonzalez as a household servant and quickly seduced her. When Lina was fourteen years old, she gave birth on April 2, 1923, to their daughter Angela, named after the forty-seven-year-old father." Antonio Rafael de la Cova, "The Moncada Attack: Birth of the Cuban Revolution" (2007), pp. 5-6.
    "On February 25, 1943, two months before Lina Ruz married Angel Castro, she was legally inscribed by her father in the Cueto courthouse in Mayari municipality. He swore that she was born in Cueto on July 23, 1908." Ibid., p. 284, n. 16.

  • Mr. Mojito

    Juanita was always very close with Raul, who is the one that let her leave Cuba with 9 large suitcases.

    I've always wondered if she was an Cuban agent, who sort of plays the bad cop and let's out occasional damning things - but downplays the reality.

  • asombra

    What Juanita Castro thinks or feels about her vile, hideous family is her private business, but the very least she owes the Cuban people is extreme discretion and the most exquisite tact imaginable. The fact she dared to say as much as a single word publicly criticizing Cuban exiles for celebrating her bastard brother's possible demise sank her irredeemably in my estimation, and she has absolutely nothing else to say to me except, perhaps, "Forgive me."

    I find the very idea of this stupid, useless book offensive. What difference does it make now if she was once involved somehow with the CIA? Who the hell cares? What has really been gained or accomplished by the book, except to make the woman money and get her free and undeserved publicity? Is she contributing her earnings to anything worthwhile in terms of promoting Cuba's freedom? Not that I'm aware of, and I'm not holding my breath. Just get her out of my face.

  • theCardinal

    This book should get zero play. Despite her name and family Juanita has been a non-entity in the community practically her entire time here. This I find to be a tad irresponsible - she more than anyone knows what FC was capable of doing yet has for years been on the sidelines so to speak.

    That she speaks now...and doesn't reveal much just tells me that she just needs to pad her account cuz Social Security won't cut it and Obama is going to slice her Medicare. We should treat her to the same silence she has provided us in the last several years.