Cuba’s Nosferatu was a gangster “pistolero” (gunman) and a cold-blooded killer long before he became a murderous despot.
The essay below shines a light on one of the Beast’s first crimes, while he was a university student.
Then, it moves on to assess his horrific legacy.
From the Chicago Tribune
Fidel Castro is dead? Good, but the damage is done
by Marianne Murciano
Because I was born in Cuba, just about everyone I know has been asking for my thoughts about Fidel Castro’s death. So much has been said already. As a journalist, I try to stay as objective as possible when I’m asked about Cuba. But news of Castro’s death on Friday was an emotional bombshell, going straight to the heart of who I am and how I’ve grown up.
For my entire life, these were the magic words I’d been waiting for: Castro is dead.
But when it happened, it felt anticlimactic. So what if he’s dead? He still won. He died at 90 after destroying Cuba and leaving in place a framework for his repressive policies. However, as I watched televised news coverage of the celebrations in Miami — people leaving their homes in the middle of the night with Cuban flags, pots and pans and other noisemakers — I wanted to be there too. Finally, it was not just another rumor. And although I’ve been in Chicago for 23 years, it felt like a time to rejoice, no matter what. So I turned to Twitter.
Then I heard a report about Castro’s positive impact on Cuba, and my celebratory tweets turned angry. This larger-than-life character who has haunted my life since I could speak was not just a tyrant — I believe he was my grandfather’s murderer.
Manolo Castro, no relation to Fidel, was shot to death outside a small theater in Havana in 1948 when my mother was 9 years old. At the time, my grandfather was Cuba’s sports minister, but he had made a name for himself as president of the University of Havana’s Student Federation. In the 1940s, Havana was rife with violence led by revolutionary organizations vying for political advantage. Gunmen associated with “action groups” loitered at the corners of buildings, looking to settle vendettas or oust the competition. It was hard to tell who was a revolutionary and who was a terrorist.
A young, ambitious law student, Fidel Castro, desperately wanted to join the student protest movement and follow in my grandfather’s footsteps as Student Federation president. According to the book, “Guerrilla Prince: The Untold Story of Fidel Castro” by Georgie Anne Geyer, Castro put a bullet through a protester’s lung in order to ingratiate himself and gain my grandfather’s political support. Manolo Castro refused, and Fidel Castro began a very open public relations campaign to get my grandfather’s name on a hit list with the deadliest gang in Havana.
On Feb. 22, 1948, on the last night of Carnival festivities, snipers gunned down Manolo Castro as he was walking to his car. Within hours, Fidel Castro and three others were arrested. Castro’s fingerprints were not on the gun found at the scene and he was released. Still, there was ample reason to suggest that Castro was behind the shooting, according to students and community leaders who lived through that tumultuous period. But that night, Castro denied taking part in the murder. He called my family several times to insist he was not the gunman and had nothing to do with it. They believed otherwise.
My family has carried this weight for almost 70 years, since well before the world knew Fidel Castro’s name. My mother’s entire life has been shaped by it.
Much, much more worth reading…Marianne Murciano is just warming up at this point….continue HERE.