Ever Wonder?

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For years I’ve heard apologists for the Cuban regime marvel at the fact that Fidel Castro leads a life almost as austere as that of his subjects. According to those who believe the Cuban people aren’t worthy of the right to self determination, Castro has never involved himself in arms or drug trafficking, never illicitly enriched himself or fallen victim to narcissism and self idolatry. To those who continue to support the dictatorship, Fidel Castro truly is a “man of the people” who “practices what he preaches.”

Hmmm, I wonder if any of them have ever spoken to former Cuban Lieutenant-Colonel Juan Reinaldo Sánchez? Although they’ll most likely never get the chance, below you’ll find the next best thing – Parts 1 through 20 of Sánchez’s recent interview segments with journalist Oscar Haza. Want to know the skinny on Castro’s infamous Punto Cero compound in Jaimanitas, just outside Havana? Sánchez has got it. Interior plan of the main residence? Ditto. Castro’s intriguing health history dating back to the 1980s? Yup, he’s got that too. Arms trafficking with certain Central-American nations and drug lords? Indeed. A rooftop cattle farm in El Vedado? I kid you not, he’ll explain the details.

I advise you to watch the segments BEFORE heading out to lunch, lest you lose it.

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

Part 4

Part 5

Part 6

Part 7

Part 8

Part 9

Part 10

Part 11

Part 12

Part 13

Part 14

Part 15

Part 16

Part 17

Part 18

Part 19

Part 20

12 thoughts on “Ever Wonder?”

  1. If someone sends me a written transcript of this in Spanish I will translate these interviews. And I hope he gets a book contract.

  2. This interview is definetely in-depth. Maybe recently defected Yuri Boza can talk about Castro’s son.

  3. Jerome,

    I’ve met Antonio on a couple of occasions. I am absolutely unable to explain how, when and where for obvious reasons. That said, I’ll tell you one thing:

    In a couple of the segments with Haza, Sanchez speaks of how the Castro family and those at Punto Cero live in their own insular little capitalistic society. Antonio, ahem, is absolutely NO different. Might as well be living on Calle Ocho.

    I say this because I know for an absolute fact, that Antonio routinely shops for items on the black market. He could give a rat’s behind about conviction, the Revolution, etc . . . Granted, he gets most everything he needs through his father, but even the son of Fidel sometimes finds himself unable to locate items he’d like for his own personal use in Cuba. Thus his use of the black market.

  4. “I’ve never met anyone in Cuba who beleives he has resited the spoils of power.”

    Nor have I, yet every left-wing extremist will tell you he lives a spartan life and doesn’t really “own” much of anything. What are you kidding me? He owns the entire damn island! Sanchez has the goods, seems to check out and needs to garner an appearance on English-language television stat!

  5. Who does not remember some idiot visiting Cuba telling how “ordinary people” approached him or her and told them how good the Castro government was. These are obvious ringers. Here is a report of Putin doing something similar:

    Alasheyeva, Julia 2009 (accessed 3-10-09) Moscow ‘Undercover Putin In KGB Reagan Ruse’
    Sky News 6:10pm UK, Wednesday March 18, 2009 http://news.sky.com/skynews/Home/World-News/Russias-Vladimir-Putin-Snapped-In-Disguise-While-Working-As-KGB-Officer-During-Reagan-Visit/Article/200903315244360?lid=ARTICLE_15244360_RussiasVladimirPutinSnappedInDisguiseWhileWorkingAsKGBOfficerDuringReaganVisit&lpos=searchresults

  6. However, I feel I need to echo a sentiment Val once expressed to me.

    Sanchez delivers a two hour interview and never once expresses remorse or apologizes for helping to prop up the regime? Government defectors routinely appear on Miami television to criticize the regime, etc, etc and more often than not, never turn to the viewers to express remorse or sadness with regards to their having contributed to the enslavement of millions. This man served Fidel directly for 17 years! I’m not saying he should be a pariah – not at all – however, perhaps he might try coming to terms with his history.

    Food for thought.

  7. Good point. But maybe his way of apologizng and “coming to terms with his history” is by giving testimony about what really went on. As a member of Fidel’s trusted inner circle, this is worth something. Let’s hope he has no family left on the island.

  8. The man spouts NEWS.whether true or not, we can’t say for sure) But the Miami programs who showcase him want NEWS…ratings…hence advertisers..hence dollars.

    You can’t blame them (especially those of us who champion unbridled capitalism) for showcasing this “arrepentido.”

    This is capitalism, amigos. So Roll your eyes, gulp deeply from the frosty mug and DIG it!

    Soon Miami will populate more of these “arrepentidos” than those from the “exilio historico.”

    Not that “arrepentidos” weren’t around then–Max Lesnick and Eloy Menoyo got here in 1961!!

  9. Humberto,

    I am tired of “arrepentidos.” They help propagate the regime and then, when the regime is done with them, they “realize” their mistake.

    After that, they then — of course — get asylum here in Miami.

    Here in Miami, they should be ostracized as a message that we will not support Castroites — past, present, or future.

    Some of us were always the wiser.

  10. Instead of coming here, they should be staying on the island and helping to finally end that brutal nightmare. There’s a lot of guys like him over here now, living the good life after spending the majority of their lives propping up the regime and talking trash about the original exiles. This is a sick, twisted tragedy…

  11. El Cid,

    I completely understand your sentiment, which is why I brought up the subject in the first place. That said, the community needs these sorts of individuals to help get the truth out to the apologists.

    I only wish Haza had approached this subject with Sanchez. It would have required a great deal of tact – he doesn’t want his exclusive guest walking off the set – however, I do believe it could and should have been done.

    Best,

    -AB

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