Fidel Castro releases “official” Biography–so is “the Don slipping?”

images castro-sleepy
“Let’s face it, Tom, in all due respect … the Don, rest in peace, was slipping. Ten years ago, could I have gotten to him?”

“We can never abandon Propaganda–Propaganda is the heart of our struggle.” (Fidel Castro to Melba Hernandez 1955.)

Fidel, chico! You falling asleep at the wheel? Or what?! An “official” biography loses (even in Media eyes) much of its veracity–hence propaganda value. In your day you were unbeatable at this stuff: tasking the New York Times’ Tad Szulc to write regime propaganda titled, Fidel a Critical Portrait, tasking Cuba “Experts” like Julia Sweig to write regime propaganda like “Inside the Cuban Revolution.” Or partnering with “journalists” like Jon Lee Anderson to write Che’s Biography, and in Sweig’s own words “championing” the project and “opening every door” to them. Or having your ICAIC serve as co-producers for Robert Redford and Stephen Soderbergh. The media and academics just gobble all that stuff up, Fidel, and ask for seconds.

And granted: message-wise, your new Biography probably differs little from the work of New York Times “reporters,” Cuba “Experts” and Hollywood–but back in your prime you woulda handled something like this more deftly–you woulda used a more credible (even in the eyes of the folks upon whom you bestow press bureaus) messenger.