won’t be missed
I met Fidel Castro on Nov. 17, 1977, in Havana.
Our discussions centered on trade with the U.S., using Florida as a warehouse and the expropriation of two Borden sugar mills. I was there representing United States government interests.
Castro asserted that everything expropriated belonged to the Cuban people. There were no negotiations.
He was open to discussions on trade, but there were too many issues involved. Religion and political prisoners were not on his agenda.
Many people asked me about the persona of Castro when I returned to New York. He had become to some people a saint, a personality-plus person with charm.
To me, he was a man with a beard and a distorted image of himself, a narcissistic creature who felt he could twist and turn the U.S. government in his direction.
After his death, he wanted cremation, with his ashes dispersed along the roads of Cuba.
Surely, he will not be missed by the people of Cuba.
The ashes and the memories of Fidel Castro Ruz will drift away with the wind
ROBERT LANGER, PALM BEACH GARDENS
Editor’s note: Robert Langer is president of Bio-Livestock Inc.
Did Castro live well
while people suffered?
At Castro’s passing, detailed in “Miami celebrates Castro’s death” (Nov. 27), he has been described as everything from tyrant to providential leader. Another description is missing: hypocrite.
As a man of the people in one of the planet’s few remaining communist countries, where everyone is equal (yes, everyone is poor), most of its residents are living in dilapidated housing with crumbling walls and leaky roofs.
So, what were Castro’s living accommodations as well as those of his brother and those of the island’s ruling elites? We don’t know. Neither on television nor in the American press have I seen an image of his living quarters. Why?
I suspect that the people of Cuba are equally uninformed.
In a photo accompanying his full-page obituary, there is a hint of his comfortable lifestyle: a pair of shiny Gucci-style boots accessorizing his clean, well-pressed uniform. The sandal-shod Cuban people would love to be so well decked out.
LAURA HENNING, PALM BEACH GARDENS
Maybe Ike should
have helped Castro
The threat of communism has done more mischief than has communism. Much is made of the death of Fidel Castro. More should be made of his early days.
Our Revolutionary War was a good war. We sent packing from our shores the tyrant King George. Fidel Castro sent flying into exile a person who headed a regime far more onerous than that of King George.
The life of an ordinary Cuban under Fulgencio Batista was not worlds apart from the life of that person’s sons or daughters or grandchildren under Castro. Castro began his struggle in southeast Cuba with fewer than 100 followers who lived in the caves of the Sierra Maestra.
Castro saw his mission not to make a communist Cuba but a Cuba better than it was under Batista. Batista was no less a dictator than was Adolf Hitler. Batista’s Gestapo was his hated and feared Federal Police.
In April 1959, at the invitation of the American Society of Newspaper Editors, Castro visited Washington, where he was photographed standing before the Lincoln Memorial. Castro asked President Dwight Eisenhower for aid and assistance. Never.
A Russian named Nikita Khrushchev sent word that Russia would help out. A communist was born.
What we call diplomacy seems to be “See it our way.” We might take a step back and ask ourselves what would have been the downside of talking to the guy?
BOB MURPHY, PALM BEACH GARDENS