LATIN AMERICA

Cuba

General

A - F

Anderson, Jon Lee. Che Guevara: A Revolutionary Life. New York: Grove, 1997.

Chapman, IJI&C 10.3, finds much to like in this biography, even though the author's portrayal of the Cuban revolution "is so exclusively from Cuban and pro-Cuban sources." The reviewer was involved with Castro's revolutionaries before they gained power, but it took reading Anderson's book to realize finally "what a mean bastard" Che really was.

The reviewer disagrees with Anderson on a number of points. Among the disagreements is the author's depiction of Che's mother as little more than "a Latina hausfrau"; Chapman recalls her membership in the Argentine Communist Party and speculates that it was from her that Che received his communist indoctrination. Nor does Anderson seem aware that Che's brother, Roberto, was a "bigtime spook" in the Cuban intelligence service (DGI).

Chapman's story of Che's final hours also differs from Anderson's. Chapman cites as his source a Cuban who had accompanied Felix Rodriguez to Bolivia and who spoke to Che immediately prior to his execution by his Bolivian captors. Another point of disagreement is Anderson's claim that the CIA covertly funded Castro in Santiago. Chapman labels that claim "nonsense," stating "That's me in Santiago who would've done it, and I didn't do it."

Associated Press. "Cuba Says U.S. Contractor Is Spy." 6 Jan. 2010. [http://online.wsj.com]

Cuban National Assembly President Ricardo Alarcon has "said that an American government contractor [Alan P. Gross] detained in Cuba" since he was arrested on 4 December 2009 "was 'working for American intelligence.'"

Mary Beth Sheridan and William Booth, "Detainee Was Helping Cuban Jewish Groups Involved in U.S. Democracy Project," Washington Post, 13 Jan. 2010, A12, reports that according to former colleagues and other sources, Gross "was working on a U.S. government project to help the island's Jewish community access the Internet." Gross is employed by Bethesda-based Development Alternatives Inc., a contractor for the U.S. Agency for International Development.

Ayers, Bradley E. The War That Never Was: An Insider's Account of CIA Covert Operations against Cuba. Indianapolis, IN: Bobbs-Merrill, 1976.

Bender, Bryan. "DIA Expresses Concern over Cuban Intelligence Activity." Jane's Defence Weekly, 13 May 1998, 7.

Benjamin, Jules R. The United States and the Origins of the Cuban Revolution: An Empire of Liberty in an Age of National Revolution. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1990.

Bohning, Don. The Castro Obsession: U.S. Covert Operations against Cuba, 1959-1965. Washington, DC: Potomac, 2005. 2006. [pb]

According to DKR, AFIO WIN 48-05 (12 Dec. 2005), this book by the Miami Herald's Latin America editor "provides new insights into the covert war against Cuba.... [T]he Bay of Pigs ... failure did not end attempts to change the Havana regime." Efforts included "economic and political destabilization, propaganda, sabotage and assassination plots." The author "considers that the result was to increase Castro’s international celebrity, provide an excuse for more repression in Cuba and contribute to the Soviet decision to introduce nuclear missiles into the island with the resulting ... crisis."

Latell, Studies 49.4 (2005), calls this work "an excellent and much needed illumination ... of all the strange and counterproductive American covert schemes that Castro has survived." The author "is balanced and nuanced," and "does a good job of showing how skeptical and reluctant most senior operations officers involved in MONGOOSE in fact were as they obediently carried out the administration's designs."

For Gambone, I&NS 20.4 (Dec. 2004), the book is "well-paced, insightful, and often fascinating." The author has provided "an additional an[d] important layer to the history of the Cold War in Latin America." Chapman, IJI&C 19.2 (Summer 2006), calls this "one thought-provoking book." Huck, Periscope (Summer 2006), finds that The Castro Obsession "is flush with new sources. It is well worth buying, reading, keeping, and studying."

Bohning, Don. "Rafael Quintero, Cold War Warrior: From the Bay of Pigs to Iran-Contra." International Journal of Intelligence and Counterintelligence 21, no. 4 (Winter 2008-2009): 726-747.

From the late 1950s through the mid-1980s, Quintero "worked in the shadows on contract, but never as an agent, with various U.S. intelligence services. His single-minded objective: ridding his native Cuba of Fidel Castro."

Branch, Taylor, and George Crile III. "Kennedy Vendetta: How the CIA Waged a Silent War Against Cuba." Harper's, Aug. 1975, 49-63. [Petersen]

Breuer, William B. Vendetta: Castro and the Kennedy Years. New York: Wiley, 1998.

From advertisement: "Details the clandestine warfare that took place between Cuba and the Uited States in the early 1960s.... The work exposes the covert and sometimes illegal efforts of the Kennedys to oust Castro."

Castro Hidalgo, Orlando. Spy for Fidel. Miami, FL: E.A. Seemann, 1971.

Della-Giustina, John E. [CAPT/USA] "Intelligence in Peace Operations: The MID in Cuba, 1906-1909." Military Intelligence 20, no. 4 (Oct.-Dec. 1994): 18-22.

DeYoung, Karen. "Obama Moves to Normalize Relations with Cuba as American Is Released by Havana." Washington Post, 17 Dec. 2014. [http://www.washingtonpost.com]

On 17 December 2014, "[t]he United States and Cuba ended more than a half-century of enmity, with the announcement by President Obama and Cuban President Raúl Castro announced "they would reestablish diplomatic relations and begin dismantling the last pillar of the Cold War. "In addition to [U.S. AID contractor Alan] Gross, who the Obama administration said was freed on humanitarian grounds after five years," the United States exchanged three Cubans imprisoned in the United States since 1998 for "an unnamed U.S. intelligence asset said to have been held in Cuba for two decades."

See also, Adam Taylor, "Meet the 'Cuban Five' at the Center of the Blockbuster U.S. Announcement on Cuba," Washington Post, 17 Dec. 2014.

Duffy, Gloria.

1. "Crisis Mangling and the Cuban Brigade." International Security 8, no. 1 (1983): 67-87. [Petersen]

2. "Crisis Prevention in Cuba." In Managing U.S.-Soviet Rivalry, ed. Alexander George. Boulder, CO: Westview, 1983.

Petersen: Soviet aircraft and troops in Cuba, 1978-1979.

Epstein, Edward Jay. "The Plots to Kill Castro." George 5, no. 5 (Jun. 2000): 60-63ff.

The author notes that this article is based "almost entirely on the documentation in the Church Committee report."

Escalante Font, Fabian, and Mirta Muniz. The Secret War: CIA Covert Operations Against Cuba 1959-62. [U.S.]: Ocean Press, 1995.

Falk, Richard A. "American Intervention in Cuba and the Rule of Law." Ohio State Law Journal 22 (Summer 1961): 546-585.

Petersen: "Critical of U.S. policy."

Freedman, Lawrence. Kennedy's Wars: Berlin, Cuba, Laos, and Vietnam. New York and Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2000.

Roberge, I&NS 17.4, calls this "the most insightful work yet produced on US national security policy during the early 1960s." However, the author's "detached style takes some of the drama out of the story."

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