Monday, September 12, 2011


I read a review today of Andy Garcia’s movie, Lost City, written by Humberto Fontova. In it he notes:Andy Garcia shows it precisely right. In 1958 Cuba was undergoing a rebellion, not a revolution. Cubans expected political change, not a socioeconomic cataclysm and catastrophe. But I fully realize such distinctions are much too "complex" for a film critic to grasp. They prefer boneheaded clichés.”  Fontova is author of Fidel, Hollywood’s Favorite Tyrant.

In the review Fontova notes that most of the popular support for Fidel came from the middle and upper middle classes who wanted a return to constitutional democracy. This is what Fidel promised up until two weeks after he seized power. That’s when everything changed. The peasant and working classes were not the major sources of Fidel’s support. When a general strike was called in April 1958, it fizzled and then died. One bus was destroyed and the phones stopped working in Havana for a few hours. Beyond that, nothing happened because the labor unions intentionally withheld their support and sent everyone to work during the strike.

Much of the left of center establishment has rewritten Cuban history, ignoring the very fact that there was a substantial middle class which had backed the Castro movement, only to be sold out by it within weeks of its success. That is the lesson of Lost City and also The Death of the White Rose.

1 comment:

  1. Well put. Too bad the left of center establishment cannot see any further than the end of their nose.