EFE (via 14ymedio), Havana, 26 March 2022 — “Exposing Castroism not only as a dictatorial system and as a regime, but also as a family,” is the purpose of the exiled Cuban journalist and editor in the US, Armando Añel, with his recently published “Secret Diary of the Revolution Cuban: Romances, crimes, intrigues and infidelities.”
Armando Añel, also the director of the publishing house Neo Club Ediciones, describes this book as “a work to coordinate everything scattered” about Fidel Castro and his family and “summarize” it.
“The idea for the book began years ago with a commission for a biography of Fidel Castro, starting with his father (Ángel Castro). I had already written three chapters when the project fell apart,” Añel explained in a statement to EFE.
“There are independent sources, other official ones, one source is even Raúl (Castro) directly, in the reports on the microfraction (dissident movement at the beginning of the revolution), which appeared published in the official press,” he details.
“Secret Diary of the Cuban Revolution: Romances, Crimes, Intrigues and Infidelities” (Neo Club Ediciones, 2022) chronologically links the historical moments of the Cuban Revolution with little-known passages from the private life of Fidel Castro.
Although apparently “everything” was said and written, collating the sources, contrasting them and incorporating new ones, offers another dimension of the man who marked the days of a country for more than 60 years.
One of the sources used by Añel is the memoir “The Hidden Life of Fidel Castro” by Juan Reinaldo Sánchez, who was a bodyguard for the leader of the revolution between 1977 and 1994 and died in Miami in 2015.
“I would say that of all that has been published about Fidel Castro and his family in 63 years, Sánchez is the one who has reached the most depth on the subject of intimacy, and the Castros do not forgive that, not just Fidel,” comments Anel.
In the book he dedicates space to the deaths in “strange circumstances” of people such as General José Abrahantes, ousted during the well-known “Ochoa case,” or the Venezuelan military officer Raúl Isaías Baduel, who “replaced Chávez and was betrayed by Fidel.”
Separate chapters are dedicated to the deaths of Camilo Cienfuegos, Fidel Castro’s right arm and popular commander at the beginning of the revolution, and of the opposition leader Oswaldo Payá Sardiñas, which occurred 53 years apart.
A childhood episode that Fidel Castro told the Spanish journalist Ignacio Ramonet is one of the things that has most caught Añel’s attention during his task of soaking up information.
The leader of the revolution accused a primary school teacher, Eufrasia Feliú, of stealing the money that his father sent him to go on vacation.
“The first official repudiation rally of Castroism against dissidence occurs with this teacher. Ramón and Fidel Castro lay in ambush outside the teacher’s house and start stoning her. It shocked me a lot when I read it, and told by him,” he remarks.
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