Article Image
News Link • Books

President, revolutionary … literary giant? Fidel Castro to release memoirs

• Rory Carroll via

The title, like the man, brooks no argument: The Strategic Victory. When it comes to memoirs some leaders tend to favour metaphor or vagueness, but Fidel Castro likes to get to the point.

Cuba's former president is about to publish the first volume of his memoirs, the style and content of which seemingly owe more to Julius Caesar than Tony Blair or George Bush. The 83-year-old's opening volume, due next week, focuses on his guerrilla campaign against Fulgencio Batista's army in Cuba's Sierra Maestra mountains in 1958.

Over 25 chapters Castro recounts, using maps, photographs and diagrams, how his outnumbered rebels routed the dictator and paved the way for their triumphant march into Havana on 1 January 1959. "The defeat of the enemy offensive after 74 days of incessant combat marked a strategic turning point in the war," according to excerpts from an article Castro published on a state website this week.

As well as the casualties, he details the type and number of guns, mortars and tanks captured and destroyed: "With these events the guerrilla liberation opened a new phase."

One of the titles Castro discarded, because it would have sounded "like science fiction", was How 300 Defeated 10,000. The memoir's dry detail, military focus and victorious arc evokes Caesar's The Conquest of Gaul, but critics must await the full volume before deciding if it matches the Roman's literary merit.

Join us on our Social Networks:


Share this page with your friends on your favorite social network: