Guillermo Cabrera Infante by Oscar Hijuelos  

OH: That you left Cuba in the 1960s (I believe) speaks for itself, but did you have any conversations with el Líder, and at what time of day did you decide that enough was enough?

I knew Castro when he was not yet Fidel in Havana in 1948. He was then a member of a gangsteroid group called the UIR, without an H. The group was leadered by a brave madman called Emilio Tro, who used to avenge past grievances by shooting his enemies—and then placing a sign over their dead bodies which said, “La justicia tarda pero Ilega,” meaning that his own brand of justice could be slow in coming but it always arrived. Castro was about that time a tall young thug who always dressed in double-breasted suits to better conceal the gun underneath. He was accused of killing his namesake Monolo Castro, no kin, but the black humor of a Castro killing a Castro did not escape many. Later, when he was el Maximo Líder I collaborated with him in Revolución (I was the editor of the literary supplement) when he said in a televised speech, “This Revolution won’t be like Saturn,” meaning Kronos,”and it won’t devour its children.” I said loudly, “But it will devour its grandchildren instead.” It was pathetic but it was also prophetic. Saying things like that contributed to the banning of the magazine some time later in 1961. Enough was enough when he closed the magazine and announced his Stalinist credo: “With the Revolution everything, against the Revolution nothing.” And it was only for him to decide when and who were against or in favor of his Revolution. It took me years to extricate myself because you don’t leave your country as if leaving the party—which was over anyway.”

Really looking forward to giving some time to Infante’s Three Trapped Tigers. It looks like it needs its own world to be read within.

@1 year ago with 1 note
#infante #three trapped tigers #interview #cuban history #castro 
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