Recently I went to go hear Ann Louise Bardach speak in New York about her new book Without Fidel: A Death Foretold in Miami, Havana, and Washington. If you are a Cuban-phile, you should go back and read her first book Cuba Confidential (where she covers the firebombing of Centro Vasco restaurant in Miami). She is an ace journalist covering Cuba for 15 years. She doesn’t take sides on the Cuba/Miami debate. She has enemies on both sides due to her blunt and factual reporting. She calls it like it is. She’s a fascinating woman.
Ann is best known for her interviewing Fidel Castro a few times for Vanity Fair. She was so stubborn about speaking to Fidel when she first landed in Cuba, that after a few blow-offs from the government, Fidel Castro finally called her room late one night and said, “I guess if I don’t take this interview, you’ll never leave Cuba?”, to which she replied, “Yup!”. And so began her legendary interviews with the bearded one.
Her extensive reporting for the magazine prompted Graydon Carter to joke “are you trying to open the Havana office?”. After the seminar, a few of us went to a restaurant midtown and just waxed poetic on some Cuban politics for hours over wine. Her friends were lovely.
During the seminar earlier, Ann broke down the books contents for the audience — how the Castro brothers are probably the most successful brother duo in world history next to the Kennedy’s. She discusses Fidel’s health and his borderline alcoholism. There is a section where she explains how the Bush family had owned property in Cuba before the Revolution. There are countless Cuban-American CIA tales too. She shares a meticulously researched family tree of the Castro brothers offspring — illegitimate kids included. Frankly, there is so much new insight in Ann’s books that its impossible to put it down.
Don’t take my word for it. Check out an interview she gave while passing through New York — here at Democracynow.org.
If you are living in Miami, Annie is heading to your town on Sunday, Nov 15th. I advise Cuban-Americans to go listen to her speak. Her work is tightly researched, and at the same time, there is a tremendous sense of humor in her delivery. She’s a breath of fresh air and unbiased when breaking down the convoluted mind games and agendas between Miami and Cuba. Clarity is good.
Start Time: Sunday, November 15 at 11:00am
End Time: Sunday, November 15 at 1:00pm
Where: Miami Book Fair Auditorium/Pavilion Tent A./ Miami Babylon Miami Dade College
To see more details and RSVP, follow the link below: Facebook Link / Without Fidel / Miami visit