February 7, 2018 John No comments exist

At my 86th birthday party yesterday we all gathered in the patio behind the house, with it’s two token coffee trees and many flowers still in bloom. It’s the midst of the dry season, but we’re living in the perfect climate. Pura vida, indeed. I could do without a birthday every year. What’s there to…

February 2, 2018 John No comments exist

What a sad day this is. I’ve just heard that Fidelito has killed himself, after suffering from depression. Of course it was depression, that’s the killer. The civilian killer. And of course no one ever heard that he was suffering, that isn’t the kind of thing people talk about. Not in Cuba, not in the…

January 8, 2017 John No comments exist

Here it is again, January 8th, the day of Fidel’s victory celebration in 1959. I wonder if I might be the last surviving barbudo who came down from the Sierra, slogged across most of Cuba, and joined Fidel’s caravan as it entered Havana. Raul wasn’t with us, he was back in Santiago. Huber Matos was…

November 27, 2016 John No comments exist

I’m glad I’m not in Miami. All that cheering and banging on pots and pans and dancing around in the street. My heart couldn’t take it, because no matter what they say, they’re cheering for Fidel’s death. At the same time, I wouldn’t care to be in Havana now either, headed for nine days of…

October 29, 2016 John 2 comments

Yesterday, on the anniversary of my disappearance, I had a surprising visit here in Costa Rica. An American writer named John Thorndike has been putting a book together about my life, and came to see me, unannounced. Of course I was glad to see him–how could I resist someone who’s fascinated by my story and…

October 28, 2015 admin No comments exist

Back in February, I wrote about my birthday. Today it’s a different story: my deathday. Every sentient soul in Cuba—and almost no one anywhere else—knows the story. At 6:01 on the evening of October 28th, 1959, I climbed into my two-engined Cessna and took off, with my pilot, on a flight-over-land from Camagüey to Havana….

March 5, 2015 admin No comments exist

  Naty Revuelta has died, at the age of 89. You get to be my age, 83, and everyone you know starts dropping off. Well, not everyone. Fidel is still with us, and Raúl, too. But Huber Matos died last year, and Carlos Franqui a few years before that. Oh, what the hell, they were…

February 6, 2015 admin No comments exist

Letter from Camilo: It’s my birthday, February 6th. The whole family came: Alameda and Ernesto and Clarisa, along with their husbands, wives, kids and grandkids. They were trying to surprise me, but I read all the signs. Eighty-two years old, going on twenty-two. Well, perhaps not quite. I can’t remember what I felt like at…

January 25, 2014 admin No comments exist

This is my mother, Virginia, at the age of 16, standing behind her house at 822 North High Street in Columbus, OH. These days North High is the heart of the city’s hip Short North, but in 1931 it was all family homes and backyard gardens. Standing next to my mother is her dorky boyfriend,…

January 2, 2014 John No comments exist

55 years ago today, Camilo Cienfuegos and 300 men from his column drove into Havana, where the remaining generals of the Cuban Army handed over their control to the rebel army. Only a day before, the dictator Fulgencio Batista had given his usual New Year’s party. Then, at two in the morning, he and his…