From America’s number one Cuba reporter, PEN award–winning investigative journalist Ann Louise Bardach, comes the big book on Cuba we’ve all been waiting for. An incisive and spirited portrait of the twentieth century’s wiliest political survivor and his fiefdom, Cuba Confidential is the gripping story of the shattered families and warring personalities that lie at the heart of the forty-three-year standoff between Miami and Havana.
Famous to many Americans for her cover stories and media appearances, Ann Louise Bardach has been covering Cuba for a decade. She’s talked to the crooks, spooks and politicians who have made history, and to their hired assassins and confidants. Based on exclusive interviews with Fidel Castro, his sister Juanita, his former brother-in-law Rafael Díaz-Balart, the family of Elián González, the friends and family of the legendary American fugitive Robert Vesco, the intrepid terrorist Luis Posada Carriles, and the inner circles of Jeb Bush and the late exile leader Jorge Mas Canosa, Cuba Confidential exposes the hardball take-no-prisoners tactics of the Cuban exile leadership, and its manipulation and exploitation by ten American presidents.
Bardach homes in on Fidel Castro and his cronies, taking us closer than we’ve ever been—and on the militant exiles who have devoted their lives, with CIA connivance, to trying to eliminate him. From Calle Ocho to Juan Miguel González’s kitchen table in Cárdenas, from Guantánamo Bay to Union City to Washington, D.C., Ann Louise Bardach serves up an unforgettable portrait of Cuba and its exiles.
The 2000 custody battle between little Eli n Gonz lez's father, acting, according to Bardach, as the surrogate for the Cuban government, and his exiled Miami relatives, the surrogate anti-Castro forces, became a relentless media event and international affair. The PEN award-winning investigative journalist uses the Elian story as a starting place to examine the larger issues that have roiled Cuba-U.S. politics for four decades. Relying on interviews with Castro, U.S. and Cuban government officials, relatives from both sides of Elian's family and members of the Cuban-exile community, she explores the sources of American enmity toward Cuba and the blood feuds (for example, the Florida congressman Lincoln Diaz-Balart is the nephew of Castro's former wife) that inform anti-Castro sentiments among Cuban exiles. Along the way Bardach finds craven political opportunism (hoping to secure Cuban-exile support, Bush and Gore both backed keeping Elian in the U.S. during the 2000 presidential campaign), political corruption facilitated by the power of the Cuban-exile community in the Miami area, and a shocking tolerance, by post-September 11 standards at least, within the exile community and U.S. government for terrorism directed toward Cuba. Bardach's credibility is sometimes undermined by her failure to critically assess her informants' accusations-innuendoes about Florida governor Jeb Bush's philandering fall into this category-and her tendency to hint at political conspiracies everywhere. All in all, though, Bardach's muckraker is entertaining and disturbing, as it reflects on the power of the dubiously motivated Cuban-exile community. 16 pages of photos not seen by PW. Agent, Tina Bennett. (On sale Oct. 1) Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.