Cuba Confidential: Love and Vengeance in Miami and Havana

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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.
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About the author

Ann Louise Bardach is a PEN award-winning investigative journalist who has covered Cuba for more than a decade for the New York TimesVanity Fair, where she was a Contributing Editor for many years, and many other national publications. She currently writes the Global Buzz column for Newsweek International and has appeared on 60 Minutes, Today, Dateline, CNN, The O’Reilly Factor, Hardball, Charlie Rose, and NPR, among others. She is also the editor of Cuba: A Travelers Literary Companion and is a Visiting Professor of International Journalism at the University of California at Santa Barbara.


From the Trade Paperback edition.
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Additional Information

Publisher
Vintage
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Published on
Dec 18, 2007
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Pages
464
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ISBN
9780307425423
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Language
English
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Genres
History / Latin America / General
Political Science / International Relations / General
Social Science / Emigration & Immigration
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Eligible for Family Library

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From the award-winning reporter and go-to source on Cuban-Miami politics Ann Louise Bardach comes a riveting, eye-opening account of the last chapter in the life of Fidel Castro: his near death and marathon finale, his enemies and their fifty-year failed battle to eliminate him, and the carefully planned succession and early reign of his brother Raúl.

Ann Louise Bardach offers a spellbinding chronicle of the Havana-Washington political showdown, drawing on nearly two decades of reporting and countless interviews with everyone from the Comandante himself, his co-ruler and brother Raúl, and other family members, to ordinary Cubans as well as officials and politicos in Miami, Havana, and Washington. The result is an unforgettable dual portrait of Fidel and Raúl Castro -- arguably the most successful and enduring political brother team in history.

Since 1959, Fidel Castro has been the supreme leader of Cuba, deftly checkmating his foes, both from within and abroad; confronting eleven American presidents; and outfoxing dozens of assassination attempts, vanquished only by collapsing health.

As night descends on Castro's extraordinary fifty-year reign, Miami, Havana, and Washington are abuzz with anxious questions: What led to the lightning-bolt purge of key Cuban officials in March 2009? Who will be Raúl's heir? Will the U.S. embargo end now?

Bardach offers profound and surprising answers to these questions as she meticulously chronicles Castro's protracted farewell and assesses his transformative impact on the world stage and the complex legacy that will long outlive him. She reports from three distinct vantage points: In Miami, where more than one million Cubans have fled, she interviews scores of exiles including Castro's would-be assassins Orlando Bosch and Luis Posada Carriles; in Washington, DC, she reports on the Obama administration's struggle to formulate a post-Castro strategy; in Havanah she permeates the bubble around the fiercely private and officially retired Castro to ascertain the extent of his undisclosed medical condition.

Bardach delivers a compelling meditation on one of the most controversial, combative, and charismatic rulers in history. Without Fidel includes never-before-published reporting on Castro, his family, and his half-century grip on the largest country in the Caribbean while assessing how his departure will forever transform politics and policy in the Western Hemisphere -- and the world.
In modern-day Havana, the remnants of the glamorous past are everywhere—old hotel-casinos, vintage American cars & flickering neon signs speak of a bygone era that is widely familiar & often romanticized, but little understood. In Havana Nocturne, T.J. English offers a multifaceted true tale of organized crime, political corruption, roaring nightlife, revolution & international conflict that interweaves the dual stories of the Mob in Havana & the event that would overshadow it, the Cuban Revolution.

As the Cuban people labored under a violently repressive regime throughout the 50s, Mob leaders Meyer Lansky & Charles "Lucky" Luciano turned their eye to Havana. To them, Cuba was the ultimate dream, the greatest hope for the future of the US Mob in the post-Prohibition years of intensified government crackdowns. But when it came time to make their move, it was Lansky, the brilliant Jewish mobster, who reigned supreme. Having cultivated strong ties with the Cuban government & in particular the brutal dictator Fulgencio Batista, Lansky brought key mobsters to Havana to put his ambitious business plans in motion. 

Before long, the Mob, with Batista's corrupt government in its pocket, owned the biggest luxury hotels & casinos in Havana, launching an unprecedented tourism boom complete with the most lavish entertainment, the world's biggest celebrities, the most beautiful women & gambling galore. But their dreams collided with those of Fidel Castro, Che Guevara & others who would lead the country's disenfranchised to overthrow their corrupt government & its foreign partners—an epic cultural battle that English captures in all its sexy, decadent, ugly glory. 

Bringing together long-buried historical information with English's own research in Havana—including interviews with the era's key survivors—Havana Nocturne takes readers back to Cuba in the years when it was a veritable devil's playground for mob leaders. English deftly weaves together the parallel stories of the Havana Mob—featuring notorious criminals such as Santo Trafficante Jr & Albert Anastasia—& Castro's 26th of July Movement in a riveting, up-close look at how the Mob nearly attained its biggest dream in Havana—& how Fidel Castro trumped it all with the revolution. 
Since its U.S. debut a quarter-century ago, this brilliant text has set a new standard for historical scholarship of Latin America. It is also an outstanding political economy, a social and cultural narrative of the highest quality, and perhaps the finest description of primitive capital accumulation since Marx.

Rather than chronology, geography, or political successions, Eduardo Galeano has organized the various facets of Latin American history according to the patterns of five centuries of exploitation. Thus he is concerned with gold and silver, cacao and cotton, rubber and coffee, fruit, hides and wool, petroleum, iron, nickel, manganese, copper, aluminum ore, nitrates, and tin. These are the veins which he traces through the body of the entire continent, up to the Rio Grande and throughout the Caribbean, and all the way to their open ends where they empty into the coffers of wealth in the United States and Europe.

Weaving fact and imagery into a rich tapestry, Galeano fuses scientific analysis with the passions of a plundered and suffering people. An immense gathering of materials is framed with a vigorous style that never falters in its command of themes. All readers interested in great historical, economic, political, and social writing will find a singular analytical achievement, and an overwhelming narrative that makes history speak, unforgettably.

This classic is now further honored by Isabel Allende’s inspiring introduction. Universally recognized as one of the most important writers of our time, Allende once again contributes her talents to literature, to political principles, and to enlightenment.

People around the world know Dave Batista as World Wrestling Entertainment's "the Animal," the rope-shaking, spine-busting World Heavyweight Champion, one of the most popular Superstars in recent years.The crowd turned Batista from heel to babyface after they were electrified by his awesome physique and physical wrestling style.

Few fans, however, know that Batista didn't join the profession until he was thirty years old -- an age at which many wrestlers are thinking about hanging up their boots. Nor do most fans know the tremendous toll the climb to the top has taken on Batista's personal life. While successfully staying away from hard drugs and -- usually -- liquor, he found sex too tempting to resist.

"Women were my drug of choice," the Animal confesses. That addiction cost him his marriage, destroying a relationship that had helped him climb from poverty to the pinnacle of sports entertainment in less than two years.

Now, in Batista Unleashed, the WWE Superstar comes clean about the choices he made and the devastating effects they had on his family. He talks about the injury that stripped him of his title -- an injury he blames on Mark Henry's carelessness. While being sidelined cost Batista untold hundreds of thousands of dollars in lost income, it also set the stage for a tremendous comeback that cemented the Animal's reputation as a true champion.

Batista talks about growing up in the worst part of Washington, D.C., where three murders occurred in his front yard before he was nine. He speaks lovingly about his mother -- a lesbian -- and how hard she worked to keep the family not just together but alive. He talks candidly about his own criminal past: a conviction on a drug charge and another, since overturned, on assault. He speaks of his days as a bouncer and a lifeguard, and tells how bodybuilding may have saved his life.

Once he made it to the WWE, Batista realized he wasn't really ready for the big time. His career seemed headed for a fall until Fit Finlay took him under his wing. But his real education came when he joined Evolution and rode with Triple H and Ric Flair, two of sports entertainment's all-time greats. Batista talks about what they taught him, and details some of their wild times on the road.

But the champ also reveals a kinder, gentler side. While his soft-spoken manner in the locker room has sometimes been misinterpreted as arrogance, in truth Batista's always been somewhat shy and quiet. Emotional by nature, he reveals for the first time that the tears fans saw at WrestleMania 21, when he won the World Heavyweight Championship for the first time, were very real. And he speaks movingly about his problems with his ex-wives and teenage daughters, and how it felt to become a grandfather.

While his straight-shooting mouth has occasionally gotten him into trouble -- most notably in a backstage confrontation with Undertaker after some remarks about SmackDown! -- Batista is his own harshest critic. He explains his early limitations as a wrestler and the work he has done to overcome them. Interspersing his memoir with accounts from life on the road, Batista lightens the narrative with a surprising sense of humor. An Animal in the ring, he reveals himself as an honest and even humble man in everyday life.
From the award-winning reporter and go-to source on Cuban-Miami politics Ann Louise Bardach comes a riveting, eye-opening account of the last chapter in the life of Fidel Castro: his near death and marathon finale, his enemies and their fifty-year failed battle to eliminate him, and the carefully planned succession and early reign of his brother Raúl.

Ann Louise Bardach offers a spellbinding chronicle of the Havana-Washington political showdown, drawing on nearly two decades of reporting and countless interviews with everyone from the Comandante himself, his co-ruler and brother Raúl, and other family members, to ordinary Cubans as well as officials and politicos in Miami, Havana, and Washington. The result is an unforgettable dual portrait of Fidel and Raúl Castro -- arguably the most successful and enduring political brother team in history.

Since 1959, Fidel Castro has been the supreme leader of Cuba, deftly checkmating his foes, both from within and abroad; confronting eleven American presidents; and outfoxing dozens of assassination attempts, vanquished only by collapsing health.

As night descends on Castro's extraordinary fifty-year reign, Miami, Havana, and Washington are abuzz with anxious questions: What led to the lightning-bolt purge of key Cuban officials in March 2009? Who will be Raúl's heir? Will the U.S. embargo end now?

Bardach offers profound and surprising answers to these questions as she meticulously chronicles Castro's protracted farewell and assesses his transformative impact on the world stage and the complex legacy that will long outlive him. She reports from three distinct vantage points: In Miami, where more than one million Cubans have fled, she interviews scores of exiles including Castro's would-be assassins Orlando Bosch and Luis Posada Carriles; in Washington, DC, she reports on the Obama administration's struggle to formulate a post-Castro strategy; in Havanah she permeates the bubble around the fiercely private and officially retired Castro to ascertain the extent of his undisclosed medical condition.

Bardach delivers a compelling meditation on one of the most controversial, combative, and charismatic rulers in history. Without Fidel includes never-before-published reporting on Castro, his family, and his half-century grip on the largest country in the Caribbean while assessing how his departure will forever transform politics and policy in the Western Hemisphere -- and the world.
Este libro explora cuáles serán las consecuencias después de la muerte de Fidel Castro, una de las figuras más emblemáticas de Latinoamérica.

Sin Fidel es un recuento fascinante y esclarecedor sobre el último capítulo de la vida de Fidel Castro.

Un libro que explora cuáles serán las consecuencias después de su muerte, sus enemigos y su estéril guerra de más de cincuenta años para derrocarlo, así como la sucesión meticulosamente planeada y el temprano reinado de su hermano Raúl.

En este libro, la autora ofrece una crónica deslumbrante sobre la confrontación política entre Washington y La Habana, a partir de casi dos décadas de ejercer el periodismo a profundidad y de incontables entrevistas con los protagonistas, donde figuran tanto el comandante mismo, su hermano Raúl y otros miembros dela familia, como cubanos de a pie y oficiales y políticos en Miami, La Habana y Washington.

El resultado es un doble retrato inolvidable de Fidel y Raúl Castro: sin lugar a dudas la mancuerna política más exitosa y duradera de la historia. La autora nos regala una radiografía sin parangón sobre uno de los gobernantes más controvertidos, combativos y carismáticos de la historia.

Sin Fidel incluye material inédito sobre Castro, su familia y su medio siglo de dictadura en el país más grande del Caribe, a la vez que nos concientiza sobre la forma en que su adiós definitivo transformará para siempre el escenario político y social no sólo del hemisferio occidental sino del mundo entero.

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