Piero Gleijeses

Piero Gleijeses’s most recent book is Visions of Freedom: Havana, Washington, Pretoria and the Struggle for Southern Africa.

‘Revolution,’ Castro asserted, ‘is not carried in submarines or ships. It is wafted instead on the ethereal waves of ideas … the power of Cuba is the power of its revolutionary ideas, the power of its example.’ The CIA agreed. In July 1961, it reported that ‘Castro’s shadow looms large because social and economic conditions throughout Latin America invite opposition to ruling authority and encourage agitation for radical change.’ Cuba, however, did not rely simply on the power of its example.

Cuba or the Base? Guantánamo

Piero Gleijeses, 26 March 2009

‘Once the United States is in Cuba, who will drive them out?’ José Martí, the father of Cuban independence, asked from his New York exile in 1889. Six years later, as Cuba’s revolt against Spanish colonial rule began, Martí, now back in Cuba, was still preoccupied with the US threat. ‘What I have done, and shall continue to do,’ he wrote in his...

A Bone in the Throat: Castro

Piero Gleijeses, 19 August 2004

Leycester Coltman was British ambassador in Cuba from 1991 to 1994. During these years, the dust jacket on his book claims, ‘he came as close to personal friendship with Castro as any foreigner was permitted.’ Coltman writes with great confidence, even immodesty – we are given the impression that he knows all Castro’s secrets – and the range of his book extends...

Apartheid’s Last Stand

Jeremy Harding, 17 March 2016

Angolans sustained immense losses in the fight to end apartheid. It was certainly heroic, but it was ruinous too.

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