Persona Non Grata: A Memoir of Dischantment with the Cuban Revolution

Jorge Edwards, Author Paragon House Publishers $27.95 (0p) ISBN 978-1-55778-576-3
This mordant, ironic memoir by Chilean diplomat/novelist Edwards was the first critical evaluation of Cuba by a left-wing Latin American intellectual and caused a scandal among Western Leftists when it appeared in 1973. American publishers optioned the book but ``ended up opting out,'' explains Edwards. Then a Chilean publisher published it here, but the enterprise floundered and the book ``never even reached the bookstores.'' Appointed by the Allende government in 1970, Edwards was Chile's first diplomatic representative to Cuba. Though he spent just three and a half months on the island, he became aware of both an increased repression of intellectuals and also of the growing failure of the moral incentives of socialism. His meetings with Castro were not reassuring. While Edwards's account of kibitzing with the Cuban leader on a golf course is amusing, their final session--beginning just before midnight and lasting three hours and 20 minutes on the eve of Edwards's departure--is disturbing. Castro declared him ``a person hostile to the Cuban Revolution'' and dismissed ``bourgeois intellectuals'' saying, ``I'd a thousand times rather Allende had sent us a miner than a writer.'' (Aug.)
Reviewed on: 08/02/1993
Release date: 08/01/1993
Genre: Nonfiction
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