The Last Soldiers of the Cold War: The Story of the Cuban Five

Fernando Morais, trans. from the Portuguese by Robert Ballantyne, with Alex Olegnowicz. Verso (Random, dist.), $19.95 trade paper (288p) ISBN 978-1-78168-876-2
In a tale that straddles the Straits of Florida, Brazilian journalist Morais recounts the story of the Wasp Network, a cadre of 14 spies from Cuba sent by Fidel Castro to Dade County, Fla., to infiltrate anti-Castro groups. Personal histories of both minor and major players share the limelight with the usual spy tropes and moral ambiguity as Morais culls details from over three dozen interviews with the parties involved. He includes such figures as Cruz Leon, a young mercenary from El Salvador contracted to plant bombs in tourist hotels, who thought of himself as a real-life Sylvester Stallone; and Colombian writer Gabriel Garcia Marquez, who was sent to personally deliver a message from Castro to President Clinton. Morais employs a thriller-like pace, addressing the historical context of Clinton-era politics and presenting a riveting, crystal-clear picture of a story otherwise made murky by media with its own agenda. The book, entertaining in its own right, also serves as a reminder that the Cold War extended beyond the fall of the Berlin Wall and that ingenuity often trumps material resources. (June)
Reviewed on: 07/20/2015
Release date: 06/16/2015
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