About Fidel Castro, from One Who Knows

by Jay Nordlinger

In the days since Fidel Castro’s death, I’ve wanted to talk to Lincoln Diaz-Balart. And now I have, in a Q&A podcast.

Lincoln is a veteran lawyer and politician. He served in Congress for nearly 20 years. His family was prominent in Cuban politics, before Castro; it has been prominent in American politics, since Castro.

Lincoln’s father, Rafael, was a friend of Castro’s, in very early days. Indeed, Rafael’s sister — Lincoln’s aunt, Mirta — married Castro. They had one child, “Fidelito,” before they divorced.

(I pause for a shameless plug: There is a chapter on the Castros in my Children of Monsters: An Inquiry into the Sons and Daughters of Dictators.)

When Castro and his forces revealed themselves for what they were, Rafael bade farewell to his old friend. The Diaz-Balarts were lucky to get to the United States, after the Communists took over on the first day of 1959.

Rafael formed the first anti-Castro organization: the White Rose.

As I said, I wanted to talk to Lincoln Diaz-Balart about Castro. We all have opinions — some of them better than others. What Lincoln has to say comes from deep, often painful, experience and knowledge.

Again, our podcast is here.

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