Nobel Prize winner, Gabriel García Márquez had an intimate relationship with the deceased, highly polarizing, Fidel Castro. Many of Márquez’s books were sent directly to Castro to be fact checked and edited.
It is unclear how much influence Castro had on the unpublished manuscripts he edited, but according to Bustle, many of his corrections were gun related. He would often correct “the specifications of a hunting rife” or errors in “boat-speed calculations.” However, it’s impossible to know what went on in private conversations between the two men.
The most potentially disturbing thing about Márquez’s relationship with Castro is that “[Marquez] continued to align himself with the dictator after Castro voiced support for the Soviet invasion of Czechoslovakia in the late 1960s, in spite of his numerous human rights abuses.” Troubling yes, but does that effect his place as one of the best authors of all time? Not at all.
Every society has a sort of reverence for their most prominent writers, and for good reason. Writers tend to have a sobering perspective on the spirit of their time and culture. We may disagree with how they envision the world, but their views are almost always worth reading.
Aljazeera reported that Márquez actually spoke with then President Bill Clinton about Castro. During their conversation he said, “If you and Fidel could sit face to face, there wouldn’t be any problems left.” Allegedly, this conversation eventually lead to the release of “a number of dissidents,” according to Panichelli-Batalla. No matter how different we may be from each other, if conversation can happen, then progress can happen. That must always be our goal.
Featured image courtesy of The Guardian