Saturday, March 12, 2005

Lunch with Fidel…

UPI reports on Louisiana Governor Kathleen Blanco’s meeting with Cuban President Fidel Castro just before the end of her three-day trade mission to the island nation. Blanco was invited to a private lunch Thursday with the Cuban leader as she and her delegation were visiting an historic church, the New Orleans Times-Picayune said.

Upon her return late Thursday, the governor said accepting the invitation was in the state's best interest after signing $15 million in trade agreements. "We didn't want to jeopardize that by perhaps insulting the president of the country," she said.

Blanco said the meeting covered a wide range of economic and trade issues -- everything but politics. She was joined in the meeting by several Louisiana state officials. "He's a little bit frail," the governor said. "He had an accident, fell back in November. He broke his arm and leg, so he had a little trouble moving… But he was very, very talkative."

A recent PBS special, American Experience: Fidel Castro, was produced by Adriana Bosch who experienced the beginning of the Castro era:

“I left Cuba at age 14... I lived through nine years of that revolution as a conscious person, and I have vivid experiences and vivid memories, not only of what the process was like, but what it felt like and what people around me felt like, on both sides of the issues. My parents were initially very, very much enamored with Fidel Castro, as were most Cubans, the vast majority of Cubans. And, in a very short period of time, became deeply disillusioned.”

Over the next few decades, by the force of his personality and the might of his Soviet benefactor, Castro turned himself and Cuba into significant players on the world stage. He did so while surviving the hostility of ten consecutive U.S. presidents, an invasion, several CIA assassination attempts and an economic embargo.


jbv's Competitive Edge 


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