Waiting for Fidel by Christopher Hunt

A fabulous timely read what with Cuba opening up recently to tourism. My brother-in-law also had taken a trip there with his family last year and after hearing him talk about the experiences he had, I was anxious to read this book. One of my very best friends gave it to me and all things merged. I also thought about Caz constantly while reading this as we have not been making our usual phone connections.

The author goes to Havana, Cuba in the hope of meeting Fidel Castro. The big question for him was “Where is Fidel?” The answer is everywhere and nowhere. At the time of writing the book, Castro was constantly on the move both within and outside the country.

The author first outlines how he and others in Havana spend their time and make money both legally and illegally. The country was a mess of rolling blackouts, lack of food, lack of work (yet fully employed), drinking, music and a rollicking black market in everything one can imagine.

He then travels to the place where Che Guevara and Fidel Castro landed and marched from town to town, extolling the virtues of Communism and decimating enemies of the state. Hunt chose to travel by local method, using the “yellow man” and standing shoulder to shoulder in the back of trucks and overfull cars and buses.

In each village, town and city he meets a wonderful collection of people: cops, farmers, musicians, black marketeers and many others. Each has their own particular take on Cuban history, Communism, life and of course, Fidel.

Did he find Fidel? Read the book! You will not be disappointed. Another timely book given the recent events in Cuba. Viva La Cuba!!

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