The Tiger and the Children
Fidel Castro and the Judgment of History
This may well be the most significant piece of writing to come out of Cuba in 33 years—or the life of the Cuban Revolution of 1959. Since Fidel Castro has always made the claim that "History Shall Absolve Me," the author of this book, journalist, writer and human rights activist, Roberto Luque Escalona, subjects this self-inflicted judgment to the facts of real history and finds that history shall condemn rather than absolve the long-standing dictator of Cuba.
The Castro regime is besieged by internal and external pressures. The worsening economic crisis in Cuba is the result of changes taking place in the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe, where nations that have begun liberating themselves from the yoke of totalitarian regimes have made it evident that the Castro government is simply ill prepared to respond to new winds of doctrine or to accept a situation in which Castro no longer is sovereign ruler. How Castro got the way he is is at the heart and soul of this extraordinary memoir—filled with a level of intimate details unrivaled in any other analysis.
Robert Luque Escalona is not a persecuted figure or a world-famous dissident—or at least he was not until the publication of The Tiger and the Children. Nor is this a prison memoir. He belongs to the immense anonymous majority that suffers in silence the consequences of a disastrous dictatorship. The author has defied Fidel from his position as a free man—free at least in spirit—conscious of the consequences of such a bold statement. This is a consummate work of social history, political analysis, and moral judgment. It will be read by everyone from Latin Americanists to those interested in the real character of comparative politics.