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IPFS News Link • General Opinion

Surprise, Surprise, Surprise!

• by L. Neil Smith

But for some reason what I remember most vividly was passing by a sidewalk newsstand displaying a tabloid that proclaimed "CASTRO RAPED MY DAUGHTER". Please understand that this was 1956, and the dashing young bearded revolutionary, hell-bent on overthrowing the corrupt banana republic of brutal dictator Fulgencio Batista, was everybody's hero.

I filed that headline away in my mind, along with intermittent claims that Fidel Castro was a communist, a notion we were all advised by our presumed betters to disregard—they were "fake news" even then. Why yours truly, a little kid, was interested in Cuban politics, I can't tell you. Maybe it was because an actor I admired, Errol Flynn (look him up), was slightly wounded in a battle in Havana.

As time passed, we Smiths ensconced ourselves near the capital of the easternmost province of Canada, and I entered Sixth Grade. Castro's revolution succeeded. He took Havana, the foul Batista fled to spend more time with his Swiss bank account, and I drew a satirical travel poster for my classroom urging tourists to "Come To Exciting Cuba!"