Friday, April 18, 2014

Fifty-nine Years of Solicitude

It's almost magical what socialism can do for a sycophant, as El País details;
Gabriel García Márquez heard the name Fidel Castro for the first time in 1955. .... It was then that [the Cuban] poet [Nicolás Guillén] told him about a young man named Fidel who had just gotten out of the prison after assaulting the Moncada barracks.
And when Castro took power, García Márquez enlisted in his army;
As a journalist of Prensa Latina [the news agency founded by Che Guevara] first, and as a defender of the revolutionary cause throughout the world when he was already a famous writer, García Márquez knitted such a special friendship with the Cuban leader over the years that the former became the latter’s confessor and literary adviser, his accomplice in mediating conflicts in the region, including service as special envoy on a secret mission to the United States during the Bill Clinton administration.
When García Márquez and his wife Mercedes began to travel to Cuba [from his home in Mexico] more frequently, Castro put one of the most opulent Cubanacán residences in Havana at their disposal.
Castro and the Colombian writer came up with an adventure - to create a film and television school for Third World students that would serve as a counterweight to “imperialist cinematography.” The Foundation of the New Latin American Cinema was founded in 1985 under the direction of the Nobel laureate and, a year later, the school opened. García Márquez gave a workshop on screenwriting that became legendary. The course was titled “How to Tell a Story.” Francis Ford Coppola, Robert Redford and Costa-Gavras are some of the filmmakers who have participated in workshops, courses, and seminars at the school. 
It shows in their work. But he didn't just rub shoulders with Hollywood, he actually partied with real murderers like ;
... the legendary Barbarroja, Manuel Piñeiro, when he was in charge of organization and support to guerrillas and liberation movements in Latin America. 
The para-military forces in Allende's Chile for one. But, García Márquez could be sentimental too;
In his Havana home, García Márquez had a piece painted and given to him by Tony La Guardia. The gift was displayed alongside the works of great Cuban painters like Víctor Manuel o Amelia Peláez. The Colombian Nobel Prize winner, who had been a friend to La Guardia, did not remove the oil painting from the wall after his execution for treason.

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