chapter  9
16 Pages

The Revolution and the Intellectuals

ByCarlos Alberto Montaner

The revolution was born with an ugly original sin: It was extremely uneducated. Fidel and his cohorts had read a few bad books. To write in Cuba was not exactly the heart-wringing affair it was in Mariano Jose de Larra's Spain, but it was an effort similar to playing the fool. In the beginning, when Havana was a fiesta, Cuba became a kind of baptismal Jordan for intellectuals from all over the world. The pact between the intellectuals and the revolution was simple. Cuba would invite them to participate in an updated version of radical tourism, the regime would bolster them within and outside of the island, and the intellectuals would simply support the revolution. For Castro, the intellectuals' support was especially useful. Haydee Santamaria, the most important civil-service employee for culture in Cuba, put a bullet in her head around 26 July 1981. The divorce between the Cuban intelligentsia and the Castroist regime involved a paradoxical irony.