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Reviewed by Alice DiNizo for Readers' Favorite
Author Joao Cequeira has created an interesting but fictional book looking back at Fidel Castro, the longtime revolutionary leader of Cuba. Cequeria begins by telling the reader that his God, Jesus Christ, JFK, J.Edgar Hoover and even Fidel himself are purely fictional creations. Then "The Tragedy of Fidel Castro" begins as JFK philosophizes about someone who will energize people with words that will shake them out of their daydreams. JFK wants to work with Fidel Castro's spy, Varadero, by earning his trust. Varadero is kept isolated in prison as he has two of the other prisoners wearing berets and smoking cigars, the cooks heckling for a pay raise and the prison guards in the process of setting up a labor committee. On page 19, the author writes that "Under the command of Fidel, our people overthrew a corrupt regime and installed a unique social model under which all citizens enjoy the same rights and opportunities." But the Cuban counterrevolutionaries arise and start a riot. Fidel selects Camilo Ochoa as a counterrevolutionary to be punished and charged with drug dealing. After all, Ochoa's primary school teacher remembers him stealing a papaya.
"The Tragedy of Fidel Castro" is written with irony and humor to make the reader reflect and there is plenty in this book to ponder. Paragraphs are a bit long, perhaps a bit wordy, but the author has had a good time creating this story featuring Fidel Castro. Joao Cequeria's writing style is irreverent and full of fun for the sophisticated reader. He reveals that the bag of cocaine used to frame Ochoa is actually flour and that a smuggler's boat is filled with barrels of bourbon, televisions, perfumes and a crate full of Statue of Liberty miniatures. Not for everyone, but "The Tragedy of Fidel Castro" is one entertaining read!