In June 1961, in the wake of the abortive April invasion of Cuba’s Bay of Pigs, the French anarchist newspaper Le Monde libertaire published an article signed “Ariel” glorifying the Castro regime. It also criticised the French anarcho-syndicalist writer Gaston Leval for his lack of enthusiasm for the Castro revolution. This was his response.
“I have just read the article published by this paper’s contributor, Ariel, regarding the Cuban revolution, which has now turned into a totalitarian counter-revolution, as recently remarked upon by our comrade Fidel Miro in Solidaridad Obrera (Mexico), and reported in most Central and South American anarchist papers, and by our American comrades who are aware of the facts and are none too sparing in their criticism of what they term their homeland’s capitalist imperialists.
Ariel recommends to his readers the review Esprit which, as we know, is a progressive, pro-Moscow, Catholic publication, one with which Albert Camus had serious issues. He also urges us to read the relaunched Bohemia magazine published by the Castro-communist propaganda apparatus, a pale imitation of the original Bohemia whose managing editor — who fought against Batista and championed Castro at the time — has now been forced into exile. While quoting a travel writer, Ariel is careful not to compare that writer’s claims against those of our comrades or people better informed than him. Remember, thousands of travellers of that sort praised the wonders of Stalinist rule while writing us off as counter-revolutionaries, that is until Khrushchev took it upon himself to put them straight in 1956.