Thursday, October 14, 2010


Lieutenant Colonel Juan Reinaldo Sanchez was the head, for over seventeen years, of Fidel Castro’s personal security detail.

According to Sanchez little happened around El Lider Maximo and his entourage that escaped the Lieutenat Colonel’s attention. In a series of explosive interviews on TV, recorded for posterity in a string of YouTube ‘bites’, he relates how the Castros assisted the Sandinistas by repairing some of the weapons that these revolutionaries had seized from Nicaraguan president Somosa’s army.

Apparently, the operation had been supervised by Cuban Brigadier General Arnaldo Ochoa, a close friend of Fidel’s brother, Raul. (These two had fought side-by-side at the decisive battle of Santa Clara in 1958 at which the Cuban dictator Fulgencio Batista’s forces had suffered a decisive defeat.)

Thirty years later Ochoa was executed at the orders of the Castro brothers who accused him of having betrayed the principles of the Cuban Revolution by dealing in drugs and black-marketeering.

Many attribute Ochoa’s fall from grace to his having become too popular for Fidel’s liking – a fascinating hypothesis that I have fictionalized in my latest novel, HAVANA HARVEST.

The Sanchez videos are available in Spanish only. However, an English synopsis of sorts may be found at Unfortunately, the videos (in Spanish) have been systematically deleted.