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Secret Missions to Cuba: Fidel Castro, Bernardo Benes, and Cuban Miami Hardcover – September 8, 2001

ISBN-13: 978-0312239879 ISBN-10: 0312239874 Edition: 1st

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Palgrave Macmillan; 1st edition (September 8, 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0312239874
  • ISBN-13: 978-0312239879
  • Product Dimensions: 9.1 x 5.9 x 1.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,741,820 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

Where interest in Cuba and Cuban American politics is strong, this analysis by the director of the University of Miami's Center for Latin American Studies will circulate and cause controversy. Attorney Bernardo Benes briefly held a post in the Castro government but left for Miami in November 1960. There Benes worked in banking and with civic groups such as United Way and agitated for Cuban American causes. Between 1977 and 1986, with the blessing of the Carter and Reagan administrations, Benes made more than six dozen trips to Cuba, meeting with Castro himself. Benes' most notable achievements were Castro's 1978 decision to free 3,600 political prisoners and an agreement that permits Cuban exiles in the U.S. to visit their families (and Cubans to visit their U.S. relatives). But Miami's Cuban American leaders viciously attacked Benes for "dialoguing" with Castro. Levine suggests that Benes' secret missions and the rancorous community response form the background for the Elian Gonzalez hysteria and George W. Bush's hairbreadth "victory" in Florida. Mary Carroll
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

Review

"...a convincing argument that Benes is an important figure..."--Louis DeSipio, Latin American Research Review
“Sometimes there is a hero--a solitary man who will do the right thing despite the personal cost or the odds against him. Bernardo Benes is one of them, an unlikely but true American hero...Secret Missions to Cuba is a masterpiece of history and reporting which fleshes out one of the great human dramas of our time. Fascinating!” —Edna Buchanan, Pulitzer Prize Winner for General Reporting
“Levine suggests that Benes' secret missions and the rancorous community response form the background for the Elian Gonzalez hysteria and George W. Bush's hairbreadth 'victory' in Florida.” —Booklist

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Jose Zalvidar on September 20, 2001
Format: Hardcover
This well written, meticulously researched book reveals startling information about negotiations between Washington and Havana during the late 1970s and early 1980s. Many of these negotiations have never been mentioned, notably an effort during Reagan's presidency to steal Cuba away from the Soviet orbit. The book provides an honest and probing portrait of Miami's Cuban exile community, and its inability to cope with some of its members who believed that only through dialogue could meaningful relations be opened. The chilling story of how the dialogers were ostracised needs to be read by anyone concerned with issues of freedom of speech and expression. Highly recommended.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Fernando Entin on September 28, 2001
Format: Hardcover
This book masterfully exposes the venality of the right-wing Cuban exile power brokers, especially the suffocating voices of Spanish-language radio in Miami. I can attest to the fact that the book is wholly on the mark. It reveals details about the exile experience that are astonishing, and also very sad. This is the best book I have ever read on the subject, and also on the precarious, often bad-faith relationship between Washington D.C. and Havana.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on September 28, 2001
Format: Hardcover
I was moved by the travails of Bernardo Benes,who put his life and family at risk because insensitive right-wingers in the Cuban exile community in Miami turned him into a paraih because he dared talk with Cuba's Castro in behalf of political prisoners and dialogue.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Luis Hernandez Jr. on August 23, 2001
Format: Hardcover
Secret Missions to Cuba: Bernardo Benes, Fidel Castro, and Cuban Miami is well researched, insightful, and vividly detailed work that examines the complicated and emotional dynamics of United States-Cuban relations through the unique lens of Bernardo Benes' honest account of secret negotiations with Fidel Castro and then provides analysis addressing the passionately charged sentiments of the exile Cuban-American community in Miami. Explicit naratives shall captivate the reader with the juicy detials of high-stakes negotiations. The firsthand account and historical information Dr. Levine has gathered shall serve as an invaluable resource for historians and academics in the years to come. The political dynamics that clearly come into play in the context of these delicate negotiations and emotional relationships is certainly insightful. Secret Missions to Cuba is most certainly a fascinating account of unwavering diplomatic negotiations in a highly emotional and passionate setting. There are certainly lessons from history to be learned by reading this book. Recommended without reservations!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on September 28, 2001
Format: Hardcover
This book masterfully exposes the venality of the right-wing Cuban exile power brokers, especially the suffocating voices of Spanish-language radio in Miami. I can attest to the fact that the book is wholly on the mark. It reveals details about the exile experience that are astonishing, and also very sad. This is the best book I have ever read on the subject, and also on the precarious, often bad-faith relationship between Washington D.C. and Havana.
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