Thursday, April 17, 2014

Cuba's Great Friend Has Died

Fidel Castro's Best Friend
        Gabriel Garcia Marquez {Photo: Ulf Anderson/Getty Images} died Thursday -- April 17, 2014 -- at his home in Mexico City. He was born on March 6, 1927 in Colombia. He won the 1982 Nobel Prize for Literature and his 1967 classic "One Hundred Years of Solitude" established him as Latin America's greatest writer. The New York Times rated him in a quartet that included Tolstoy, Dickens, and Hemingway.
   Gabriel Garcia Marquez's best friend was Cuba's revolutionary icon Fidel Castro. As reflected in his books, Gabo, as he was affectionately called, mortally hated U.S.-backed dictators -- especially Pinochet in Chile, Batista in Cuba, and Trujillo in the Dominican Republic. But he admired true nationalist rebels who desired sovereignty for their countries as opposed to being "false warriors" seeking personal wealth or power. In his keen judgment, Cuba's Fidel Castro fit that bill. Gabo sponsored a school in Havana where he was once asked, "Is Fidel your best friend?" He laughed, then said: "Fidel is actually #2. My wife Mercedes is #1. And she rates Fidel #1 and me #2." Asked why he and Mercedes rated Fidel so high, he said: "Fidel was born rich but cared about the poor, the majority, not about money. Only his enemies accuse him of being money hungry or power hungry. I am not his enemy so I know better, and thus have no reason, like them, to lie. His enemies were and are the ones who crave personal money and power." The New York Times pointed out that Gabo often showed Fidel drafts of his yet-to-be published books. Once, as he returned a draft to Gabo, Fidel said, "I thought I hated Trujillo the most. But maybe you did."
      Fidel Castro is 87-years-old. Gabriel Garcia Marquez was also 87 when he died Thursday. A Castro intimate said, "Gabo's death makes this the second saddest day of Fidel Castro's life. This one hurt."
Fidel Castro's saddest day was January 11, 1980 -- the day Celia Sanchez died.
The photo above shows the two revolutionary soul-mates in 1957.
This {UPI} photo shows Gabriel Garcia Marquez in 1962.
Gabriel Garcia Marquez in 1972. {AP photo}
At his home in Colombia in 1982. {Getty Images photo}
Fidel and Gabo in Havana March 4, 2000. {Reuters photo}
With wife Mercedes in Colombia in 2007. {AP photo}
They got married in 1958 and had two sons, Rodrigo and Gonzalo.
She remains one of Fidel Castro's dearest friends. 
Outside his Mexico City home on his birthday -- March 6, 2014. {AP photo}
As a legendary writer, he {centerwas treated like a rock star throughout Latin America.
Gabriel Garcia Marquez
March 6, 1927 - April 17, 2014
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