One of Castro’s first acts as Cuba’s Prime Minister was to go on a diplomatic tour that started on April 15, 1959. His first stop was the United States, where he met with Vice President Nixon, after having been snubbed by President Eisenhower, who thought it more important to go golfing than to encourage friendly relations with a neighboring country. It seemed that the U.S. Administration did not take the new Cuban Prime Minister seriously after he showed up dressed in revolutionary garb. Delegating his Vice President to meet the new Cuban leader was an obvious rebuff. However, what was worse was that an instant dislike developed between the two men, when Fidel Castro met Vice President Richard Milhous Nixon. This dislike was amplified when Nixon openly badgered Castro with anti-communistic rhetoric. Once again, Castro explained that he was not a Communist and that he was with the West in the Cold War. However, during this period following the McCarthy era, Nixon was not listening.
During Castro’s tour to the United States, Canada and Latin America, everyone in Cuba listened intently to what he had to say. Fidel’s speeches, that were shown on Cuban television, were troubling to Raúl and he feared that his brother was deviating from Cuba’s path towards communism. Becoming concerned by Fidel’s candid remarks, Raúl conferred with his close friend “Che” Guevara, and finally called Fidel about how he was being perceived in Cuba. Following this conversation, Raúl flew to Texas where he met with his brother Fidel in Houston. Raúl informed him that the Cuban press saw his diplomacy as a concession to the United States. The two brothers argued openly at the airport and again later at the posh Houston Shamrock Hotel, where they stayed. With the pressure on Fidel to embrace Communism he reluctantly agreed…. In time he whole heartily accepted Communism as the philosophy for the Cuban Government.
Picture Caption: Fidel Castro meets Richard Nixon. (Visit Captain Hank Bracker Facebook Page.)
Award winning Captain Hank Bracker, Author and Master Mariner is the author of “The Exciting Story of Cuba” and “Suppressed I Rise.” Both books are available at Amazon.com, Barnes&Noble.com, BooksAMillion.com and many Independent Book Stores.