Slate has posted a fabulous interview conducted by Ann Louise Bardach with Oliver Stone, whose film Looking for Fidel was broadcast Wednesday. Bardach, who wrote the excellent Cuba Confidential, on Cuban politics in Miami and Havana, does a demolition job on Stone, who was out to film a hagiography (though HBO had to send him back to Havana to shoot more scenes after his first attempt proved too sycophantic), but didn?t learn much else about his subject.
Some choice passages:
ALB: Now, when you were talking to the prisoners who tried to hijack a plane, one told you he was a fisherman, and you said, "Why then didn?t you take a boat?" Why did you ask that?
OS: Well, it seemed to me that if they were familiar with boats, it seemed to be the best way.
ALB: Did you know that in Cuba there are virtually no boats? The boats that are used for fishermen are tightly controlled. One of the more surreal aspects of Cuba, being the largest island in the Caribbean, is that there are no visible boats.
OS: I see.
Or this one:
ALB: Did you ask him about his relationship with Juanita in Miami?
OS: God, I don?t remember. There were so many women.
ALB: Juanita is his sister.
Or this one:
ALB: Did you ever think to bring up why he doesn?t hold a presidential election?
OS: I did. He said something to the effect, ?We have elections.?
ALB: Local representative elections. But what about a presidential election?
OS: We didn?t talk about it, especially in view of the fact that our own 2000 elections were a little bit discredited.
Bardach doesn?t bother to unravel that wacky logic (?I was ashamed to discuss the fact that he was an autocrat because, you know, we had a flawed election in the U.S.?). But if you do want to see what role the Miami Cubans played in the 2000 voting, drop Stone and be sure to buy her book.