Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Boston Welcomes Fidel Castro April 25, 1959

On April 25, 1959, days after the running of the Boston Marathon, Boston welcomed the visit of Fidel Castro. The day before a Boston man was arrested in New York in possession of a bomb intended to harm the Cuban revolutionary. 

On January 1, 1959, Castro's revolutionary forces overthrew the Cuban dictator Fulgencio Batista. From the beginning of the new regime in Cuba, U.S. officials worried about the bearded revolutionary. Castro's anti-American rhetoric, his stated plans to nationalize foreign properties in Cuba, and his association with a number of suspected leftists (including his second-in-command, Che Guevara) prompted American diplomats to keep a wary eye on him. Though he worried politicians, American reporters adored him--his tales of the days spent fighting a guerrilla war in Cuba, the fatigues and combat boots he favored, and his bushy beard cut a striking figure. In April 1959, Castro accepted an invitation from the American Society of Newspaper Editors to visit the U.S. He spoke before 8,700 Bostonians at Harvard Field.


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