The American government was caught by surprise at the success of Castro's revolution and resented it. When Fidel visited Washington to receive its blessing, he was shunned. The President refused to meet with him and the largess bestowed on his predecessor was refused, and Fidel had to look elsewhere for support. He found it in America's enemy, the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics. Thus Cuba became an enemy of the United States, guilt by association.
The businessmen and gangsters lost valuable property and guaranteed profits when Castro swept them from the island, and they sought vengeance. They bankrolled the election of a new President whose father had earned his fortune in criminal enterprises, and attempted to dictate his son's use of America's armed forces to destroy Fidel and reclaim their assets on the island. Many believe they had the President assassinated when he failed to assassinate Castro.
Thus, Castro became a communist for the sake of his island. He became a tyrant to protect his island. Misguided? Certainly.
John Dalberg-Acton, aka Lord Acton, observed that power corrupts. In Fidel's case, it appears that it wasn't his power, but the power of America that may have corrupted him.
Does that excuse Fidel for his abuses of the people he ruled? Certainly not. However, it may be argued that it makes America complicit.
Yes, it is a fascinating story and that is why I chose to tell it in my first novel.
Rebels on the Mountain is an epic tale of a forbidden romance set in the time of Fidel Castro's insurrection to depose the U.S.-backed dictator, Fulgencio Batista. An interracial couple, a Cuban mulata with African roots and an American soldier/spy, seek a safe haven in a world in which their love is not welcome in either of their native lands. Based on historical events, it reveals men and women fighting and loving amid the chaos and uncertainty of revolutionary Cuba.
The action and adventure flows from the mountain camp of the Fidelistas at the eastern end of the island to the halls of wealth and power in Havana at the western end. Familiar personalities play their roles in Rebels on the Mountain, including Ernesto Che Guevara and Ernest Hemingway. Lesser known though equally important characters such as Camilo Cienfuegos, arguably Fidel's most important lieutenant, and Herbert Matthews, the reporter from the New York Times who introduced America to the Cuban insurrection, influence the revolution as well as the underlying love story in Rebels on the Mountain.
Most know how the revolution ended, but few understand how a band of three hundred outcasts and outlaws defeated a modern, well-equipped and well-trained army of forty thousand, and elevated Fidel Castro to the heights of power in the Caribbean or how the United States lost control of the island nation. That is the surprise that Rebels on the Mountain delivers.