Richard Cushing's role in helping Herb Matthews interview Fidel Castro, 1957

"As Press Attache in Havana during the Batista dictatorship in early 1950s, I developed a number of Cuban contacts, in the media and elsewhere, some of them quietly sympathetic to Fidel Castro's revolutionary cause. The veteran reporter Herbert Matthews of The New York Times came to Cuba in 1957 to check whether Castro was dead as Batista had proclaimed for weeks. Not altogether in the line of duty, but in sympathy with American-style investigative reporting, I had Matthews to lunch at my home with a pro-Castro friend who knew precisely how to arrange a secretive trip into the mountains for an interview. The result was a page-one Times article and photos not only proving that Castro was alive, but also outlining ambitious plans for Cuba, including the promise of early and free elections (which never happened)."

Dick Cushing, FSO (Retired)
The United States Information Agency – A Commemoration,
USIA, 1999, page 16

Later, in appreciation and recognition, Castro presented my father with a signed photo of himself and Camilo Cienfuegos entering Havana. The photo is by Luis Korda, brother of Alberto Korda who shot the famous image of Che Guevara.

Detail of inscription on left edge:
"To Dick and Nancy Cushing, very sincerely, from Fidel Castro.
W[Washington] D.C., April 20, 1959."

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