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
Dick Cushing, FSO (Retired)
The United States Information Agency – A Commemoration, USIA, 1999, page 16
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."
return to Richard Cushing obituary