Fidel Castro has finally come in useful.
The recent news from Havana that the 80-year-old dictator is seriously ill sparked a worldwide media frenzy about Castro and all things Cuban. Again. Which has been terrific news – in the most cynical sense – for my book, Child of the Revolution: Growing up in Castro’s Cuba.
As I am sure you know by now, the book was published in Australia and New Zealand in early June by Allen & Unwin to quite a fair bit of media interest, which was terrific as all such publicity helps with sales. There were interviews, feature stories and reviews. You can read all about it here and here.
Then the publicity treadmill stopped, as I thought it would. That is, until the unexpected announcement on 31 July on Cuban national television that Castro was to undergo delicate surgery, forcing him to hand over power “temporarily” to his younger brother, Raul.
Since then, a new burst of publicity has ensued. And I have been taking advantage of it, as you would expect. Anything to sell those bloody books!
Apart from articles in The Australian newspaper (which you can read here and here), there have been interviews on radio and television about Cuba, its future after Castro and the general reaction of those of us who have lived outside the island for so long.
One of the better produced features aired on the Australian SBS radio network last week, as part of its WorldView program. Produced by Peggy Giakoumelos, the program was described as a look back at revolutionary Cuba in the 1960s, a time of Soviet era television, summer work camps and big family parties. If you are interested, you can listen to the broadcast here.
Shameless, I know.