Fidel Castro’s secret love affair with NYC

Tony Perrottet at the BBC:

On a recent sun-drenched afternoon, I was wandering the leafy blocks of West 82nd Street near Central Park, when I came to number 155, a stately Victorian brownstone with a carved stone stoop. Not so different from 1,000 other addresses on Manhattan’s Upper West Side, I thought – except that this is where the young Fidel Castro, a then-unknown 22-year-old Cuban law graduate, stayed on his honeymoon in 1948.

Castro had been a vocal student leader back in Havana, but there was nothing in 1948 to indicate that he would soon lead a revolution on his home island and become one of the most famous and divisive figures of the 20th Century, thrusting Cuba into a bitter Cold War feud with the United States that continues to this day.

It was Castro’s first visit to the US and he fell in love with New York immediately. He was fascinated by the subway, the skyscrapers, the size of the steaks, and the fact that, despite the rabid anti-Communism of the US during the Cold War, he could find Karl Marx’s anti-capitalist jeremiad, Das Kapital, in any bookstore.

More here.