Friday, June 09, 2006

An odd story from Cuban history

I am reading Robert E. Quirks "Fidel Castro" and found this story about a curious incident in the political history of the early 1950s (that's as early as this history gets). It concerns a prominent senator Eduardo "Eddy" Chibas:

"Every Sunday night at eight o'clock Cubans turned their radio dials to CMQ. They wanted to hear Eddy Chibas denounce the Prio goverrnment. It had become the most popular program in the country. During his last broadcast in July 1951 he charged that the minister of education, Aureliano Sanchez Arango, had stolen public funds to build a number of luxurious houses in Guatemala. He promised to give documentary proof in his next program. During the following week charges and countercharges appeared in all the newspapers. Chibas had overreached himself. On August 5, while most Cubans with radios listened attentively, he admitted that he had no evidence. And as the program closed, he cried: "This is my last gunshot to awaken the civic consciousness of the Cuban people!" With that dramatic announcement, he shot himself. He was unaware that, because he had talked past the hour, the microphone had already been disconnected."

Despite early optomistic prognoses, Chibas died 11 days later.


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