Gabriel Garcia Marquez on Fidel Castro

The Fidel I think I know

He’s a man of ironclad discipline, inexhaustible patience, colossal ideas and insatiable illusions
Gabriel García Márquez
Saturday August 12, 2006
The Guardian (UK)

His devotion is to the word. His power is of seduction. He goes to seek out problems where they are. The impetus of inspiration is very much part of his style. Books reflect the breadth of his tastes very well. He stopped smoking to have the moral authority to combat tobacco addiction. He likes to prepare food recipes with a kind of scientific fervour. He keeps himself in excellent physical condition with various hours of gymnastics daily and frequent swimming. Invincible patience. Ironclad discipline. The force of his imagination stretches him to the unforeseen.

José Martí is his foremost author and he has had the talent to incorporate Martí’s thinking into the sanguine torrent of a Marxist revolution. The essence of his own thinking could lie in the certainty that in undertaking mass work it is fundamental to be concerned about individuals.

That could explain his absolute confidence in direct contact. He has a language for each occasion and a distinct means of persuasion according to his interlocutors. He knows how to put himself at the level of each one, and possesses a vast and varied knowledge that allows him to move with facility in any media. One thing is definite: he is where he is, how he is and with whom he is.

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