On the “Psychic Powers” of Fidel Castro

A picture has been going around Facebook with a quote by former Cuban leader Fidel Castro where it appears he predicted the conditions under which the U.S. embargo would come to an end. In 1973 he spoke the following words:

f castro quote

“The United States will come to talk to us when you have a black president and the world has a Latin American pope.”

– Fidel Castro speaking to the international press in 1973

The original appeared in Spanish:

“Estados Unidos vendrá a dialogar con nosotros cuando tenga un Presidente negro y haya en el mundo un Papa latinoamericano”.[i]

The quote appears to be a piece of wisdom uttered by Castro decades ago about the international political conditions necessary to bring about the end of the embargo. A lot of people are sharing this image as though it were true. They are however wrong just as Castro was in his prediction. What we have is coincidence not prophesy.

For Castro to be correct the embargo must be ending because of the Black president and Latin American Pope. This unfortunately is not the case. The quote implies that the embargo ends due to the anti-bourgeois position of the president and the Pope. Both President Obama and Pope Francis have declared their support for capitalism over socialism.

The impending end of the embargo is not the product of international progressive forces that have come to the realization that it won’t cause Cuba to abandon socialism. It has come about as a result of negotiations between current leader Raul Castro and the imperialists.[2] Both sides engaged in discussions about ending the embargo, reportedly with the assistance of Pope Francis. I believe the grounds on which the embargo has ended are not good ones. Cuba has no reason to negotiate as they have done nothing wrong they are a victim of U.S. imperialism. For them to be taking place Cuba must be giving up something very important. The imperialists don’t cease subversive activities out of the goodness of their hearts.

It seems almost certain that the embargo has ended with some kind of serious capitulation by Cuba. Laws are currently being changed that would allow Americans to send more money to relatives. Other measures include allowing U.S. banks to set up shop in the country. Allowing foreign imperialist capital to begin making headway into a country is a sure way to have it subverted. But we shall leave this discussion for another day.

The point here is that there should be no celebration that the embargo has been lifted in an altruistic way in which Fidel predicted. In truth it has been ended in a way that has placed what remains of the Cuban Revolution in jeopardy. The end of the embargo has been purchased, not dismantled out of justice for the Cuban people for the suffering it has caused.

* * *


[1] Presidente francés visita a Fidel Castro en La Habana (+ Fotos y Video), Cuba Debate

[2] Vatican played key role in Cuba-U.S. talks: officials, Reuters

17 thoughts on “On the “Psychic Powers” of Fidel Castro

      • He. did. not. say. that. quote. It’s fiction.

        It’s first appearance is on a Spanish language forum in 2014.

        Are you going to delete my post again?

      • Well, it wouldn’t be “again” since you didn’t ask last time, but merely deleted.

        My source the first time was perfectly clear. As I said, the OLDEST record of google having seen either quote in Spanish or English was 2014.

        So, unless you can find that a search engine ANYWHERE has indexed that quote before 2014, “as far as I could determine” doesn’t mean much.

        (hint: go to google, go to advanced search, select date prior to 1/1/2015, and see what you get… exactly one hit on a Spanish language forum)

      • Source? The source I used says that he said it in 1973. Just because supposedly no one has mentioned it before doesn’t mean he never said it.

      • Are you high?

        If Castro said THAT in 1973, the first documented appearance of that quote would not be late 2014.

    • In 1973, just returned from a visit to Vietnam, Commander Fidel Castro was undergoing one of several rounds of international media to give during his tenure. The Cold War was cold, and journalist Brian Davis in an English agency asked:

      -¿ When you think it will restore relations between Cuba and the United States, two countries as far away despite the geographical proximity think?

      Fidel Castro stared at him and said to all who were in the room:

      – United States come to talk to us when we have a black president in the world and has a Latin American pope .

      Some journalists hid behind a wry grin and others, among whom was Davis, made gestures moderate unbelievers. The conference continued as if the question had been stupid Davis. More interested in Vietnam.

      Eduardo de la Torre was a student at the time, and in the restaurant Sofia located on Avenue 23, in the Vedado neighborhood of Havana, recalled that episode as if giving a lecture of eternity.

      It was surprisingly cold throughout the island. The low temperatures coming from the heavy snowfall that suffered northern neighbors. Eduardo could not believe I were walking without team mate as we characterize in several places on the planet.

      – Look you boy, no one believed the Commander; but how not to believe the commander who raised more often than Jesus Christ.

      How do you say that Eduardo? , I reproached him, flaunting my supposed prudishness “Catholic”.

      Yes, yes, with all respect for Jesus, because hey boy, how often they killed Fidel? Count in the international press many times killed and realize how many times you raised.


  1. Jason Unruhe completely misses the point. Castro wasn’t being predicting anything, he was being sarcastic. Get over it! As for lifting the embargo with the US: the rest of the world has been dealing with Cuba as if it were part of a league of nations. He asserts that ‘international capital will undermine the revolution’. Let’s look at the evidence. Only the utterly stupid, neurotic US political culture has excluded Cuba. Has international capital undermined the revolution in the 40 years since everyone else has been dealing with Cuba normally? Jason is in his own cloud chamber. The outcome of the ending of the US embargo will continue to be in the hands of Cuba.

    • 1. Provide evidence that he was being sarcastic.

      2. Yes, International capital has been undermining it to a degree. However this will be qualitative different under U.S. capital domination. This not just my opinion but many others as well.

      3. If the end of the embargo is in their hands why do they have to negotiate?

      There is no need for insults.

      • They don’t have to negotiate. Look up the definition. It is not about one party having to supplicate. Furthermore, it is quite evident that Cuba developed its society in many ways that are admirable, even if not in terms of capitalist advancement (which, by the way, has happened at the expense of most of the Southern hemisphere). The imperialistic oppression of the world has done untold harm to many people in the process of creating the comforts of life in the United States. Cuba has done no harm in this sense and has provided medical and educational aid to much of South America and parts of Africa taking nothing in return. Cuba has an advanced socialist spirit and to think they will opt to live under U.S. capital domination is absurd.

      • Yes they did negotiate, they basically allowed terrorists to walk free in Cuba. If by advanced socialist spirit you mean private property, then yea sure.

  2. To begin with the quote does not mention the embargo. Second, these are the actual words (in Spanish) that he said. Third, even though he said them it is not the case that it would be psychic. It’s not that hard to have considered the line of history that was likely to occur given the growth of bothe the latin and black populations and the emerging influences of these races given at least some curtailment of white social power. There is also no logic to saying lifting of the embargo puts the Bolivian revolution in jeopardy — that just shows the stupidity of thinking the South needs the North. The author suffers from a neoliberal brainwash.

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