I am who I am and you are Fidel Castro
May 13, 2018 8:10 PM   Subscribe

In top-secret reports from the era, those officials speculated about “a physical relationship between” Howard and Castro and feared she would use her position at ABC News to break the story of Washington’s secret talks with the Cuban comandante. But both she and Castro took the secret of their intimate diplomacy to their graves. Only now, thanks to declassified official documents and, most important, Howard’s own unpublished diaries and letters, can the story finally be told of how one tenacious journalist earned the trust of the legendary leader of the Cuban revolution, and cajoled two U.S presidents into considering peaceful coexistence with him.
The story of reporter Lisa Howard, her relationship with Fidel Castro, Cold War politics and how much of a bawse she was. from Politico.
posted by Grandysaur (17 comments total) 22 users marked this as a favorite
TBH, this was kinda hot.
posted by k8t at 8:13 PM on May 13, 2018 [5 favorites]

Like also very interesting and informative and badass and empowering.
But I’d totally boink young Fidel Castro if I were in her shoes.
posted by Grandysaur at 8:16 PM on May 13, 2018 [2 favorites]

I believe they boinked.
posted by k8t at 8:22 PM on May 13, 2018

This forum says they had sex. No idea of the legitimacy.

And the article... Tonight, he was still conflicted. “He said he wanted me very much but the conditions had to be right and we had to be away somewhere where we could forget everything,” Howard wrote. Nevertheless, “we did get to bed and he made love to me quite expertly and it was, of course, thrilling and ecstatic—as much as anything I have ever experienced.”
posted by k8t at 8:24 PM on May 13, 2018

That forum also says Castro didn't take his boots off and that JFK liked this detail.
posted by k8t at 8:30 PM on May 13, 2018 [1 favorite]

wow, totally interested
posted by mwhybark at 10:48 PM on May 13, 2018

On July 4, 1965, while spending the holiday weekend in the Hamptons, Howard altered a prescription for 10 barbiturates and obtained a bottle of 100 tablets at a local pharmacy; she consumed the pills in the parking lot and died of the overdose. She was 39 years old.

uh, i uh
posted by mwhybark at 11:17 PM on May 13, 2018 [5 favorites]

Holy shit. Not the ending I was expecting or hoping for. She's my age she dies.
posted by sio42 at 11:49 PM on May 13, 2018

Directed by Alfred Hitchcock
posted by pracowity at 2:05 AM on May 14, 2018

But I’d totally boink young Fidel Castro if I were in her shoes.

That... is a... very specific... fetish.
posted by GenjiandProust at 3:56 AM on May 14, 2018 [13 favorites]

Interview and more are viewable if you search YouTube for 'lisa howard castro'. Note - The Midlantic accent is strong with this one.

This is even more amazing considering this period at ABC was pre-Peter Jennings'/Frank Reynolds' (separate) first stints and post-John Daly, meaning the ABC News was a leaderless JV-level op and the Evening Report anchor was 'Revolve N. Door'.

Supposedly ABC fired Howard because she was too vocally opposed to 'carpetbagger' RFK running for NY Senate. Looks like Jessica Savitch wasn't the first female network anchor to implode after all.
posted by zaixfeep at 4:23 AM on May 14, 2018

(fawlty) Whatever you do, don't mention the cigar! (/fawlty)
posted by zaixfeep at 4:26 AM on May 14, 2018

The glimpse of a better path that might have been, shining through the cracks of this story is really something incredible.
posted by vibratory manner of working at 9:26 AM on May 14, 2018 [4 favorites]

I would definitely watch this movie.
posted by Grandysaur at 9:28 AM on May 14, 2018 [4 favorites]

That "she consumed the pills in the parking lot and died of the overdose" sounds so simple and peaceful compared to what they said in news stories of the time. She had been depressed and hospitalized for weeks after a miscarriage, just got out of the hospital on Friday, took a regular dose of barbiturates Saturday (July 4) to calm her, wandered into town Sunday morning with an altered prescription and a plan to die, and got 100 more pills, all of which she must have immediately swallowed by the fistful, because they couldn't find any of them in the parking lot. Someone called the cops over a dazed woman. Then either the cop alone, or the cop escorting two of her friends, depending on the paper you read, drove her to the hospital. The cop said she kept mumbling something about a miscarriage. They gave her oxygen and a tracheotomy at the hospital, but she died soon after arrival. All of which is awful. Poor thing.
posted by pracowity at 1:00 PM on May 14, 2018 [5 favorites]

I watched a Barbara Walters interview with Castro one time and am CONVINCED they had an affair of some sort. They had crackling chemistry; it was bizarre.
posted by mynameisluka at 1:36 PM on May 14, 2018 [2 favorites]

Castro probably had crackling chemistry with lots of people. He wouldn't have been able to do what he did if he didn't have charisma by the bucketload. Charisma doesn't make you a good person though, it just makes people think you are. People with that much charisma are incredibly dangerous.
posted by Anticipation Of A New Lover's Arrival, The at 3:57 AM on May 15, 2018 [2 favorites]

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