The Monster Next Door
By Servando Gonzalez
Copyright © 2000. All rights reserved.
The life of Fidel Castro has always been bound up with prophesies,
some of them strangely accurate. Probably the most known is the one made by
Father Antonio Llorente, Castro's teacher and spiritual adviser at the Colegio
de Belén. "Fidel Castro is a man of destiny," prophesied Llorente. "Behind him
is the hand of God. He has a mission to fulfill and he will fulfill it against
all obstacles." In this particular case, however, I have the feeling that
Father Llorente was slightly confused about whose hand was behind Fidel
The May 3, 1999, issue of TIME magazine included an
extensive special report on the Colorado school massacre. The title of the
report was "The Monsters Next Door." Motivated by the increase of violence in
American public schools, the National School Safety Center, a nonprofit
organization funded by the Department of Education and Justice, created a list
of warning signs that could indicate the potential for violence by young people.
The questions must be answered yes or no. Using the NSSC data as a guide, MSNBC
created an on-line interactive quiz available on the Internet. Based on
available, known facts about Castro's early life, I have retroactively applied
the on-line quiz to Fidel Castro, using information about him of the time when
he was a student at the little grade school in Birán, at Catholic schools in
Santiago de Cuba and at the Jesuit Belén High School in Havana. I also added
information of his later life as a Law student at the University of Havana.
Below are the questions of the Warning Signs quiz and the answers I have
provided to it. The results of the hypothetical quiz are highly revealing:
1. The student has a history of tantrums and uncontrollable angry
Yes. Fidel's tantrums began when he was a small child at
the Birán estate, and have continued throughout most of his adult
2. He has threatened or attempted suicide.
There is no evidence that Castro has ever threatened or attempted suicide.
However, his fixation with death, and his eminently necrophilic discourse, may
be interpreted as veiled suicide threats.
3. He characteristically
resorts to name calling, cursing or abusive language.
use of abusive language, cursing and name calling during his infancy and most
of his adult life has been extensively documented.
4. The student
habitually makes violent threats when angry.
Yes. Some of his
classmates at Belén have reported about his violent threats to other
classmates. This behavior continued when he was a student at the University
of Havana. Though he became more cautious after he grabbed power in 1959, his
threats against foreign leaders, President Kennedy among them, have been
5. The student has previously brought a weapon to school.
Yes. He began bringing guns to school as soon as he began attending
the Belén High School. He continued doing so as a student at the University
6. The student has a background of serious disciplinary
problems at school and in the community.
Yes. Fidel had serious
disciplinary problems at the first grade school he attended at Birán. He
shamelessly told his biographer Carlos Franqui how he verbally, and sometimes
physically harassed his teacher, and how he sneaked into the school during
a weekend and vandalized it. His disciplinary problems continued when he
was attending Catholic schools in Santiago de Cuba. According to his own
words, while attending the Colegio Dolores, he physically attacked one of his
teachers, a Lasallian brother.
7. The student has a background of
drug, alcohol or other substance abuse.
No. None of this has been
8. He is on the fringe of his peer group with few or no
Yes. At the schools he attended in Birán and Santiago
he was a solitary student. Later, when he began attending Belén, he created a
small gang to harass other students, though he had few close
9. The students is preoccupied with weapons, explosives or
other incendiary devices.
Yes. It has been documented that, while
he was a ypung boy a Birán, Fidel threatened his father with burning the
house. It was at Birán where his life-long preoccupation with guns and
explosive devices began.
10. He has previously been truant, suspended,
or expelled from school.
Yes. Fidel was a truant while attending
school at Birán, and though he was never expelled, he was suspended several
times because of his unruly behavior.
11. He displays cruelty to
Yes. Fidel's cruelty to animals began at an early age. He
used to shoot at his mother's chickens at the Birán estate. As an adolescent,
there are numerous anecdotes about his cruelty to animals.
student has little or no supervision and support from parents or a caring
Yes. He grew up mostly by himself, with little supervision or
support from his parents. The animosity between him and his father has been
amply documented. At an early age he was sent to live with some family friends
in Santiago. Castro himself has told some of his biographers how he suffered
because of the mistreatment he received from these people.
13. He has witnessed or been a victim of abuse or neglect in the home.
Though it has not been documented that he was the victim of abuse, it is known
that he was neglected by his parents.
14. The student has been bullied and/or bullies or intimidated peer or younger children.
Yes. He was
the school bully at the schools he attended in Birán, Santiago and Havana. As
soon as he began attending Belén, he created a gang to harass other students.
At the University of Havana he joined some gangs and harassed and physically
attacked other students and some university staff and professors as
15. He tends to blame others for difficulties or problems he
Yes. He habitually blames others for his
difficulties and problems, and never recognizes his own mistakes. This
behavior has continued during his adult life.
16. The student consistently prefers TV shows, movies or music expressing violent themes and
Yes. Castro was born before TV, and before Hollywood created
such jewels as Oliver Stone's Natural Born Killers. He was also born
way before children were exposed to the violence of video games. It seems,
however, that he created in his mind his own version of violent video games.
According to his own recollection, he used to invent military battles and,
using little scraps and tiny balls of paper arranged on a playing board,
create military battles, in which there were losses and casualties. "I played
this game of wars for hours at a time," he said. 
17. He prefers reading materials dealing with violent themes, rituals and
No. There is no evidence of any of this.
18. He reflects anger, frustration and the dark side of life in school essays or
Unknown. Though there is no reference to any of
the above, his predilection for themes related with destruction, violence and
death is evidenced in most of his early writings and throughout his
19. The student is involved with a gang or an antisocial
group on the fringe of peer acceptance.
Yes. It has been extensively
documented that, as soon as he joined Belén, he formed his own gang and began
harassing other students. The Jesuit padres were terrorized. They had
never seen a student like Fidel Castro. He continued his involvement with
gangs when he became a Law student at the University of Havana.
20. He is often depressed and/or has significant mood swings.
mood swings and depression bouts have been documented.17
Sixteen answers out of twenty are a rotund yes. The answers to two of them
are unknown, though there is some indication that they may also be positive.
Only two questions are definitely answered in the negative. Moreover, like
the monsters who carried out the Colorado school massacre, young Fidel Castro
was an avid reader of Nazi literature.
According to the creators of the
quiz, a youngster with the characteristics mentioned above is,
a "ticking time bomb." The child and his immediate family are at risk. They
should get some help immediately. They must seek support from law enforcement,
social and health services, parenting classes and the family court or other
Though nobody is to blame for the creation of the evil monster but the
monster himself, it is evident that the Jesuit padres at the Colegio de
Belén committed a gross dereliction of their religious duty when, rather than
detecting the evil creature they had at their school, encouraged and nurtured
Fidel's dark side.
Moreover, it seems that the Jesuit's efforts in
nurturing the monster were not by mistake, but by design. Argentinean journalist
Alfredo Muñoz Unsaín, for many years Havana's correspondent for France Press,
tells a quite revealing story. Father Padre Arrupe visited Cuba in the early
1980s, and Muñoz Unsaín had the opportunity of talking to him on several
occasions. In one of them, recalls the reporter, the Black Pope gave him the
classic Jesuit spiel, ending by telling that he was very pleased with the work
of the Jesuits in Latin America, particularly of the many important disciples
they have developed who later reached prominent positions in all walks of life.
"Well, I guess you are not proud of all of them," retorted Unsaín, and added,
"Don't forget that Fidel Castro was one of your disciples." To what Arrupe
answered, in the classic Jesuit way, by using a question to answer another one,
"And what makes you think we are not proud of Fidel Castro?"
Even more disturbing is the fact that Fidel Castro, the monster next door, has been for
more than forty years the darling of the American liberals and the Left. This
may give some indication about their true roles in the creation of the monsters
next door who are killing children in our schools. A close analysis of Bill and
Hillary Clinton's educational dreams for the future of America through Goals
2000 is in order.
Most studies about Castro and other similar monsters
seem based on the idea that some conditions found in the infancy are the real
cause of an individual's behavior and, therefore, this makes them less
responsible for his actions. In the case of Fidel Castro, this may be explained
because of the hatred he felt for his alcoholic abusive father; the fact that he
was a bastard son; the rage against other kids who called him a "Jew"; the
humiliation he felt when President Roosevelt denied him the money he asked for;
the whack to his head when he crashed his bicycle at Belén; his frustration when
he failed to become a professional baseball player in the U.S.; the actions of
the American government vis-a-vis his revolution, etcetera, etcetera. You may
add things to this list almost ad infinitum.
But none of these authors
who have tried to find a rational explanation for the behavior of Fidel Castro
dare to admit the existence of pure, conscious evil, an idea developed in detail
by philosopher Berel Lang and other scholars, and studied in detail in Ron
Rosenbaum's recent book on Adolf Hitler.
In his long self-defense
speech at the trial for the assault on the Moncada barracks, Fidel Castro called
President Batista "Monstrum horrendum." Actually, there is no other term
that better describes Fidel Castro. His political trajectory proves once more
that power that is not balanced with compassion and humility easily turns into
Servando González is a Cuban-born American writer living in California.
His book, The Secret Fidel Castro: Deconstructing the Symbol,
will be published this year.
1. Father Llorente's prophesy on Castro in Jules Dubois, Fidel
Castro (New York: Bobbs-Merrill, 1959), p. 145.
2. MSNBC quiz
Fidel's tantrums in Teresa Casuso, Cuba and Castro (New York: Random
House, 1961), pp. 168-169.
4. One day a teacher at Belén expelled him
from class for scuffing with another classmates. Fidel yelled in anger
threatening the teacher: "I'm going to bring my gun." Nobody believed him, but
a few minutes later he came back to the classroom brandishing a .45 cal.
pistol. See José D. Cabús, Castro ante la historia (Mexico: Editores
Mexicanos Unidos, 1963), p. 24.
5. Another day he started a fist fight
with Ramón Mestre, a classmate. But Mestre won, and the furious Fidel came
back with this .45 cal. pistol. Only the intervention of father Larracea, who
persuaded Fidel to give the pistol to him, saved Mestre. But now comes the
most incredible thing. When father Larracea persuade him of the impropriety of
his behavior, Fidel, in an act of repentance, went to his room again and came
back with another .45 cal. pistol he gave to the amazed father Larracea. See
José D. Cabús, Castro ante la historia (Mexico: Editores Mexicanos
Unidos, 1963), p. 24.
6. See José D. Cabús, Castro ante la
historia (Mexico: Editores Mexicanos Unidos, 1963), p. 25.
himself told his biographer Carlos Franqui, ". . . I remember that whenever I
disagree with something the teacher said to me, or whenever I god mad, I would
swear at her and immediately leave school, running as fast as I can. There was
a kind of standing war between us and the teacher. Whenever we would curse at
the teacher, with dirty words we had picked up from the workers, we would get
out of her way as fast as our feet would carry us." Diary of the Cuban
Revolution (New York: Viking, 1980), p. 2.
8. "On Fridays a student was
selected to lock the school's door. One day I was in charge and I left the
door unlocked. Next day I came back with a group of classmates andentered the
school. Once inside we destroyed desks, stole things and did lots of nasty
things. It was never known who did it." See Carlos Franqui, Vida, aventuras
y desastres de un hombre llamado Castro (Barcelona: Planeta, 1988), p.
9. One day a Christian brother at the Lassalle school in Santiago
dared to discipline Fidel while he was on line for lunch. According to
Castro's own recollection, ". . . I turned on him, right then and there, threw
a piece of bread at his head and started to hit him with my fists and bite
him. I don't think I hurt the priest much, but the daring outburst came a
historic event in school." See Carlos Franqui, Diary of the Cuban
Revolution (New York: Viking, 1980), p. 4.
10. As Castro told his
biographer Franqui, in order to convince her mother to send him back to a
school in Santiago, "I appealed to her and told her I wanted to stay in school
and that if I wasn't sent back, I'd set fire to the house." See Carlos
Franqui, Diary of the Cuban Revolution (New York: Viking, 1980), p. 5.
Apparently Fidel's mother had learnt not to take his son's threats lightly,
because soon after he was sent back to school.
11. The school used to
issue three different types of report: a white one for students with good
behavior, a red one for students wit bad behavior, and a green one for
students with very bad behavior. According to Castro himself, his behavior was
so bad that the school stopped sending any type of report to his family. When
the school finally contacted his father, he used to tell his friends that he
had been told at the school that his son was the greatest ruffian they have
known. See Carlos Franqui, Vida, aventuras y desastres de un hombre llamado
Castro (Barcelona: Planeta, 1988), p. 29.
12. Fidel shooting at
chickens in in Luis Conte Agüero, Fidel Castro: Psiquiatría y política
(Mexico, D.F.: Editorial Jus, 1968), p. 25. Anecdotes of Castro's cruelty to
animals in Georgie Anne Geyer, Guerrilla Prince (Boston: Little, Brown
and Company, 1991), p. 72; also in Carlos Franqui, Diary of the Cuban
Revolution (New York: Viking, 1980), p. 7.
13. Fidel not
recognizing his mistakes in in Luis Conte Agüero, Fidel Castro: Psiquiatría
y política (Mexico, D.F.: Editorial Jus, 1968), p. 1o7
playing games of war in Carlos Franqui, Diary of the Cuban Revolution
(New York: Viking, 1980), p. 7.
15. Fidel organizing gang at Belén
in José D. Cabús, Castro ante la historia (Mexico: Editores Mexicanos
Unidos, 1963), p. 25.
16. There were two major gangs (or "action
groups") at the University of Havana at the time: the MSR (Movimiento
Socialista Revolucionario), and the UIR (Unión Insurreccional Revolucionaria).
As soon as Castro began attending the University he joined the UIR. See
Herbert Matthews, Revolution in Cuba (New York: Charles Scribner's
Sons, 1975), p. 45.
17. Fidel's bouts of depression and melancholy in
Luis Conte Agüero, Fidel Castro:Psiquiatría y política (Mexico, D.F.:
Editorial Jus, 1968), pp. 14, 68.
18. An indication of Castro's sick
mind is the fact that he has told his biographers about his reprehensible
childhood escapades, and he seems to be proud of them.
19. Berel Lang,
Act and Idea in the Nazi Genocide (Chicago: University of Chicago
Press, 1990), Ron Rosenbaum, Explaining Hitler: The Search for the Origins
of His Evil (New York: Random House, 1998).