Your email is not valid
Recipient's email is not valid
Submit Close

Your email has been sent.

Click here to send another


Chávez Listens to The Boss

Castro’s philo-Semitism is contagious!

Print Email
Goldberg and Castro, chilling.(Atlantic)

By now, you’ve read contributing editor Jeffrey Goldberg’s dispatches from Cuba, where he was hosted by Fidel Castro (and if you haven’t, my God, what are you waiting for?). While the whole thing is massively entertaining (a dolphin show? Che’s daughter?), the most newsworthy tidbit was El Jefe’s candid admission, “The Cuban model doesn’t even work for us anymore.”

Now, Castro is backtracking. “In reality,” he explained, “my answer meant exactly the opposite of what both American journalists interpreted regarding the Cuban model. My idea, as the whole world knows, is that the capitalist system no longer works for the United States or the world.” So he was misquoted? “He does not invent phrases, he transfers them and interprets them,” Castro said of his interlocutor. So, no, he was not misquoted. Okay then.

(By the way, Tablet Magazine Mideast columnist Lee Smith published an attempted corrective of Goldberg’s dispatch, which is worth considering.)

Meanwhile, perhaps the greatest good to come out of Goldberg’s jaunt—in addition to just the story of it—is that Castro’s endorsement of the Jewish people led Venezuelan leader Hugo Chávez to echo his self-styled mentor: “We respect and love the Jewish people,” he affirmed upon hearing Castro’s quote. Now maybe Chávez will stop cozying up to Iran and tacitly endorsing anti-Semitism at home, hmm?

Fidel Tries To Wiggle Out of One [Atlantic]
Related: When Jeffrey Met Fidel [Weekly Standard]
Earlier: Hugo Chávez’s Uses for Anti-Semitism

Print Email

Daily rate: $2
Monthly rate: $18
Yearly rate: $180

Tablet is committed to bringing you the best, smartest, most enlightening and entertaining reporting and writing on Jewish life, all free of charge. We take pride in our community of readers, and are thrilled that you choose to engage with us in a way that is both thoughtful and thought-provoking. But the Internet, for all of its wonders, poses challenges to civilized and constructive discussion, allowing vocal—and, often, anonymous—minorities to drag it down with invective (and worse). Starting today, then, we are asking people who'd like to post comments on the site to pay a nominal fee—less a paywall than a gesture of your own commitment to the cause of great conversation. All proceeds go to helping us bring you the ambitious journalism that brought you here in the first place.

Readers can still interact with us free of charge via Facebook, Twitter, and our other social media channels, or write to us at Each week, we’ll select the best letters and publish them in a new letters to the editor feature on the Scroll.

We hope this new largely symbolic measure will help us create a more pleasant and cultivated environment for all of our readers, and, as always, we thank you deeply for your support.

I enjoy the items you put in here. Very appropriate information. Consider yourself bookmarked.


Your comment may be no longer than 2,000 characters, approximately 400 words. HTML tags are not permitted, nor are more than two URLs per comment. We reserve the right to delete inappropriate comments.

Thank You!

Thank you for subscribing to the Tablet Magazine Daily Digest.
Please tell us about you.

Chávez Listens to The Boss

Castro’s philo-Semitism is contagious!

More on Tablet:

How To Make Middle Eastern Stuffed Vegetables

By Joan Nathan — Video: Filled with warm rice and unexpected spices, they’re perfect for a cool autumn night—as a side dish or vegetarian entree