University of West Florida
August 25, 2012
Last year marked the 40th anniversary of Cuba’s 'Padilla Case,' the arrest, trial, and public confession of the poet Heberto Padilla. The case had international repercussions, breaking up the love affair between 'the Cuban Revolution,' i.e., the Castro regime, and literary figures of international renown who, up to that point, had lent it valuable intellectual and moral support. Drawing on Richard Overy’s 'The Dictators: Hitler’s Germany, Stalin’s Russia,' the analysis highlights parallels between the efforts of these giants of tyranny to control what was written, published, and read in their countries with those exerted by their Caribbean counterpart. I conclude with some observations regarding the operational similarities across totalitarian regimes, however much they differ in stated goals, historical background, and cultural milieu.