Revisionist Beatlemania

Posted: Friday, December 29, 2000

The following editorial appeared in Wednesday's Miami Herald:

Cubans who listened to Beatles music in the 1960s and '70s risked serious consequences. Back then, the long-haired rock stars were considered subversive and counter-revolutionary. The many young Cubans who admired and emulated the British band risked harassment, arrest, interrogation, having their long locks shorn, even electro-shock treatment.

This month in a Havana park, Fidel Castro unveiled a lifelike statue of John Lennon, complete with granny glasses, in commemoration of the 20th anniversary of that Beatle's murder. Castro spoke glowingly of the late Mr. Lennon, saying that he, like the musician, was a "dreamer."

When foreign reporters asked Castro how it could have been that there was the time when such admiration of Lennon was persecuted, he responded: "That wasn't my fault." Obviously he was dreaming.

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