Fidel Tries To Wiggle Out of One

According to CNN, Fidel Castro is claiming that I misunderstood his statement, "The Cuban model doesn't even work for us anymore":

In a speech at the University of Havana that was then broadcast on Cuban TV, Castro said he meant "exactly the opposite" of what was understood by Jeffrey Goldberg, who was interviewing him for The Atlantic...

On Friday, Castro said he was correctly quoted, but that, "in reality, 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," he said. "How could such a system work for a socialist country like Cuba?"

Castro called Goldberg "a great journalist." "He does not invent phrases, he transfers them and interprets them," he said. "I await with interest his extensive article."

First, thank you very much, Fidel, for the kind words. Second, I'm sorry to say it, but I think the expression, "The Cuban model doesn't even work for us anymore" means, "The Cuban model doesn't even work for us anymore."

Fidel says that his answer meant "exactly the opposite" of what Julia Sweig and I heard him say. Just as a language experiment, here is what the opposite of his statement would sound like: "The Cuban model works so well for us that we want to export it." But he didn't say this. What he said was -- well, you've read what he said. I'm not sure how this statement --accurately quoted, according to Fidel -- could mean anything other than what it means.


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Jeffrey Goldberg is a national correspondent for The Atlantic and a recipient of the National Magazine Award for Reporting. He is the author of Prisoners: A Story of Friendship and Terror. More

Before joining The Atlantic in 2007, Goldberg was a Middle East correspondent, and the Washington correspondent, for The New Yorker. He was previouslly a correspondent for The New York Times Magazine and New York magazine. He has also written for the Jewish Daily Forward and was a columnist for The Jerusalem Post.

Goldberg's book Prisoners was hailed as one of the best books of 2006 by the Los Angeles Times, The New York Times, The Washington Post, Slate, The Progressive, Washingtonian magazine, and Playboy. He received the 2003 National Magazine Award for Reporting for his coverage of Islamic terrorism and the 2005 Anti-Defamation League Daniel Pearl Prize. He is also the winner of the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists prize for best international investigative journalist; the Overseas Press Club award for best human-rights reporting; and the Abraham Cahan Prize in Journalism.

In 2001, Goldberg was appointed the Syrkin Fellow in Letters of the Jerusalem Foundation, and in 2002 he became a public-policy scholar at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars in Washington, D.C.

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