Fidel Castro's former bodyguard is coming out with a new book, so naturally he needs a big story to sell it. Other than, you know, intimate access to one of the 20th century's most notorious dictators. Castro threw him in prison in 1994 after he tried to retire, but he escaped to Texas in 2008. The bodyguard, Juan Reinaldo Sanchez, says that Scarface basically really did happen. The tale does sound mighty familiar:
In 1980, after weeks of negotiation, 100,000 Cubans were permitted to seek exile in the United States. Fidel Castro allowed them to go to the port of the town of Mariel and embark for Florida.
It has been said that the Comandante took advantage of the situation by emptying the prisons. It is completely true: I saw him selecting them personally. I was present when they brought him lists of prisoners with the name, the reason for the sentence, and the date of release.
Fidel read them and with a stroke of a pen designated which ones could go and which ones could stay — ‘yes’ was for murderers and dangerous criminals, ‘no’ was for those who attacked the revolution. In total, more than 2,000 criminals found themselves free…in the streets of Miami.
OK, that's not the entire plot of the movie, but it's not implausible. The book, The Double Life of Fidel Castro: My 17 Years as Personal Bodyguard to El Lider Maximo, is out now.