By James Bruno in DIPLO DENIZEN
Whether as a diplomat or as a writer, I don’t feel fully successful in my work unless denounced by oppressive regimes and their propaganda organs. Well, it’s happened again. Yesterday, “El Heraldo Cubano,” denounced me as a “yankee ex-intelligence officer” who helped “carry out subversive actions against the Cuban government.” The Miami Herald describes El Heraldo Cubano as “an official Cuban blog.” A Cuban intellectual and former political prisoner now residing in the United States says that the blog is an arm of Cuban intelligence.
El Heraldo Cubano’s screed is in reaction to my latest political thriller, HAVANA QUEEN, which apparently has come to the attention of both Cuban intellectuals and their government. Emails concerning my book from the former have been forwarded to me. I have no indications yet that copies, digital or print, of HAVANA QUEEN are circulating inside Cuba. My novel poses a scenario for the collapse of the Castro regime. I draw on my service in Cuba as well as copious research.
Anyway, here are highlights of the denunciation, translated into English:
“With all that information, Bruno decided to fictionalize his experiences in a kind of thiller, under the suggestive title of Havana Queen, where he distorts the internal situation and invents others, with views that were approved by the Department of State in their prior security review done as a security measure to prevent information leaks that reveal the espionage work of the American federal intelligence agencies and, in particular, the Defense Intelligence Agency.
“Unintentionally, James Bruno confirmed in Havana Queen that which Cuba has denounced repeatedly, that the United States uses its diplomatic mission in Havana as a headquarters for human and technological spying, while it selects, trains and finances counterrevolutionary elements to carry out subversive acts against the Cuban government.
“If someday this outdated policy is replaced by one that recognizes the right of Cubans to choose the political and social system they want to, allowing Americans to freely visit the island, and in the United States they detect Bruno’s absence, remember his prophecy: “If I go missing, look for me… in Cuba.”
Well, what can I say? First, thanks to El Heraldo Cubano for adding to my authorial notoriety. We writers crave attention and, the more controversial, the better. History has shown that official condemnations have done wonders for authors’ book sales. Boris Pasternak comes to mind. While by no means in his league, I can use all the denunciations I can get. Tell you what, Heraldo Cubano: should you need more fodder for your anti-Bruno propagandizing, just shoot me an email. I’ll be glad to send you more dirt on myself.
But… I can’t consider myself to be a true thriller writer success and victim of oppression unless I hit the Big Leagues. I really, really would love to be denounced by the biggest kahouna in the vast Castro propaganda machine: the official organ of the Cuban communist party, Granma! Hey, Heraldo Cubano — how about putting in a bad word for me??