David Grann has a must-read piece on William Alexander Morgan, a Midwesterner who helped Fidel Castro rise to power in Cuba.
“In 1957, when Castro was still widely seen as fighting for democracy, Morgan had traveled from Florida to Cuba and headed into the jungle, joining a guerrilla force. In the words of one observer, Morgan was ‘like Holden Caulfield with a machine gun.’ He was the only American in the rebel army and the sole foreigner, other than Guevara, an Argentine, to rise to the army’s highest rank, comandante.”
“After the revolution, Morgan’s role in Cuba aroused even greater fascination, as the island became enmeshed in the larger battle of the Cold War. An American who knew Morgan said that he had served as Castro’s ‘chief cloak-and-dagger man,’ and Time called him Castro’s ‘crafty, U.S.-born double agent.'”
Later, Morgan “was charged with conspiring to overthrow Castro. The Cuban government claimed that Morgan had actually been working for U.S. intelligence — that he was, in effect, a triple agent. Morgan denied the allegations, but even some of his friends wondered who he really was, and why he had come to Cuba.”Save to Favorites