Havana: A New International Is Born


  • John Gerassi




History, Marxism


To most American reporters present, what was fascinating about the Organization of Latin American Solidarity (OLAS) conference, which took place in Havana during the first ten days of August, were its various sideshows. Some were disturbing, as when Stokely Carmichael, the main attraction besides Fidel himself, quipped that "America is going to fall and I only hope to live long enough to see it." Some were curious, as when leaders of Latin American Communist Parties huddled in corners of the Havana Libre (ex-Hilton) hotel's spacious, marble-floored corridors ironing out a common strategy like conspirators in an old-time Preminger movie. And some were enchanting as when the huge triple-decked outdoor stage of the plush Tropicana night club suddenly came alive with multicolored waterfalls and luscious mulatto girls as naked as Latin Quarter Chorus cuties. But what was truly dramatic during OLAS went almost unnoticed: the birth of a new International.

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