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National Press Club Luncheon Speakers

Fidel Castro, April 20, 1959

Image: Fidel Castro
Fidel Castro, April 20, 1959. National Press Club Archives

On April 15, 1959, Fidel Castro (b. 1926), the charismatic leader of Cuba’s new revolutionary government, was warmly greeted at Washington National Airport as he embarked on a goodwill tour to speak before groups of editors, journalists, and university audiences, face Congressional committees and a Meet the Press panel, tour the nation’s capital’s monuments, and confer with a few Eisenhower administration officials, including Vice President Richard Nixon. The unofficial visit, occurring just three months after the overthrow of the brutal and corrupt regime of Fulgencio Batista, came at a time when most ordinary North Americans had yet to form fixed opinions about Castro or the revolution.... More [PDF; 55 KB]

Timings (hh:mm:ss)

Introductions: 00:00-07:48
Speech: 07:49-27:03
Q & A: 27:10-01:02:04

Topics of the Talk

  • Cuban Army: 13:05-14:14
  • Cuban Democracy: 14:14-15:33
  • Cuban Friendship/Relationship with U.S.: 17:44-19:39; 25:23-27:03
  • Power of the U.S. Press (19:39-20:02) Purpose of Visit: 23:15-24:06
  • U.S. Economic Assistance to Other Countries: 29:45-32:58
  • Dictatorship, Public Opinion, and Free Press: 33:00-35:05
  • Free Elections and Democracy in Cuba: 35:05-46:25
  • Nikita Khrushchev as a Dictator: 46:26-47:07
  • Aid from the Soviet Union: 47:10-47:52
  • Double Jeopardy in Cuban Trials: 47:55-52:43
  • Agrarian Reform and U.S. Business Interests in Cuban Sugar Companies: 55:04-59:55
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  March 11, 2022
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