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Castro’s Reign

Hi. I just got back from a great afternoon with Gary Hart and Doug Brinkley in Denver. They both send their regards and I’ll be excerpting my interviews with them in The Gonzo Way and The Woody Creeker. Isn’t it fun to be in the company of VERY smart people? What? You say you love smart people? Me too. 
Okay, the HST wisdom for today is from a letter Hunter wrote to Paul Semonin in Jan 1964. This is many years before Hunter declared Bob Dylan, Muhammad Ali and Fidel Castro his three life-long heroes: 
Now and then I get the scent of a man with enough balls to try and whip things around to a decent position. Kennedy was one; Betancourt was another; Castro was and may still be; I even go along now and then withKhrushchev. This man Nyerere in Tanganika may be one, but I barely know him. And I’m sure there are others – but that doesn’t really alter my basic feelings about power and government. It’s pretty old to say that “power corrupts,” but I think it does and I don’t think it corrupted Kennedy any more than it has Castro. 
— Hunter S. Thompson, the Proud Highway. 
I picked that quote because it’s an interesting statement from Hunter about Power when he was only 27 years old and just starting to build some power of his own. 
FYI  here is a list of leaders Castro outlived (politically) and gives me a better perspective of his Reign: 
John F. Kennedy Us pres that Hunter truly loved (1961-1963) 
Lyndon Johnson U.S. Pres. (1963-1969) 
Indira Gandhi, prime minister of India (1966 –1977), (1980 – 1984) 
Richard Nixon Hunter’s favorite. Just kidding (1969-1974) 
Anwar Sadat, president of Egypt (1970 – 1981) 
Gerald Ford U.S. Pres. (1974-1977) 
Yitzhak Rabin, Israeli prime minister (1974 to 1977), (1992 – 1995) 
Jimmy Carter Hunter’s pick, president of US(1977-1981) 
Margaret Thatcher, prime minister of the UK (1979 – 1990) 
Daniel Ortega, president of Nicaragua (1979 – 1999) 
Saddam Hussein, president of Iraq (now in chains) (1979 – 2003) 
Ronald Reagan US pres (Brinkley working on his letters now (1981-1989) 
Mikhail Gorbachev, president of the Soviet Union (1985 – 1991) 
George H.W. Bush yes, the father (1989-1993) 
Lech Walesa, president of Poland (yeah! I’m Polish) (1990 – 1995) 
Bill Clinton pres US (1993-2001) 
Nelson Mandela, president of South Africa (1994 – 1999) 

Until next time, your friend, 
Anita Thompson 
back at Owl Farm. yeah.  
(p.s. special thanks to Owl Farm intern Laura Doty who made links for all the above names for me. thanks Laura) 

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