By Bill Appelhans
Some time back the Washington Post featured an online forum where readers could expound on subjects the paper's administrator chose. Discussions could go on for days with thousands of comments.
One day I came across one commenter who talked about a news story he read about Fidel Castro's chateau in France.
I responded with the following. I saved it, so it is word for word.
"glorenzsonn, (the commentators pen name-BA)
If I may I would like to interject something I recently came across quite a while ago.
It had to do with a hacienda in Spain that was purportedly bought by the Soviet Union to be given to Fidel Castro. But there was a problem. Because of the well known incompetence of the Soviet bureaucrats the paperwork was sent by mistake to Manuel Noriega of Panama who had just had a falling out with the US CIA and the Soviet KGB was trying to woo.
At some point Fidel Castro found out and demanded that Noriega turn over the property post haste. Noriega refused and Castro squealed to the CIA that the KGB was establishing a foothold in Panama.
End of Noriega.
Of course the Soviets weren't too pleased about losing a potential "asset" and were kind of peeved at Castro, but since Noriega was gone they cut their losses and made peace with Fidel by purchasing the chateau in France for him as a gift. But there was a problem. Before they were able to give him the paperwork the Wall was torn down and all the roads were closed while the rubble was being removed. All westbound traffic was halted. In the intervening period the Soviet Union collapsed and to this day nobody knows who took the paperwork and where the chateau was located.
Fidel, knowing that somewhere in France there is a guy living in his chateau, has been spending all the people's money hiring private detectives and lawyers in his search. This explains why the US has never been able to show pictures of Castro sunbathing in the nude on the veranda of the chateau. Something they would surely love to do to discredit him. Apparently even they have no clue to who lives there or where it is.
I would imagine Castro is getting a little desperate as he gets closer to "retirement". Wouldn't surprise me if the CIA is looking high and low for it as an inducement for Castro to leave Cuba now that he is getting on in years. Lord knows nothing else they have tried over the last 40+ years has worked!
An interesting side note to this ongoing saga is what happened to the hacienda in Spain. When Panama City was practically destroyed by the US "surgical" military operation to arrest Noriega, the paperwork for the property was taken back to the US and made a gift of to Henry Kissinger for his years of services rendered. But there was a problem. It seems there is this prosecutor in Spain who doesn't seem to be able to grasp the concept of Western-style democracy, i.e. - to get along, go along.
He has been threatening to indict Kissinger for crimes against humanity as a result of his complicity in the overthrow of the legally elected government of Salvador Allende of Chile in 1972.
Poor Henry has never even seen the place!
Finally, as I stated at the beginning, this story is one that I recently came across quite a while ago and have been trying to verify ALL OF IT. When I do I'll let you all know. In the meantime you are all free to accept all or part of it to use in any way you choose.
"APSPA1 (my pen name - BA)
Good heavens, what an incredible story. Mine was nowhere near that detailed. I haven't had time to go back, but I promise to make an effort this weekend. What I remember is that supposedly, Castro bought a villa (or whatever you wish to call it) in southern France, which at that time was being "decorated" (which I assume means prepared for his retirement) by a lady (her name was given, hope I can find it). The story was that Castro had married this lady."
This guy believed the gibberish. However I never did see another word about the subject on the forum. Go figure.