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In the world of television news, nothing is more tantalizing than the big “get”—an interview with a source that everyone else wants but only you have. In 1977, few “gets” were as elusive or desirable as Fidel Castro. Cuba’s enigmatic communist dictator was the archenemy of the United States—in fact, the CIA had been out to “get” Castro as well, secretly targeting him in hundreds of assassination plots that contemplated everything from an exploding cigar to a fungus-tainted scuba-diving suit. Demonized by the right and romanticized by the left, the cigar-chomping guerrilla was based only ninety miles off our shores.
And he hadn’t given a TV journalist an interview in sixteen years.
I can’t say I had any aspirations ...