Fidel Castro Thinks Jeffrey Goldberg is a Dick, Misunderstood by Blogger (Update!)

The Altantic's resident warmonger and Washington DC's go-to tattletale gossip for old-school DC media -- Jeffrey Goldberg -- has lost a fan in Cuban dictator and ex-president Fidel Castro. UPDATE: Goldberg responds!

Goldberg published a pretty compelling two-part report after a visit to Cuba and a sitdown with the infamous Cuban leader. The first contained Fidel's views on contemporary geopolitics and condemnation of Iranian dictator Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's views on the world's Jewish population. To his credit, pretty great stuff. It was the second part that attracted the most attention, though, when Goldberg headlined the second entry "Fidel: 'Cuban Model Doesn't Even Work For Us Anymore'." The Associated Press, like many others, reported the following over their wire:

Jeffrey Goldberg, a national correspondent for The Atlantic magazine, asked if Cuba's economic system was still worth exporting to other countries, and Castro replied: "The Cuban model doesn't even work for us anymore" Goldberg wrote Wednesday in a post on his Atlantic blog. He said Castro made the comment casually over lunch following a long talk about the Middle East, and did not elaborate. The Cuban government had no immediate comment on Goldberg's account.

Fidel Castro Thinks Jeffrey Goldberg is a Dick, Misunderstood by Blogger (Update!)

Well, it now looks like Goldberg's account of that conversation is being disputed by Castro himself. Via the Associated Press again:

Appearing at the University of Havana on Friday, the 84-year-old ex-president says he meant "exactly the opposite" of the quote contained in a blog by Atlantic magazine reporter Jeffrey Goldberg.

And what's Goldberg had to say on the matter?

Well, as of 2:25 PM, this happened to his post on the issue:

Fidel Castro Thinks Jeffrey Goldberg is a Dick, Misunderstood by Blogger (Update!)

But if Goldberg thinks "disappearing" it is going to change the issue, he's sorely mistaken. For one thing, the entire post, replete with Goldberg's quote, could be found in Google's Cache, but it's since managed to return to the site. Weird!

An alternative strategy for Goldberg's next Cuban adventure.
An alternative strategy for Goldberg's next Cuban adventure.

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Atlantic tech funnies aside, last night, Goldberg posted a cute video of The Simpsons' take on Castro, which is a strange way of undercutting the seriousness of an endeavor like the one he undertook, but it's his blog, one he can take to at any moment now to repudiate Castro's argument. We emailed Goldberg for quote, and we're waiting to hear back.

UPDATE: Goldberg responded via email:

I quoted him accurately. Julia Sweig from the Council on Foreign Relations was there, and heard him say it as well. I also have it on tape.

Well, time to call Julia then!

UPDATE 2: "We have it recorded, it was in the transcript. What can I say? You can ask Jeffrey to give you the transcript."

[fkamer@villagevoice.com]


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