In the late 1950s, business matters took me on frequent visits to Cuba thus saw Cuba before Fidel, during the time of the Dictator Batista, during the rebellion against him, and at the time of the triumphant arrival, after Batista fled the island, of Fidel, in Havana.
Let it be said that, despite being a rather vocal critic of Fidel, I have always been sympathetic to him. I have always felt that he was sincere in trying to resolve the problems of Cuba, which were real and palpable, even as I disagreed with how he went about it. I felt that he should have used, as a model, another island State, authoritarian Singapore, rather than swallow the completely alien, and unproven doctrine of Marxism-Leninism.
When Fidel came down from the Sierra Maestra he had the complete and utter devotion of the Cuban people and he could have led them to an indigenous solution to the problem of reforming Cuba, while becoming a non-aligned nation and out of the Cold War. Instead altar boy Fidel, though an intellectual, exchanged the Bible for another off-the-shelf catechism, instead of writing his own.