Carlos Alberto Montaner

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Carlos Alberto Montaner

Carlos Alberto Montaner Suris (Havana, April 3, 1943) is a Cuban journalist, writer and politician, who also has Spanish and American nationality. He has won several relevant awards and has collaborated with internationally renowned newspapers and has published some 27 books. The last two are the novels Tiempo de bandalas and Otra vez adiós, edited by Alfaguara (Santillana).

Some specialized media have estimated the number of people who read their columns at 6 000 000. Their work has been distinguished by institutions such as the Autonomous Community of Madrid and the Juan de Mariana Institute. 2011, vice president of the Liberal International The government of Cuba, however, considers Montaner a US agent, and has come to relate it to terrorist activities in his youth, accusations that Montaner has denied on several occasions, considering that it is of a defamatory campaign, as he explained in the book El otro paredón, published in 2011 by the publisher Eriginal Books in the United States. In October 2012, Foreign Policy magazine chose him as one of the 50 most influential intellectuals in Latin America.

Carlos_Alberto_Montaner’s Biography

He was born in Havana on April 3, 1943 and grew up in the area known as Old Havana, where he studied at the Vedado Institute in Havana. 1

Son of a teacher and a journalist, at age 14 he met his wife when, “with his parents in a sort of social club in Havana, an explosive device placed by insurgents exploded” and he approached to help “a girl of her age” who cried “inconsolably with her younger brothers”. Two years later, Carlos Alberto and Linda got married.

He supported the Cuban Revolution in 1959 and overthrew Fulgencio Batista, although only for a few months, until “he began to see the executions with reprehensible trials and arbitrary prison sentences.” 1

The authorities detained him in December 1960, at the age of 17, along with three other adolescents and he was sentenced to 20 years in prison in early 1961, for trying “to prevent the communist dictatorship from consolidating” (this according to his own words), for which he participated in resistance organizations. For his part, according to the Cuban government, Montaner belonged to a terrorist cell, which had placed explosives in public places in Havana. A few weeks later he escaped from the juvenile prison and took refuge in the Honduran embassy. In September, protected by diplomats and provided with a safe conduct, he began his long exile, and since then he has not abandoned his political activity and has become one of the main opponents of the Castro regime.

Previously his wife had left Cuba with his little sisters and his mother with the granddaughter, that is, with Gina, Montaner’s daughter. Once in the United States, Montaner studied literature at the University of Miami. After taking a master’s degree in this race, he left for Puerto Rico.

There he taught in a university from 1966 to 1970, year in which he traveled to Madrid to do doctoral studies at the Complutense University. He lived with enthusiasm the transition to democracy, linking since then to Spanish liberal groups.

Multiple newspapers from Latin America, Spain and the United States have been collecting their weekly column for more than 30 years. Poder magazine has qualified him as one of the most read and influential columnists in Latin America. An estimated 6,000,000 weekly readers have access to their articles.

He has been a professor at various universities in Latin America and the United States and has published about 25 books, several of which have been translated into several languages ​​(particularly English, Italian, Portuguese, Russian). Among the most known and reedited are: Journey to the heart of Cuba, How and why communism disappeared, Freedom: the key to prosperity. Two of his most controversial and popular essays are the best-selling Manual of the perfect Latin American idiot and Manufacturers of misery, both written with Plinio Apuleyo Mendoza and Álvaro Vargas Llosa.

Montaner is also a novelist and published his first fiction book the second year of his stay in Spain, in 1972. The novel, entitled Perromundo and which is, in part autobiographical, “consists of the mental and physical history of Ernesto Carrillo , saboteur and terrorist, as his bones are becoming moldy in a criminal. ” Carrillo is sentenced to 30 years in prison for sabotage, conspiracy and murder, all crimes all committed because, as stated in the book , “a furious hatred against oppression and abuse enthroned.” Fifteen years after Perromundo, appears in 1987 his second novel with the title of Plot and that in later editions would be called 1898: The plot. It was necessary to wait almost a quarter of a century, until 2011, for his third book of fiction: The Colonel’s Woman. In 2012 his fourth novel was published, Otra vez farewell.

Although based in Madrid since he arrived in 1970, for years he also had an office in Miami, and, as of 2010, after starting to make comments for CNN in Spanish he spends more time in this city than in the capital Spanish.

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