Roger L. Simon

Cuban Mystery Writers

Fausta emailed this morning to ask if I knew Cuban mystery writer José Latour who wrote his way to freedom, according to the WSJ. The answer is almost. I knew several Cuban mystery writers whom I met when I was helping form an organization called the International Association of Crime Writers in the eighties. We used to guess which of them were members of Cuban intelligence – probably they all were to one degree or another; it was the only way to be allowed to international conferences – but they clearly weren’t happy members of Cuban intelligence. Every single one of them, even the ones publicly spouting the most Stalinist rhetoric, left Cuba, sooner or later, as I recall. One of them just disappeared one day in Madrid, to resurface years later as a European. Several are now living in Spain, a happier place with, alas, more crowded beaches. I became less active in the organization about the time Jos´ joined, hence I never met him. I was told he was a fascinating man and a fine writer.