A new report from The Washington Free Beacon unveils how an ABC reporter named Lisa Howard slept with communist dictator Fidel Castro.
While little remembered today, Lisa Howard was the first female correspondent for ABC News and the first U.S. woman to ever host a network news show. In 1963, she managed to score an exclusive interview with Castro at a Havana nightclub.
Castro arranged for flowers to be delivered to Howard’s hotel room the next morning. Howard returned the favor by leaving a note thanking the Communist dictator. “I have decided to give you the most valuable possession I have to offer. Namely: my faith in your honor. My faith in the form of a letter, which, if revealed, could destroy me in the United States,” she wrote.
Author and historian Peter Kornbluh revealed for the first time that her unpublished letter originally contained a personal note as well: “We met and came together and, I know, felt something for one another that could not go further. I am who I am and you are Fidel Castro and for us, at this moment in history, nothing personal could be realized. No matter … our personal desires are not important”
But Howard removed that paragraph from her final draft, instead writing, “Perhaps we shall never see one another again. But I shall treasure with all my heart for as long as I live my trip to Cuba in April of 1963 and my meetings with you, my dearest Fidel.”
Castro agreed to a second interview in 1964, this time in her hotel room. At first Castro was accompanied by an aide, but in the early morning hours, Howard asked him to give them privacy.
“Finally alone with her, Castro slipped his arms around the American journalist, and the two lay on the bed, where, as Howard recalled in her diary, Castro ‘kissed and caressed me … expertly with restrained passion,'” Kornbluh writes.
“He talked on about wanting to have me,” Howard wrote in her diary, but “would not undress or go all the way.”
But in another late-night interview, Castro did relent. “We did get to bed and he made love to me quite expertly and it was, of course, thrilling and ecstatic—as much as anything I have ever experienced,” Howard wrote.
The report also mentions that this relationship became a back channel for U.S-Cuba relations. Although that is a big deal this still raises concerns over mainstream media outlets and their relationships with foreign dictators.