James Bond and Cuba

Ian Fleming

Ian Fleming

James Bond novels are many things. But they weren’t necessarily the best predictor of some geopolitical events.

The United States said Dec. 17 it will re-establish diplomatic relations with Cuba. (CLICK HERE to read The New York Times story.)

The news reminded us of a passage in Ian Fleming’s last 007 novel, The Man With the Golden Gun. In Chapter 4, “The Stars Foretell,” Bond and his former secretary, Mary Goodnight, are in Jamaica and end up discussing recent news in the Caribbean.

Goodnight brings up sugar futures. “Washington’s trying to keep the price down, to upset Cuba’s economy, and (Fidel) Castro’s out to keep the world price up so that he can bargain with Russia.”

She adds the following prediction: “Pretty daft business, isn’t it? I don’t think Castro can hold out much longer. The missile business in Cuba must have cost Russia about a billion pounds…I can’t help thinking they’ll pull out soon and leave Castro to go the way Batista went.”

The novel’s Mary Goodnight seems more with it than her cinematic counterpart. Bond compliments her in the novel. “Goodnight, you’re a treasure. You’ve certainly been doing your homework.”

Ian Fleming wrote the novel in early 1964, more than a year after the Cuban Missile Crisis in October 1962. More than a half-century after Fleming wrote the novel, Castro’s brother is running the country even after the end of the Soviet Union. You can’t win them all.

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