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MARITA: One Woman's Extraordinary Tale of Love and Espionage from Castro to Kennedy

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MARITA: One Woman’s Extraordinary Tale of Love and Espionage from Castro to Kennedy Marita Lorenz with Ted Schwarz (Thunder’s Mouth Press, $22.95) Conspiracy buffs and camp enthusiasts alike will appreciate this Cold War memoir by a woman who says she became Fidel Castro’s mistress at 19, then (after the CIA convinced her, wrongly, that he had killed their newborn baby) his would-be assassin. This is but a brief episode in a narrative that is often more turgid than a Mexican soap opera, more wacky than the Weekly World News, and more conspiracy-riddled than an Oliver Stone movie. Lorenz’s later adventures allegedly include a long-running involvement with the CIA, an affair with deposed Venezuelan dictator Marcos Perez Jimenez, and eight months in the South American jungle with the Yanomano Indians. Buried in the drama is an important story about covert operations in the U.S., but the complete lack of corroboration tends to undermine the author’s credibility, leaving some of her tales-like how she ran guns to Dallas in November 1963 with Lee Harvey Oswald-just a bit open to question. B- -Rhonda Johnson