Activist To Tell Story of Fidel Castro’s ’95 Bronx Visit

Bienvenida Boricua al Bronx Presidente Fidel Castro

(Photo courtesy of Julio Pabon)

(Photo courtesy of Julio Pabon)

Bronx resident, activist and businessman, Julio Pabon has penned “Knockout – Fidel Castro Visits The Bronx.” The book’s planned October 2015 release date coincides with the 20th anniversary of Cuban Premier Fidel Castro’s historic visit to the Bronx in 1995. Mr. Pabon was the main organizer behind the visit.

The book is being self-published through the Dario Lopez Milito Group and will sold as a digital book. “The book is exciting because we will be using new digital technology.” “For example, readers will link to photographs as well as audio of the remarks made by Fidel and Congressman Jose Serrano that night,” said Pabon.

The book will also address the role Rep. Jose Serrano played in organizing the event. Journalist and former editor of El Diario-La Prensa, Gerson Borrero recently tweeted his concern that Mr. Pabon “gives credit to @RepJoseSerrano who always said he was responsible 4 bringing Fidel to the Bronx.”   Gerson Borrero_Fidel_Knockout

Pabon, a former adjunct professor of American History, tells the true story of how that historic visit came about despite the opposition of powerful interest groups. The book reveals through which city councilman the Cuban National Foundation funneled funds to hire anti-Castro protesters to picket Jimmy’s Bronx Cafe where the historic dinner took place.

“The Puerto Rican community in the Bronx wasn’t going to be made chumps,” declared Pabon in an interview.

The book’s website notes: “Fidel Castro visited the South Bronx in 1995. No foreign visitor from any country had ever caused such a tumultuous happening in a community that rarely received anything but negative news coverage. Fidel Castro’s visit was widely covered by the corporate media, but few know how his visit occurred. Now, for the first time, the true story of how this historic visit took place, and how it was organized against all odds, will be told. The incredible story of how an idea to react against a mayor’s insult of disinviting Mr. Castro from his private dinner with all the world’s leaders turned into the most famous visit of a Latino leader to the heart of a community going through their own local revolution. Mayor Giuliani’s dinner has all been forgotten. However, the historic dinner held for Mr. Castro in the Bronx will be remembered forever.”

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