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Celia and Fidel: why the timing is perfect for a new play about Castro

Playwright Eduardo Machado discusses his revealing new play that looks at the relationship between the Cuban revolutionary and Celia Sánchez

Fidel Castro is back in the news. Bernie Sanders, favourite for the Democratic nomination for US president, recently noted that when the Cuban revolutionary gained power in 1959, he launched a massive literacy programme. “Is that a bad thing, even if Fidel Castro did it?” he asked.

The political backlash was swift and uncompromising. Rival candidate Mike Bloomberg, the former mayor of New York, wrote on Twitter: “Fidel Castro left a dark legacy of forced labor camps, religious repression, widespread poverty, firing squads, and the murder of thousands of his own people. But sure, Bernie, let’s talk about his literacy program.”

Related: If Bernie Sanders thinks Cuba is worth defending, he should talk to gay dissidents | Aaron Hicklin

Celia and Fidel is at Arena Stage in Washington, DC until 12 April

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