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Masetti, Jorge 1955-

MASETTI, Jorge 1955-

PERSONAL:

Born 1955, in Argentina; son of Jorge Ricardo Masetti (a journalist); married Iliana de la Guardia. Education: Educated in Cuba.

ADDRESSES:

Home—Paris, France. Agent—c/o Author Mail, Encounter Books, 665 Third St., Suite 330, San Francisco, CA 94107-1951.

CAREER:

Engaged in guerilla activities in Argentina, Nicaragua, Columbia, and other countries, c. 1970-90; former secret agent for Cuban government.

WRITINGS:

In the Pirate's Den: My Life as a Secret Agent for Castro, Encounter Books (San Francisco, CA), 2002.

SIDELIGHTS:

In his memoir In the Pirate's Den: My Life as a Secret Agent for Castro, Jorge Masetti recalls his years as a guerilla soldier, revolutionary, and spy on behalf of leftist movements in various South American nations, Nicaragua, and other countries. The son of an Argentinean journalist and revolutionary, Masetti followed in his father's footsteps and began participating in guerilla activities in Argentina as a teenager. Later he trained in espionage in Cuba, becoming a member of the "pirate's den," a special force of secret agents working abroad for Castro. Masetti spent the 1980s working as an advisor to revolutionary groups, slowly becoming disenchanted with communism in general and Castro in particular. When his high-ranking father-in-law was convicted and found guilty of trumped-up charges, Masetti lost all faith in the Cuban government and quietly engineered his defection to Paris, where he now lives with his wife.

In Paris, Masetti turned introspective about his covert activities and the successes and failures in Latin American revolutions. In the Pirate's Den is the result of his ruminations. The book provides an indictment of the Castro regime, concluding that the Cuban revolution is a travesty and that its dictator thrives on illusion and empty speechmaking. Of his work on behalf of Cuba, Masetti states that spying provided him with a cover to "commit atrocities without the slightest vestige of guilt." He added: "It's fortunate we didn't win because if we had, we would have drowned the continent in barbarism."

In a Publishers Weekly review, a critic noted that Masetti "spins a tale of progressive disillusionment with communism." The critic added that In the Pirate's Den is at its best when Masetti shows how the ideals of a young generation of revolutionaries eroded in the face of "intrigue and internecine bickering."

BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:

PERIODICALS

Miami Herald, January 2, 2003, Ike Seamans, review of In the Pirate's Den: My Life as a Secret Agent for Castro.

Publishers Weekly, September 23, 2002, review of In the Pirate's Den, p. 59.

ONLINE

Florida International University Web site,http://www.fiu.edu/ (June 10, 2003), Xavier Utset, "Conversations with Ex-Guerilla Jorge Masetti."*

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