Sunday Notes & Letters for Week 22

Photo: webodysseum.com

Photo: webodysseum.com

In November of 1940 a Cuban boy wrote a letter to Franklin Delano Roosevelt to congratulate him on winning reelection. He even offered some advice to him about how to source iron needed for the American ships being used in World War II.

The letter is penned by Fidel Castro himself. In the letter he says that he is twelve at the time, however, that contradicts current records that suggest he would have been 14. Perhaps he made a mistake with the numbers in English.

Enjoy the letter. The young Castro had decent penmanship and his signature reminds me a bit of mine at that age – lots of dramatic swirls of the pen!

Source: National Archives Catalog

Source: National Archives Catalog

Source: National Archives Catalog

Source: National Archives Catalog

Transcript of letter

Santiago de Cuba, November 6th 1940

Mr. Franklin Roosevelt
President of the United States:

My good friend Roosevelt:
 
I don’t know very English, but I know as much as write to you.
I like to hear the radio, and I am very happy, because I heard in it, that you will be President for a new (periodo).
I am twelve years old. I am a boy but I think very much, but I do not think that I am writing to the President of the United States.
If you like, give me a ten dollars bill green american in the letter, because never, I have not seen a ten dollars bill green american and I would like to have one of them.
 
My address is:
Sr. Fidel Castro
Colegio de Dolores
Santiago de Cuba
Oriente Cuba
 
I don’t know very English but I know very much Spanish and I suppose you don’t know very Spanish but you know very English because you are American but I am not American.
 
Thank you very much
Good by. Your friend,
 
Fidel Castro
 
If you want iron to make your ships I will show to you the bigest (minas) of iron in the land. They are in Mayorí, Oriente, Cuba.

 

In a 1975 interview, Castro said he received a response from the White House – but no $10 bill.

 

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