Richard Willoughby Gott, the upper-class English journalist and spy for the Soviet Union, was educated at Winchester and Corpus Christi College, Oxford. A communist, Gott was recruited by the KGB in the late 1970s and writes for the London Guardian newspaper.
Dalrymple observes that although Gott
accepted trips paid for by the KGB, that didn’t harm his journalistic reputation anything like taking them from the CIA would have.
The traitor Gott, Dalrymple points out, is
always on the lookout for a left-wing economic experiment to laud, preferably in the tropics,
more recent enthusiasms was for the late Hugo Chávez, about whom he wrote a book. Chávez’s policies could have produced a shortage of saltwater in the Pacific.
As for Fidel Castro, Western intellectuals have long retained a soft spot for the Cuban dictator, and Gott is one of his leading European champions, being entirely uninterested in
the economic effects of Castro’s regime. When Castro seized power, Cuba was at the economic level of Italy, and richer than Spain. It had a poor peasantry, but so did Spain and Italy. Like Perón in Argentina, but even more dramatically, Castro undeveloped his country.
- mass emigration, or why it took place
- imprisonment of dissidents
- constant surveillance
- arbitrary arrest
- omnipresent propaganda
Gott, says Dalrymple,
is now an elderly man, but he is still adolescent at heart, as so many intellectuals are.