Hal Klepak on Churchill in Cuba

November 26, 2015

Hal Klepak, Latin American expert, Professor Emeritus at RMC, security analyst, author of Raúl Castro and Cuba: A Military History, among other works, spoke to the Society on his latest book, Churchill Comes of Age: Cuba 1895, which is the first study of Churchill’s first, and formative, trip as a journalist (in the Spanish-American War). To research this book, Hal Klepak has brought his military background, Cuban residency, Spanish fluency, and love of Churchill together.

Much attention has, of course, been focussed on Churchill in the Boer War (1900), and even his prior experiences in the Sudan (1898) and the North-West Frontier (now Pakistan) (1897) but his Cuban adventure antedates all of those, and it has, until Dr. Klepak’s work, been essentially unknown, even in the great biographies of the Great Man.

Hal Klepak regaled Churchillians in May at the Churchill Conference at Blenheim Palace and again in Ottawa at Earnscliffe, the Residence of the British High Commissioners to Canada. Also in attendance was Glen Hartle, who accompanied Hal Klepak around Cuba and took photographs of the places Churchill visited, many of which remain intact, as they were 120 years ago, was also at Earnscliffe with a number of his remarkable photographs.

Hal enthralled the audience with his hitherto unknown stories of Churchill in Cuba.