MEXICO CITY — In a story June 21 about FBI monitoring of Mexican novelist Carlos Fuentes, The Associated Press erroneously referred to Richard Goodwin as the U.S. secretary of state at the time. He was deputy assistant secretary of state.
A corrected version of the story is below:
Documents show FBI monitored Mexican author
Documents show FBI monitored Mexican author Carlos Fuentes for more than 2 decades
By E. EDUARDO CASTILLO
MEXICO CITY (AP) — The FBI and the U.S. State Department closely monitored Mexican author Carlos Fuentes for more than two decades because he was considered a communist and a sympathizer of Cuba's Fidel Castro, recently released documents show.
The documents posted on the FBI's website this week show the United States denied Fuentes an entry visa at least twice in the 1960s.
In one of the memorandums Fuentes is described as "a leading Mexican communist writer" and a "well-known Mexican novelist with long history of subversive connections."
Fuentes died in 2012 at age 83 after suffering an internal hemorrhage.
In the 170-page dossier of internal official documents and some newspaper articles, the FBI describes how it monitored Fuentes and denied him permission to enter the United States for having been a member of the Mexican Communist Party.
One of the 20th Century's most influential Latin American authors and intellectuals, Fuentes backed Castro after he took over Cuba and also supported the Sandinista revolution in Nicaragua. But Fuentes' good relations with the Cuban government ended in 1971 when he joined protests over its treatment of poet Heberto Padilla, something that Cuban officials never forgave him for.
The first documents date from 1962, when Fuentes received an invitation to go to the United States for a televised debate with the then Deputy Assistant Secretary of State Richard Goodwin.
A note dated April 3, 1962, states that until that day Fuentes had not requested a visa at the U.S. Embassy in Mexico, and adds that there were instructions from Washington to delay his application and await further instructions.
The FBI's file for Fuentes includes newspaper articles about how his visa application was later denied.
Although Fuentes was denied an entry visa at least a couple of times, the Mexican writer did make several visits to the United States and was granted permission to teach at American universities. But authorities continued to track him in U.S. territory.
In a memorandum from October 1970 addressed to the FBI's director, the bureau suggests finding sources and informants at Columbia and New York University who could monitor Fuentes. The memo warned against an active investigation because of media attention.
"Because of Fuentes' prominence as an author, the publicity which has attended his prior visa refusals, and his indicated connection with two New York City universities, no active investigation regarding him is desired at this time," the document reads.