Cuban Affair (DeMille) - Discussion Questions

Discussion Questions
We'll add publisher questions if and when they're available; in the meantime, use our LitLovers talking points to help start a discussion for The Cuban Affair … then take off on your own:

1. What do you think of Mac? Is he living the good life and enjoying all that Key West has to offer? Or would you say he's a bit of a lost soul? Or perhaps he's taking a well deserved breather? Where does Mac himself think he falls along that spectrum—how does he feel about the direction his life has taken? What is it that convinces Mac to take the job Carlos offers him? Is it the money, the ethics involved, the chance for adventure, or Sara Ortega?

2. What do you think about Mac's relationship with Jack Colby? Why are the two such good friends? Both men were in U.S.-fought wars: how was each affected by his wartime experiences?

3. The purpose of the mission is to return to the rightful owners property deeds and millions of dollars left behind in Cuba. How do you sort out the morality involved in this mission? Mac, who says he's not concerned with moral issues (p. 45), nonetheless, wonders about so-called rightful owners: his understanding is that the Batista government was like (even connected to) the American Mafia … and that "behind every great fortune is a crime." Yet he also acknowledges that "some of this money was probably honestly earned." Certainly Sara's grandfather believes so—and that Castro has no right to any of it. Which point of view is most convincing to you?

4. How much do you know of President Batista and what life was like under his rule? How familiar are you with Fidel Castro's overthrow of Batista? In other words, what do you know about 20th-century Cuban history?

5. How many pairs of Capri pants do you think Sara packed? Why does she always look so good in them … well, in shorts too?

6. What is your reaction to Antonio? Is he who he is because of his own character? Or is he a creation of the "system"?

7. Talk about the so-called thaw in U.S.-Cuban relations. Who would benefit … and who would lose out? Why are Cuban-Americans so opposed to better relations between the two countries?

8. How would you describe the Cuba that Nelson DeMille writes about—its scenic beauty, housing, poverty, bifurcated economy (luxury accommodations for tourists and the elites)? Consider, for example, the shortage of farm laborers because workers prefer less strenuous city jobs to the backbreaking work of farming.

9. What would it be like to live in a politically repressive regime such as Cuba? What do you find most troubling about life under Castro?

10. What do you think the future holds for Cuba and the Cubans—and what do you hope for?

11. SPOILER ALERT: What role does the CIA play in the rescue; in fact, what was their role in the overall mission?

(Questions by LitLovers. Please feel free to use them, online and off, with attribution. Thanks.)

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