Fidel’s prophecy – myth or reality?

In 2014, when the relations between Havana and Washington were getting smoother *, one of Fidel Castro’s supposed prophecies spread * in the international press.

Back in 1973, to answer the question:

When do you think relations between Cuba and the United States, two countries that are quite distant despite* their geographical proximity, could be restored?

he would have said:

The United States will come and talk to us when it has a black president and the world has a Latin American pope.

Whether it is a legend or a common joke attributed to a fictional Fidel Castro, this sentence summarizes the changes that have taken place in the world since then. Some believe that Castro had a prophetic revelation while many people are skeptical regarding the authenticity of this statement given that there is no official record of it.


* Despite/although – even if

  • Despite = in spite of + noun phrase:
    Despite the rain, we’ll go to the beach. (= In spite of the rain, we’ll go to the beach)
    In spite of this, they won’t move.
  • Although = even though & even if + verb phrase:
    _ although/even though + verb phrase are used to talk about actual facts:
    Although it’s raining, we’ll go to the beach. (it’s actually raining now)
    She always visits her grandmother, even though she doesn’t have a lot of time. (she doesn’t have a lot of time)
    _ even if + verb phrase is used to talk about a hypothetical situation:
    We’ll go to the beach even if it rains. (it’s not raining but it might rain later)

Despite/in spite of = malgré; a pesar de
Although/even though = bien que; aunque + indicative
Even if = même si; aunque + subjunctive