Hotel Fidel Castro: An American's Nine Years in the Cuban Gulag

Get Rick Townson's memoir "Hotel Fidel Castro"

Dark journey

A lapse in judgment, a terrible storm at sea and bad luck conspired to put American Rick Townson in port in Cuba with hundreds of pounds of marijuana hidden on the boat he helped sail. Arrested and left to the dubious mercy of dictator Fidel Castro's hostile government, a man who had never before been a criminal was forced to spend nine years in the hellholes of the island's prison system. With an eye for the absurdities of captivity, from the jailers' attempts at political "re-education" to the daily battle against rats and hunger, Townson candidly tells the story of his ordeal in "Hotel Fidel Castro," along with the often outrageous tales of other foreigners trapped in the web of Cuba's twisted justice system.

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Rick Townson now in Key West! AGAIN!

I am back where it all started. After […]

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Florida Today Q&A about ‘Hotel Fidel Castro’

Rick Townson was interviewed by Matt Reed at […]

Rave reviews

"Awesome read. I cried four times. I recommend this book to anyone but especially those with interest in an insider's view of Fidel Castro's tyrannical oppression of the people of Cuba." - Amazon review

"This glimpse into a world most of us can only pray we never experience shows the resilience and strength of the human spirit. This story exposes the brutality some people only know as every day life. It is an honest, often witty account of our ability to adapt in an impossible situation. I thoroughly enjoyed every character, and there are some real characters! ... I would highly recommend this book to anyone interested in how people tick, and our human ability to survive." - Amazon review