Fast forward to a release by Reuters on 17 Feb. 2007: Cuba unveiled a marble plaque on Saturday [Feb. 17] commemorating the interview 50 years ago by New York Times reporter Herbert Matthews that helped build the legend of Fidel Castro, the state news agency Prensa Latina reported.
The [Cuban] government had claimed Castro was dead. Matthews' article, published by The New York Times on Feb 24, 1957, showed Castro was still alive and fighting. It immediately made the 30-year-old firebrand an international figure.
In that glowing article Matthews wrote: "The personality of the man (Castro) is overpowering. It was easy to see that his men adored him and also to see why he has caught the imagination of the youth of Cuba all over the island. Here was an educated, dedicated fanatic, a man of ideals, of courage and of remarkable qualities of leadership."
Reuters also noted a recent book "The Man Who Invented Fidel," by Anthony DePalma.