Castro's Final Hour is the first book to describe the breakdown of Cuban communism and the gradual unraveling of Castro's three-decade hold on the island. Reported from inside Cuba by Pulitzer Prize-winning Miami Herald correspondent Andres Oppenheimer in the wake of the Soviet bloc's collapse, this is a book whose extraordinary disclosures and engrossing detail tell a remarkable story. Mr. Oppenheimer's lively narrative opens with the 1989 firing-squad execution of Cuba's most decorated army general, a hero of the Cuban Revolution. It was the first sign of a rift in Castro's ranks as glasnost and perestroika burst onto the world stage. Oppenheimer reveals the drug scandals that plagued the upper reaches of Castro's regime, and proves that there were blatantly political motivations behind subsequent executions of Fidel Castro's top military aides. From there, we are drawn into the fascinating behind-the-scenes story of the demise of Castro's dream. Among the book's astonishing revelations: How the U.S. government infiltrated the Cuban intelligence circuit with spies posing as drug smugglers, and how Americans planned the kidnapping of one of Cuba's senior cabinet ministers. How Cuba knew in advance of the U.S. invasion of Panama, and how Castro's military aid to Noriega far exceeded amounts previously reported. How Castro secretly tried to scuttle the Nicaraguan elections of 1990, and how, years earlier, Nicaragua and Cuba planned an invasion of their Central American neighbors. How Jeb Bush, President Bush's Miami-based son, and Boris Yeltsin affected, in surprising ways, U.S. policy toward Cuba. How the Cubans and Soviets despised one another despite thirty years of touted socialist brotherhood. How the Soviet pullout prompted Castro to implement his doomed survival plan--Opcion Cero, "zero option"--A program that would thrust Cuba back into the Middle Ages. How, in a last-ditch attempt to save the country from its dire slide in 1991, Castro's top aides pushed a never-reported plan to strip Castro of some of his powers. Oppenheimer's tireless investigative work shows us a desperate Cuba few outsiders have witnessed: the open defiance of Cuban youths, including Castro's own dissident daughter, Alina, and Che Guevara's heavy-metal punk grandson, Canek; the government's secret campaign to infiltrate Cuba's booming black magic and African cults; the unparalleled wave of male and female prostitution that transformed Cuba into a sex paradise in the early 1990s. This is a book enriched with telling and often amusing anecdotes, and is informed by more than 500 interviews inside Cuba--featuring exclusive exchanges with Panamanian strongman Manuel Noriega and Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega, as well as Soviet officials, prominent Latin Americans, and top members of the Cuban Politburo. It is an unprecedented and intimate portrait of communism's final hour in Cuba.