An American communist who was born on March 2, 1906, Maurice Halperin was allegedly a Soviet spy. According to Wikipedia: "In 1953, after Soviet cables were secretly decrypted by U.S. counter-intelligence, Maurice Halperin was called before the Senate Internal Security Subcommittee to defend himself on charges of espionage. Halperin denied the charges, but nevertheless fled to Mexico."

Halperin eventually taught at the University and Havana in the aftermath of the Cuban revolution and served as a close advisor to the Cuban goverment for many years regarding their economic policies. Invited to Havana in 1962 by Che Guevara, who he had met in Mexico after Halperin had moved there to avoid extradition, he and his wife were given a house in Havana and were acquainted with top Cuban officials for five years before he left, disenchanted.

Halperin wrote three books about Cuba, eventually describing the decline of Cuban society under Castro in Return To Havana (Vanderbilt University Press, 1994). An expression of disillusionment and fatalism, the book arose from Halperin's return visit to Cuba in 1989. His two previous books are The Rise and Decline of Fidel Casto (University of California Press, 1972) and The Taming of Fidel Castro University of California Press 1981).

Halperin left Cuba to take a teaching position at the newly created Simon Fraser University on a campus known for its left-leaning faculty. Maurice Halperin died of a stroke in New Westminster on February 9, 1995. He is the subject of a book by Don S. Kirschner: Cold War Exile: The Unclosed Case of Maurice Halperin (Columbia, MO: University of Missouri Press, 1995).

[BCBW 2017]