Gabriel García Márquez under FBI surveillance for 24 years
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Gabriel García Márquez under FBI surveillance for 24 years

The FBI spied on Colombian author Gabriel García Márquez for 24 years, U.S. daily the Washington Post revealed.

The agency continued to spy on “Gabo” even after he was awarded a Nobel Prize in 1982 and began to acquire a following for his magical novels, in both literary circles and amongst the public alike.

In 1961, Márquez moved to New York with his wife Mercedes Barcha and son Rodrigo García, where the family paid around $200 monthly to live in the Webster hotel.

Márquez was to help Cuba set up a news service, which began to raise alarm bells with the U.S. security agency, under then director Edgar Hoover who authorized the investigation.

Under Hoover’s leadership from 1935 until his death in 1972, the FBI allegedly spied on thousands of people suspected to be subversives or to pose a radical threat.

Gabo even noted that two men would often be in the street outside the hotel, communicating by whistling.

Cuban connections

The “One hundred years of solitude author” was known for his close friendship with Castro and love of Cuba.

During the family’s month-long stay, the federal agency produced a 137 page report, documenting Márquez’s movements.

An alleged 133 additional pages remain classified.

Ernest Hemingway, John Steinbeck and Norman Mailer are just a few of other famed authors who were under investigation by the agency.

“Bearing in mind that he was a Colombian in New York trying to open a Cuban news service, it would have been unusual if they hadn’t spied on him,” Gabo’s son Rodrigo added.

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