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Latino Daily News

Saturday November 12, 2011

Cuban Revolutionary Who Orchestrated 1958 Grand Prix Driver Kidnapping Dies

Cuban Revolutionary Who Orchestrated 1958 Grand Prix Driver Kidnapping Dies

Photo: Cuban Revolution Leaders

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Arnold Rodriguez Camps, an early follower of Fidel Castro who took part in the 1958 kidnapping of race-car driver Juan Manuel Fangio on the eve of Cuba’s Grand Prix, died in Havana of serious illness, state-run media said Friday. He was 80.

Rodriguez Camps entered the struggle against the Fulgencio Batista dictatorship in 1952, was a militant in the 26th of July Movement where he held local and national positions in propaganda activities, and directed the clandestine newspaper Revolucion.

In 1958 he collaborated in the kidnapping of Argentina’s Juan Manuel Fangio, the world champion race-car driver who was set to compete in the Cuba Grand Prix that year.

Fangio was freed unharmed after the race.

The kidnapping of the Argentine champion was an “incident aimed at getting the world to notice” to the fight against Batista, Cuba’s official Prensa Latina news agency said Friday.

The government Web site posted the news of Rodriguez Camps’ death illustrated with a photo of him and Fangio together in 1992, whose caption said that “the two maintained a great friendship only cut short by the driver’s death” in 1995.

After the victory of the revolution, Rodriguez Camps occupied several positions in the Cuban government, mainly in the ministries of foreign relations and trade.