Back in 2016, Steven Cohen wrote about Fidel Castro’s 1960 visit to the United States before the diplomatic fallout a year later. He initially stayed at the Shelbourne Hotel but he upset the management due to “exorbitant” demands and relocate to the Hotel Theresa in Harlem:
Harlem was a more gracious host to Castro than high-society Midtown had been. Crowds gathered outside the Hotel Theresa, as the honored guest held court in his room. He received official visits from foreign leaders—like Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev, Egyptian President Gamal Abdel Nasser, and Indian Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru—as well as American civil rights figures, such as Malcolm X, New York NAACP President Joseph Overton, and, according to some reports, Jackie Robinson. Juan Almeida Bosque, the Afro-Cuban army commandante, became an instant icon, with throngs of people trailing behind him on the street.
Not everyone was thrilled about the Cubans’ presence. Some 500 Baptist ministers protested their stay. And despite his previous criticism of the U.S. stance toward Cuba, Adam Clayton Powell, Jr., the congressman for whom the Hotel Theresa’s cross street is now named, felt snubbed by Castro and upstaged by his theatrical visit, warning that Harlem residents were not “dupes” easily manipulated for public relations purposes.