¿Cuba Libre?

castro.jpgOne of my best friends’ family are Cuban immigrants who fled from Castro’s Cuba during the 80’s. Even though he was just a small child, he talks of a place of natural beauty and tranquil scenery marred by poverty and oppression. He is a proud American, like his entire family, but I can tell he wishes he could one day return to at the least see his relatives who were left behind, grandparents, aunts, uncles, and countless family friends. The story goes as best as I can recall that they fled under fear of death for his uncle and, as usual under oppressive communist regimes, those he cares about.

How can one man, this revolutionary relic, still cling to a failed concept that leaves the people whom he claims to have acted on behalf of in such ruin and despair? Is it pride? Is it stubborness? Or does he really believe that what he has done and continues to do serve any useful purpose? When the world today heard about the possibility that Castro’s unrelenting grip on the island slipping due to what seems like grave illness, it should not be a surprise to anyone who knows of the Cuban plight that Cubans, especially here in Florida, exhalted with such joy. For them it must be like realizing a terrible nightmare is about to end, that their families are about to be reunited. I only hope that these celebrations are not dashed by the possibility that Fidel’s brother Raul, also a central figure in the revolution, simply picks up the torch and continues the madness for a little while longer.

It’s also possible that an internal struggle may erupt and more blood is shed. Sadly, the people of Cuba are no strangers to these things. The Cuban Revolution was a violent coup and the campaigns left many dead who did not deserve it. Sometimes I wish the ignorant fools I see walking around with Che Guevera apparel on and using his image in their modern day “pseudo-movements” would do a little more research about this monster than renting The Motorcycle Diaries at Blockbuster. You spit in the eye of an oppressed people and mock the deaths of countless innocents with that crap, I hope you know.

What ever lies ahead for the people of Cuba both on the island and here in the US, I wish all the best and hope you gain your long awaited freedom. When the nightmare is over I’ll celebrate with you, and come visit your beautiful island. I hear the fishing is spectacular!

¡Cuba Libre!

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