Fifty years ago, I sat glued to a television screen in January, 1959 watching the bearded heroes of Cuba swing joyously down the streets of liberated Havana and felt pride in the efforts of these young Cuban men and women who had driven out the hated dictator, Batista. Today, the dream of a free Cuba has long since died under the stifling control of the Castro brothers and all they represent of ancient rhetoric about freedom that exists in their minds, but not in the reality of the everyday lives of Cubans. Hundreds of dissident voices are locked in jails and gays and lesbians are persecuted by a regime that ostensibly represented the new world of freedom. Each week, the Dames de Blanco (Ladies in White) march together to St.Rita’s church in protest in protest against the imprisonment of their husbands who dared to speak out for freedom in Cuba.
The “Revolution” has brought excellent free medical care to the population and its schools produce excellent graduates in many areas such as medicine. People have sufficient, if boring, food and there are no outward differences between people as exist in capitalist nations. Hopefully, the Obama administration will restore relations with Cuba and open the door for more freedom and a better standard of living. Fortunately, the old anti-Castro crowd in Miami is now old and their children may be more receptive to dialogue.