This last week has been very exciting and sad at the same time. Since the release of the song Patria y Vida on YouTube and all other music streaming services by a group of Cuban musicians it has lit a fire in the hearts of men and women around the world. It seems that after 62 years of people fleeing the Mafia style communist regime for freedom, the world is beginning to acknowledge the desperation of the people on the island.
The European Parliament invited the diaspora of the Cuban community to speak. Yotuel, one of the authors of the song spoke eloquently about how the Cuban people are just like a kidnapped and abused women. They want to get out but fear for their life and without outside help will have no ability at escape. Yotuel since has been contacted by US President Biden, who has been typically quite friendly with communist regimes earning him the nickname China Joe. It has yet been made public what his administration’s position is on Cuba, but most of the Cuban exiles fear continued appeasement of the existing regime as did former president Obama by legitimizing the existing dictatorship which continued the suffering of the people of the island who are starving to death. They are starving due to a complete lack of understanding of basic economic principles by the Cuban dictatorship which is the same issue which plagued the USSR. While everyone in positions of power live like Hollywood elites and eat like kings.
When I was growing up in the 1970s, I heard very little about Cuba. I knew that my mother and father with my baby older brother fled the island with expectations of returning. I knew my father had to leave because he had been printing and distributing anti-Communist pamphlets, and he was warned that he was set on a short list for execution, mafia style. I also knew that my grandfather was initially involved with supporting Castro to overthrow Batista. That was about the extent of it. But I knew both my parents yearned for their homeland. They in their hearts waited for the day they could return.
Many years went by and even with the stories of atrocities committed by the communist regime no international pressure was made to make them change. In fact, after the USSR collapsed Europe went out of its way to support the communist government in Cuba. The dictatorship used the US Embargo as an excuse of the cause of the countries economic crisis. Europe moved forward knowing well that this is not true. Luxury Hotels were built while most Cubans lived in poverty and could not even conceive of attaining to a stay at one. Meanwhile, very little profit from these enterprises made it into the hands of the people. This support kept the oppression of the people going longer. The Castro regime also exported doctors to foreign countries to receive the foreign capital while these doctors lived on slave wages.
Later came their great savior and fellow communist, Hugo Chavez of Venezuela to save the day. Just like the communists in Cuba, Chavez robbed his country driving it into destitution while making himself grandiose in the eyes of foreigners and those that relied on their wealth. It is well-known that the communist dictatorship in Cuba maintains personal foreign accounts. Of course the simple fact that Cristina Chavez is said to be worth 4 billion dollars is proof positive. I wonder, how did she earn that money?
When I turned fifty, I wanted to go to Cuba with my Dad. But he refused to go while the Castro’s were still in power. That was nine years ago and my dad sadly passed away three years ago. Since then, my life has changed, and I have been spending a lot of time with my mother. She has been sharing things I never knew about Cuba and my family’s life there.
Since, the recent fervor and raising of hopes due to the great success of the song Patria y Vida, she has been reflecting on the past. She shared with me that her Uncle was tried by a kangaroo court after the Castro’s came to power, and he was sentenced to 30 years in prison for lending someone his car. They had false witnesses accuse him. My mom had spoken to the judge and was told that they would get him out. Unfortunately, he was being brutally tortured and beaten in prison to the point that he asked his son for cyanide so that they would not have the pleasure of killing him. He took the poison but when his jailers found him dead they propped the corpse on a chair and shot at it then declared that he had been executed at gunpoint. Lies and deception never stop at the hands of evil persecutors. The story is told in a book no longer in print called Diario Traición 1959 (Betrayal Diary 1959).
The Cubans abroad have inadvertently been part of the reason the uprising has not yet happened. US dollars coming from outside the country has enabled the regime to steal money to maintain their facade. It has been reported that over $3.5 billion annually are sent from the USA to Cuba. But money needed to be sent one way or another to keep clothes on their families’ backs and food on the table.
Why am I writing about this today? It is because I am happy. I believe that there actually exists a chance now for this sequestered island nation to have freedom at last. I know that if freedom comes to these people, for some it will be difficult to adapt. For the many the ability to hope and work once again with their hands and minds freely and to earn their prosperity will bring great joy. There will be food in the grocery stores. There will be investment and growth. There will be good paying jobs and the diaspora which has been very successful will return to help.
Everyday now I say a Chaplet of Divine Mercy for the Cuban people, those on the island and those in exile. I pray for the good Lord to grant them liberty, peace and joy. I pray with all my heart that one day I can step foot on the land of my fathers and see the love that thrives in the hearts of all Cubans bursting with the joy of freedom.
Nuestra Señora de la Caridad del cobre ruega por nosotros.