“I’ve seen movements like this before. I’ve seen ideas like this before. I am here to tell you – we cannot let them take over our country. I heard the promises of Fidel Castro. And I can never forget all those who grew up around me, who looked like me, who suffered and starved and died because they believed those empty promises. They swallowed the communist poison pill….The country I was born in is gone, totally destroyed. When I watch the news in Seattle and Chicago and Portland, when I see history being rewritten, when I hear the promises—I hear echoes of a former life I never wanted to hear again. I see shadows I thought I had outrun.” (Businessman Maximo Alvarez at RNC.)
“For my parents, the difficult decision to flee Communist Cuba came when the Castro regime abolished religious freedom…Daily, the radical left [in America] chisels away at the freedoms we cherish. They peddle dangerous ideologies, cower to global progressives and normalize socialism to dismantle our Constitution. Let me assure you, socialism doesn’t offer opportunity. Socialism deprives…Trump will keep America from straying down that path.” (Florida Lt. Gov. Jeanette Nuñez at RNC.)
Maybe it’s a coincidence that so many luminaries from the Democratic National Convention, have historically sung the praises (from afar) of the very Castro/Communism that Maximo Alvarez and Jeanette Nunez warn against (from family experience).
I could bore you with statistics contrasting prosperous pre-socialist Cuba to sh*thole Castroite Cuba. Instead simply ponder that: pre-Castro Cuba was deluged with the most immigrants (including from Europe) per-capita of almost any nation on earth. Castroite Cuba has seen over 20 times as many people die trying to escape it as died trying to escape East Germany.
“Mr Gorbachev, Tear down this Wall!” Who can forget the famous line? In fact, most people forgot it shortly after President Reagan detonated them at the Brandenburg Gate in June 1987. At the time they got little press-play, which was mostly negative.
In fact, President Reagan’s own advisor of the time Colin Powell denounced the proclamation that became Reagan’s most admired and famous as “unpresidential” and “extremist.” Interestingly, a few years later Colin Powell proclaimed that “Fidel Castro has done good things for his people.” Interestingly again, Colin Powell was a Democrat National Convention headliner.
It was only in November 1989 as the wall was finally torn down that the proclamation was recalled, dusted off, and festooned with the fame now almost universal—at least among conservatives.
The people of the free world thrilled almost en-masse when the Berlin Wall was finally torn down. The 25th anniversary celebrations of its fall were joined by most of the mainstream media, including Newsweek (I mention them for a special reason, stick with me.)
Indeed, to lay eyes on the Berlin Wall provoked shame and horror in everyone. Here was stark and perfect proof of what divided the world at the time. No amount of paint or plaster to pretty it up could disguise what it was doing. Reagan saw it and outspokenly called it out. Diplomatic pecksniffs be damned.
And two years later, Mr. Gorbachev complied, to much acclaim worldwide, though his compliance may have been unwitting.
Down in Cuba at this very time, Raul Castro (who still runs Cuba from behind the scenes) was warning, “If any Gorbachev raises his head around here—we’ll promptly chop it off! We would rather see Cuba sink into the ocean, like Atlantis, before seeing the corrupting forces of capitalism prevail!” Raul Castro's charming boasts came from safely behind a Communist barrier that murdered (by using the lowest estimate) over 20 times the number of innocents as the one Gorbachev was petitioned worldwide to tear down.
And yet a few years ago Newsweek magazine hailed Castro’s Cuba as among “The Best Countries in the World,” for its “quality of life.” Now regarding pre-Castro Cuba Newsweek might have been closer to the mark.
For tourists to the Castro-Family-Fiefdom, the Mojito does down smoothly, the Cohiba smoke curls languidly through the air, the salsa music pulses in the background, the mulatta prostitutes beckon. Unlike in Berlin, on a Cuban vacation nothing in sight hints at anything like the barbed wire and machine gunners of the murderous Wall in Berlin, portions of which remain for the very purpose of reminding tourists of the recent horror.
Very few visitors to Cuba conjure how those gorgeous emerald, then blue, then cobalt waters reaped the name of “the cemetery without crosses.” It’s a Cuban thing, apparently. "I Hate The Sea" is the title of a gut-gripping underground essay by Cuban dissident Rafael Contreras. It's about some young men Rafael met on the beach west of Havana. Some were building a raft while another stood off by himself on the edge of the waves and stared out to sea. "It incarcerates us," fumed the loner while cursing and spitting into a receding wave along the shoreline, "worse than jail bars."
Yet mankind has always been drawn to the sea. For most of us the sea soothes, attracts, infatuates. The most expensive real estate always faces the sea. "Water is everywhere a protection," writes anthropologist Lionel Tiger, trying to explain the lure, "like a moat. As a species we love it."
Yet Cubans grew to hate it. Che Guevara was right. The Cuban Revolution and Che Guevara indeed created a "New Man" – but one more psychologically crippled than even Che imagined. In Cuba, Castro and Che's totalitarian dream gave rise to a psychic cripple beyond the imagination of even Orwell or Huxley: the first specimens in the history of the species to actually hate the sea.