Fidel Castro: The Stupid Liberal's Favorite Dictator
Regnery Publishing (due in stores March 1st)
To Cuba's Greatest Generation. To the freedom-fighters, living and dead, of Brigada 2506. To the Freedom Fighters, living and dead, of the Escambray Rebellion. To the thousands who put their lives on the line in Cuba's dozen's of clandestine anti-Communist groups. To say these men (and women) are "unsung" in the mainstream media is like saying Fidel Castro is a lying murdering swine. You don't know where to start.
Cuba's Greatest Generation also includes the parents who sacrificed all, plunging clueless and penniless into a neighboring nation with an (at the time) incomprehensible and barbarous language. Their children and grandchildren would learn this barbarous language and succumb to other barbarisms like forsaking Siestas, dining before 10 P.M. and--Dios Mio!--dating without chaperons.
Sad, perhaps, but at least their children would be spared the horrors, humiliations and degradations of life under Communists. My own parents, Humberto and Esther Maria....could you please stand up?.....(a deafening and lengthy ovation here...a little choking up, a few tears) thank you, thank you, thank you. You may sit back down...please allow a second to dab my eyes.... to clear my throat a bit.... There.
In America today, these Cuban parents number in the hundreds of thousands. If we, their children, didn't have to grow up into eunuchs, slaves and prostitutes (assuming we somehow avoided firing-squads and prison camps) we owe it to them. From their children, these parents richly deserve--and surely get--much more than a book. But I thought I'd throw it in.
When hundreds of thousands of these young Cuban parents landed in America's lap in the early '60's-- when young Americans just starting the travails (and joys) of careers and families suddenly found throngs of loud, excitable, wildly-gesticulating, foreign-tongued, octopus-eating and often mustachio-ed (not always limited to the men) strangers applying for jobs besides them, working besides them, worshipping besides them, moving in next door--the potential for trouble was enormous, especially if Hollywood screenwriters, professional race hustlers and liberal pundits be believed. The Ku, Klux, Klan, and assorted bigots, Know-Knothings, yahoos were snarling, shaking their fists, rubbing their hands just waiting to pounce, those liberals would have us believe.
Something much different happened. Though they represented largely the WWII generation, no one called our new Americans neighbors "The Greatest Generation" back then. I guess the perspective wasn't there in the early 60's. But thousands of destitute, enraged and bewildered Cuban refugee families, ( we were all sure the men, with U.S. help, would boot Castro out in short order, and we'd all return) quickly became Cuban immigrant families (blame the gallant Kennedy-Kruschev deal.)
The bitterness over this betrayal by a handful of liberal U.S. government officials was quickly offset by an immense gratitude towards the generosity and support by millions of U.S. citizens.
These destitute Cubans coined a term for these new friends, supporters, and neighbors who nearly suffocated us in their warm embrace. The term still provokes many sniffles, especially among the grandmothers in Cuban-American households, and here it is: " El Pueblo que nos abrio los brazos." (The people who opened their arms to us.)
America's Greatest Generation did more than smash Hitler and free Europe, more than smash Tojo and free Asia. At a very desperate and heart-breaking time, they were also there for us. My children came to call one named William Harris (with his maker today) grandpaw and another, still with us, Anna Harris, grandmaw.
My youngest recently brought his late grandpaw's Screaming Eagle patch, Silver Stars and Purple Hearts to school for a history project on the Battle of The Bulge, where these were awarded...."Twas the night before Christmas,(1944) and all through the surrounding woods, many creatures were stirring--eight of Hitler's most elite Panzer divisions to be exact." Starts his history paper. (y'ou'll excuse a proud dad's indulgence here. But I thought that was pretty doggone good!) Robbie's grandpaw spent his Christmas of '44 in a little Belgian town named Bastogne.
So this book is also dedicated to America's Greatest Generation--and not because of any copy-catism. I probably have more genuine cause for this dedication than most. Heck, you might call me and my Cuban-American contemporaries "America's luckiest generation," our freedom, prosperity, happiness resulted from the sacrifices of two different (though always considered brother) nations' Greatest Generations.
New Orleans, La. Dec. 27, 2004