A friend just sent me a letter that was sent to the Editor of the Richmond Times-Dispatch on July 7, 2008. I know many of you know that I am Cuban and still have lots of family there. (You can click HERE to read about my trip there in 1997). I digress.
In relation to this letter, just last week I had this same exact conversation with my father, who is now 68 years old. As a young man, he lived the transition of a country being moved from false dreams into what quickly became a despairing communist regime. With a sad tremble in his voice, he shared with me how, with these elections, he is reliving Castro's reign into power back in the 50's. This sentiment is shared by thousands of Cubans who fought against the revolution and are now living in exile.
These elections downright fill my heart with fear, especially for my children, two of whom have been already been blessed to escape a communist country once.
I pray daily that our Lord please spare this great country from what has happened to so many innocent people who now live with shattered dreams stolen by communism.
If you're not familiar with communism and you're thinking this could never happen in the United States, please think again. Cubans in 1958 had the same exact thoughts.
Here's the letter:
From Richmond Times-Dispatch, Monday, July 7, 2008
Dear Editor, Times-Dispatch:
Each year I get to celebrate Independence Day twice. On June 30 I celebrate my independence day, and on July 4 I celebrate America's. This year is special, because it marks the 40Th anniversary of my independence.
On June 30, 1968, I escaped Communist Cuba, and a few months later, I was in the United States to stay. That I happened to arrive in Richmond on Thanksgiving Day is just part of the story, but I digress.
I've thought a lot about the anniversary this year. The election-year rhetoric has made me think a lot about Cuba and what transpired there. In the late 1950s, most Cubans thought Cuba needed a change, and they were right. So when a young leader came along, every Cuban was at least receptive. When the young leader spoke eloquently and passionately and denounced the old system, the press fell in love with him. They never questioned who his friends were or what he really believed in. They never demanded answers. When he said he would help the farmers and the poor and bring free medical care and education to all, everyone followed. When he said he would bring justice and equality to all, everyone said, 'Praise the Lord.' And when the young leader said, 'I will be for change and I'll bring you change,' everyone yelled, 'Viva Fidel!'
But nobody asked about the change, so by the time the executioner's guns went silent, the people's guns had been taken away. By the time everyone was equal, they were equally poor, hungry, and oppressed. By the time everyone received their free education, it was worth nothing. By the time the press noticed, it was too late, because they were now working for him. By the time the change was finally implemented, Cuba had been knocked down a couple of notches to Third-World status. By the time the change was over, more than a million people had taken to boats, rafts, and inner tubes. You can call those who made it ashore anywhere else in the world the most fortunate Cubans. And now I'm back to the beginning of my story.
Luckily, we would never fall in America for a young leader who promised change without asking, what change? How will you carry it out? What will it cost America?
Manuel Alvarez, Jr.
Here's the description of the word communism as described by Merriam-Webster dictionary:
COMMUNISM - A system of government in which the state plans and controls the economy and a single, often authoritarian party holds power, claiming to make progress toward a higher social order in which all goods are equally shared by the people.