Whether you agree or not, the "Cuban Mania" is coming! If you are not Cuban, or for that matter Hispanic, this particular article may be completely irrelevant to you, but for the hundreds of thousands of Cubans and Cuban-Americans, what is happening on a tiny island 90-miles away from Miami is a huge deal!
Those who have lived in Exile and who have studied some US-Cuban history know the Castro dictators (Fidel & Raul) are "villains" and have undoubtedly destroyed what was once a beautiful country. Little by little, year by year, they oppressed the Cuban people and took away their food, their cars, their homes, their streets, their buildings, their rights, their freedom. Yet, despite, our willingness to hold them accountable and to continue the Embargo, the time has come for a change, especially for their PEOPLE.
Personally, for the sake of the memory of my grandfathers, Bello & Rodriguez, who lost it all in their country, of Cuba, I have always maintained the belief that we should not deal with Cuba until the Castro regime is gone, but honestly, after watching for almost 40 + years, I have seen that absolutely nothing was accomplished. Only pain & suffering for the people, who perhaps, granted, did not have the courage or tools to fight back, but for how long should we allow this continue? What are "we" going to say when Castro is dead (Raul or Fidel?) Are we going to say "We won?" NO, we cannot. Sadly, they won!
How did they "win?" Well, for over 50+ years in power, by outliving many U.S. presidents, by keeping AM radio stations in Miami in business, by talking about Cuba day in and day out, by keeping the Cuban Exiles talking about Fidel Castro all these years. Don't get me wrong, I would like to see them both rot in hell for the harm they caused the Cuban people, my family and otherwise, but it is time or change. Without change, we do not grow, as people, as a country, or as human beings.
Perhaps, my change of heart is for selfish reasons, because I would like to visit and get to know the land of my parents, of my grandparents before I die. I agree, whole-heartedly, that they are evil, but keep in mind, we have many enemies who have done far worse harm, and we have U.S. relations with them. Of course, it hits a nerve, a place in the hearts, that only Cubans can understand. The rest of the world could give a crap. But regardless, of our personal feelings and/or grudges, the time has come for the change. It is here, whether you fight it emotionally or not. This does not mean that I agree with our President's decisions, nor that I magically think the Castro's have changed their ways. NEVER.
However, I do hope that life will get better for those people on the Island, those who really had no choice. Those who were born into a country of Communism and oppression without asking for it.
Even as child I always wondered why no one had the courage to go in there and fight those "sons of bitches." I use to dream about being the one who would take down Castro and be the hero. Yea, I was that obsessed because I could never comprehend how one individual could convince masses of people to do what he wanted, And now here we are in the USA, headed to a path that nobody likes. Even into adulthood, I always asked, why has this gone on for so long?
If I thought for a minute, that the Embargo had any positive results, then by all means, let it continue but is has NOT. So, reluctantly, whether we are in agreement or not, the time has come to embrace the fact, that we will have relations with Cuba again, in our lifetimes.
I look forward to the day when I can take my children and myself for the first time, to walk the beaches of Varadero, to have a Cuban Mojito and savor a lechon asado at a "real" Cuban restaurant and enjoy my culture up close in the land of my father, of my mother and of my grandparents, who all worked so hard in this country to make a good life for me and future generations to come.
CUBAN MANIA by Lissette Rozenblat