Hamden Now: Letter to the Editor: Castro is Gone, but Dream of Freedom Lives

November 30, 2016

The Cuban people recently woke up to the news that Fidel Castro, the dictator who controlled their country for over half a century, had died.

Over 60 percent of Cuba’s population was born after Castro assumed power. However, through the stories of the generation before them, the people of Cuba and those here in the United States have come to understand the dictator, his brutality and how he destroyed a nation once known as the jewel of the Caribbean.

Before Castro, Cuba was not considered a third world country and had a thriving economy. Sadly, the island nation is now a shell of its former self.

As the leader of the free world, the United States must always be the beacon of hope for those who wish to live in freedom. I welcomed President-elect Trump for his clear and direct statement on Cuba. It is refreshing that our leader be one who does not sugarcoat the truth when it comes to the brutality created by dictators around the world.

The story of Cuba is one I know well, because the history has been passed down by my grandparents and then by my father and uncles.

My father fled from the communist island at the age of six, and later became an American citizen. He is honored to be called an American.

Today there are millions of young children in Cuba who, like my father, deserve to live life as they wish in the freedom that God intended for all of us.

My hope is that the Cuban people will achieve this goal, but I understand that the road will not be easy. I pray they maintain the hope that this dream will be achieved.

In Cuba today, buildings are crumbling and poverty is everywhere as a result of the Castro brothers. They assassinated thousands while the victims’ families watched. Unfortunately, these are scars which will never heal.

With Cuba being only 90 miles away from the United States, there is a need for the Cuban community and the U.S. to communicate. Cuba’s government must be made to understand that dialogue is a two-way street.

My grandfather was one of the lucky ones. He was able to get his family to the place he calls the greatest country in the world: America.

Today, a tyrant is dead, and the American Dream of freedom lives on in the Linares family and in the many other Americans who came from Cuba.

I wish that the people of Cuba soon know the sweet taste of their God-given freedom. This dream of freedom is not just for Americans, but for all the people of the world.