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No Praise for Castro

Mon, Nov. 28, 2016 Posted: 04:49 PM


Grandpa had once been a United States Diplomat in post-war Germany. Hand-picked by the FBI’s J. Edgar Hoover, he led a year’s worth of top secret missions as the Iron Curtain draped itself over Eastern Europe.

He went to the grave with the secrets he’d been sworn to keep. But he knew the evil of political revolutionaries and communist governments.

As a teen, I’d see him reading thick books and espousing on events half way across the world—a world he’d personally explored and studied.

He’d pound his fist in anger over brutal dictators and the wars they caused. Not interested in running for public office, he’d chosen to rant to a captive audience—students in his college courses and me—since I’d ask questions that would get him riled.

Fidel Castro was a leader he hated more than the other dictators. Maybe it was Castro’s proximity to the United States. Or perhaps it was because he met Miguel—a young man who’d fled Cuba on a homemade raft.

Miguel had been walking home from work when he watched his family being led outside by Castro’s thugs. Miguel hid behind his neighbor’s shed. The soldiers lined up his mom, dad, and two brothers against the fence and one by one shot them dead.

Miguel’s escape was as traumatic as the final moments of his family’s lives. Once on American soil he vowed to get as far from Cuba as possible. And ultimately that led Miguel into the college classroom of my grandpa.

Government by force never works out well for its people. Grandpa’s lectures would be crowded as students were enlightened to the reality of Communist tyrants, Marxist dictators, and socialistic regimes that ruled with rifles.

As some eulogize Fidel Castro with accolades of praise, it makes me wonder if we all couldn’t use a refresher course in world history and its impact on current events. Let’s learn from history and not celebrate those on the wrong side of it.

Karen Farris