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Editor’s note: A shorter version of this article first appeared in the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review.
This past week marked the anniversary of the death of Fidel Castro, our hemisphere’s worst dictator for a half century. When we remember Castro’s death, we should remember him for just that: death.
Depths - Fidel - Destruction - Article - Corpses
Expressing the depths of Fidel’s destruction is impossible in a short article. But among the corpses under his despotism were the thousands who perished while trying to escape his island-prison by swimming nearly 100 miles to American shores.
A testimony to that desperation was recently provided to my students at Grove City College by a Cuban citizen, who I must leave nameless. In describing her citizens’ surreal lives under totalitarian communism, she noted that only recently have Cubans been allowed to visit their beautiful beaches, and even then only under strict surveillance. That’s a stunning thought for a country literally surrounded by beaches. And yet, Cubans are banned from their beaches because their government fears they’ll dash into the deep water and start paddling profusely for freedom—swimming all the way for Florida.
Imagine - Despair - Mind - Cruelty - Government
Imagine that. Try to conceive the utter despair. Try to wrap your mind around the cruelty of a government not even letting its suffering citizens escape—a regime so repressive that it will not dare avert its gaze for a moment lest its people attempt the physically unimaginable in the agonizing hopes of dashing from this Marxist police state.
We already know that Cuba is a bizarre island without boats. Look at satellite images of Cuba. No boats! There’s also no fishing industry, and people don’t have the luxury of eating fish. (They largely eat chicken, pork, rice, beans.) Why no boats? Why no fishermen? Because fishermen bolt the first chance they get—just like swimmers.
Record - People - Swim - Castro
For the record, how many people have attempted the swim since Castro took...
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