It was no big surprise to me to see Cubans in Miami partying in the streets when Fidel Castro handed over the reigns to his brother Raul.
Having lived in Miami for the first thirtyfour years of my life, I have met many Cubans, children and adults alike. I remember when I left school one year and came back the next to have over fifty percent of the school full of Cuban children. I remember the look in those children's eyes, it is a pity when a child of ten has sad eyes, yet they all had that same look to them. It was 1980 and the mariel boatlif had just come about and 250,000 people came from Cuba looking for a better, a brighter future. I have heard horror stories of how these people have had to live, from their very own mouths. Their pain at having to leave family members behind. Sorrow for having to leave Cuba and venture to a new country, starting with nothing and the fear of the unknown.
After that Cubans had come in homemade boats, dinghies, risking their lives to escape Cuba and Fidel Castro's regime. People who would risk death and their children's death to escape Cuba. People that loved their homeland but could not see a future there as long as Fidel was in power.
I would party too. They knew that Fidel would never turn the reigns over to his brother for any reason, unless he did not believe he would be capable of running the country again. He has health problems before, this time was different. The Cubans in Miami and across the world understood this. They knew, in their hearts what is just being reported now from Time/CNN.
But U.S. officials tell TIME that many in the U.S. government are now convinced that Castro, 80, has terminal cancer and will never return to power. "Certainly we have heard this, that this guy has terminal cancer," said one U.S. official.
On August 1, 2006, Time/CNN had another report about Raul and why he may just come to be a reformer.
Indeed, Raul is also called "the practical Castro," and when and if he does succeed Fidel permanently, many Cuba watchers speculate that he'll actually bring a less confrontational, more reform-minded rule to the communist island. "I think he will try to adopt more of a China economic model, probably continuing much of the harsh political regime but allowing more private enterprise and loosening foreign investment rules," says Latell, a senior researcher at the University of Miami's Cuba Institute and author of the recently published book After Fidel. "And I think he's also going to want better relations and more dialogue with the U.S."
The fact is, the world will be a better place without Fidel in it. Many Cubans, not all, but many dream of the day that they can see their homeland again. Many have family that they have not seen in decades, parents that they could not bring here with them. Some just want to go home. They may, finally get their chance.
Morally it may be wrong to wish for someone's death, and those that would dare say that to me, obviously has never had to look into a child's eyes that carry such sadness and fear because of the hell they have seen in their short young lives. I have.
Goodbye Fidel, and may the bastard rot in hell.
Hat Tip to Hot Air on the link.