Sunset News: Dear Editor - worth reading

"We know we belong to the land and the land we belong to is grand"

Monday, August 11, 2008

Dear Editor - worth reading

From Richmond Times-Dispatch, Monday, July 7, 2008 ~

Dear Editor, Times-Dispatch:

Each year I get to celebrate Independence Day twice. On June 30 I
celebrate my independence day, and on July 4 I celebrate America's. This
year is special, because it marks the 40th anniversary of my

On June 30, 1968, I escaped Communist Cuba, and a few months later, I
was in the United States to stay. That I happened to arrive in Richmond
on Thanksgiving Day is just part of the story, but I digress.

I've thought a lot about the anniversary this year. The election-year
rhetoric has made me think a lot about Cuba and what transpired there.
In the late 1950s, most Cubans thought Cuba needed a change, and they
were right. So when a young leader came along, every Cuban was at least

When the young leader spoke eloquently and passionately and denounced
the old system, the press fell in love with him. They never questioned
who his friends were or what he really believed in. When he said he
would help the farmers and the poor and bring free medical care and
education to all, everyone followed. When he said he would bring justice
and equality to all, everyone said, 'Praise the Lord.'

And when the young leader said, 'I will be for change and I'll bring you
change,' everyone yelled, 'Viva Fidel!'

But nobody asked about the change, so by the time the executioner's guns
went silent, the people's guns had been taken away. By the time everyone
was equal, they were equally poor, hungry, and oppressed. By the time
everyone received their free education, it was worth nothing. By the
time the press noticed, it was too late, because they were now working
for him. By the time the change was finally implemented, Cuba had been
knocked down a couple of notches to Third-World status. By the time the
change was o ver, more than a million people had taken to boats, rafts,
and inner tubes. You can call those who made it ashore anywhere else in
the world the most fortunate Cubans. And now I'm back to the beginning
of my story.

Luckily, we would never fall in America for a young leader who promised
change without asking, what change? How will you carry it out? What will
it cost America?

Would we?'

Manuel Alvarez, Jr. Sandy Hook

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