I saw the brief blurb on CNN and I knew:
‘People in Little Havana are celebrating….’
He was dead.
He is dead.
The person who was my own living Voldemort for much of my childhood and most of my adult life had finally met his maker.
I wasn’t happy. I wasn’t rejoicing. I wasn’t going to waste one iota of emotion on his demise.
Instead, I was sad for the many people who died longing for this day and didn’t get to experience the sigh of relief that comes when he-who-will-not-be-named is finally dead.
A revolution that began fifty plus years ago today has hit a very big snag. This is a contretemps of gigantic proportions. The shackle of restraint has been unfettered.
No other Dictator on the island of Cuba has had more influence on the road to ruin than the man who died today.
No current figurehead on the island ever will.
Something has to change with his exile into hell.
It is inevitable.
This man’s death should stir the cry of energy that might make the youth of Cuba finally look around themselves and realize there is more to this world than their insulated island.
His death, hopefully, will stir a new revolution, maybe even turn around the misguided efforts of his failed attempt.
This morning, all I see is my Grandfather’s face telling me stories of how he was jailed in La Cabaña and never got to say goodbye to his family when they fled Cuba. I recall a somewhat broken man who never accepted the Revolution and wrote out against injustice on his native island.
My first writer hero should have been here for this.
I won’t yell out the window.
I won’t bang the pots and pans.
I won’t be part of any displays shouting out my joy.
Instead, I will wait for more change and I will whisper in praise and regret to all of my personal fallen – my Dad, my Abuelos, my Aunts and my Uncles – with words I learned in my country of exile:
‘Free at last, Free at last, Thank God almighty we are free at last.’