Saturday, March 15, 2008

It ended not with a bang but a whimper

Filibuster Cartoons

- from Filibuster Cartoons

Fidel Castro's resignation is a bittersweet victory for me.  Instead of dying a revolutionary's death in a hail of bullets (as many would have preferred) he has relinquished his power as an old man ravaged by time.  An icon in numerous ways he is both praised and reviled.  Enduring longer than anyone could have imagined, becoming the epitome of "bicho malo nunca muere"

Cubans scattered across the globe fleeing his tyranny forced into a gypsy lives.  Some settled in these foreign lands resigning themselves to their fate.  Others banded together plotting, scheming, waiting, dreaming of their return.  Those that couldn't make the escape were shackled by yet another oppressive dictatorship.

Because of the embargo the US has against Cuba I can never go there.  My familial homeland denied to me because of one man.  Sadly the land my grandmother knew no longer exists, destroyed through isolation and subjugation.  Even when the travel is allowed what is there left to see?  Are these folks raised in a Communist regime really my people?

If you knew me you wouldn't even think I was Hispanic let alone Cuban.  No accent in my English.  No dark Latin skin tone.  Even when I speak Spanish it's not with the comfort of someone who grew up surrounded by it.  I feel cheated of my heritage.   The roots of my parents withered away by separation and time.  Distant relatives merely voices on a phone.  A cultural identity hidden from me by politics.  The blood in my veins is all that I have to tie myself to Cuba.  Hopefully that's enough.  When my feet finally touch its soil maybe it will stir, reaching out for facets of me that have never been satisfied.

His stepping down is the first step on this journey and now that its started there's no turning back.  What's painful is that it has taken this long to get here.

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