You’ll often find people with itchy noses and red-rimmed eyes ambling amidst the long rows of white crosses at Tamiami Park on Coral Way and 107th Avenue in Miami. It’s a mini-Arlington cemetery called the Cuban Memorial, in honor of Castro and Che’s murder victims and those who fell trying to free Cuba from the murderous barbarism the pair imposed while “the best and brightest” dithered, bumbled, and were finally betrayed.
But the tombs are symbolic. Most of the bodies still lie in mass graves dug by bulldozers on the orders of Fidel Castro — Ted Turner’s fishing buddy, Harry Belafonte’s bosom pal, and Barbara Walter’s favored dinner companion.
It’s no surprise that many have never heard of this Cuban Memorial from the mainstream media. It honors the tens of thousands of Fidel Castro and Che Guevara’s victims, many of them U.S citizens.
Some of these Cuban Memorial visitors will be kneeling, others walking slowly, looking for a name. You may remember a similar scene from the opening frames of “Saving Private Ryan.” Many clutch rosaries. Many of the ladies will be pressing their faces into the breast of a relative who drove them there; a relative who wraps his arms around her spastically heaving shoulders.
Try as he might not to cry himself, he usually finds that the sobs wracking his mother, grandmother or aunt are contagious. Yet he’s often too young to remember the face of his martyred uncle, father or cousin – the name they just recognized on the white cross.
“Fusilado” – firing squad execution – it may say below it.
The crosses total 14,000, all at the orders of the man being swamped and feted by U.S. trade delegations from Louisiana to Nebraska to Maine. Even many of the older men walking among these crosses will be red-eyed, choked up. No denying it, we’re an emotional people. And not ashamed to show it at the proper time.
A plausible scene may play out as so: An elderly lady holds a tissue to her eyes and nose as she and her grandson wait to cross the street after leaving the memorial. The grandson is red-eyed and still has his arm around her. She told him about how his freedom-fighter grandfather yelled, “Viva Cuba libre!” and “Viva Cristo Rey!” the instant before the volley shattered his body.
They cross the street slowly, silently, and run into a dreadlocked youth coming out of a music store. His T-shirt sports the face of her husband’s cowardly executioner, Che Guevara. They turn their heads in rage toward the store window. There’s the murderer’s face again, on a huge poster. $19.95 it says at the bottom, right next to the inscription, “Fight Oppression.”
Tell me how she might feel.
Another plausible scene may be the following: A woman will go home after placing flowers under her father’s cross – a father she never knew. “Killed in action, Bay of Pigs, April 18th, 1961,” reads the inscription on his cross. She was 2 at the time. “We will not be evacuated!” likely yelled her father’s commander into his radio that day, as 41,000 Red Troops and swarms of Stalin tanks closed the ring on her father and 1,400 others. “The best and brightest” all had important social engagements that day.
Perhaps the scene of his death took place in this way:
“We came here to fight!” her father’s commander yelled at an enraged and heartsick CIA man offering to evacuate the troops from a doomed beachhead. “Let it end here!” was his last yell, barely audible over the deafening blasts from the storm of Soviet artillery.
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