“When I was 23 years old I refused to do something that at the time seemed very small. I refused to say a few words, ‘I’m with Fidel.’ First, I refused to sign on my desk at the postal office that said that, and after years of torture and watching many fellow fighters die, either in body or in spirit, I still refused to say those words.
“If I just said those three words, I would have been release from prison.
“My story is proof that a small act of defiance can mean everything for the friends of liberty. They did not keep me in jail for 22 years because my refusal to say three words meant nothing. In reality those three words meant everything.
“For me to say those words would have constituted a type of spiritual suicide. Even though my body was in prison and being tortured, my soul was free and it flourished. My jailers took everything away from me, but they could not take away my conscience or my faith.”
– Armando Valladares, The Wall Street Journal, November 28, 2016, p. A 19
“Fidel Castro jailed political prisoners at a higher rate than Stalin during the Great Terror. He murdered more Cubans in his first three years in power than Hitler murdered Germans during his first six. Alone among world leaders, Castro came to within inches of igniting a global nuclear holocaust.”
– Humberto Fontova The Longest Romance: The Mainstream Media and Fidel Castro
Castro took power on New Year’s Day in 1959 serenaded by the Western media for toppling dictator Fulgencio Batista and promising democracy. He soon revealed that his goal was to impose Communist rule. He exiled clergy, took over Catholic schools and expropriated businesses. Firing squads and dungeons eliminated rivals and dissenters.
The terror produced a mass exodus. An April 1961 attempt by the CIA and a small force of expatriate Cubans to overthrow Castro was crushed at the Bay of Pigs in a fiasco for the Kennedy Administration. Castro aligned himself with the Soviet Union, and their 1962 attempt to establish a Soviet missile base on Cuba nearly led to nuclear war. The crisis was averted after President Kennedy sent warships to intercept the missiles, but the Soviets extracted a U.S. promise not to invade Cuba again. Continue reading