Cuban-Americans and Ronald Reagan

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Yesterday, Sunday, February 6, marked the 100th birthday of America’s 40th president, Ronald Reagan. This serves as an important occasion to reflect on not only what a great President Reagan was (which Frontpage did in yesterday’s edition) but to also recall how much Cuban-Americans loved — and continue to love — Reagan.

Cuban-Americans gave Ronald Reagan 90 per cent of their vote. No other American ethnic group approached this level of devotion.  Even “southern whites,” America’s most reliably Republican voting bloc, fell short of this “Hispanic” group’s support for The Gipper. A visit to Miami’s Cuban Memorial Cemetery might help explain the phenomenon.

You’ll often find people with itchy noses and red-rimmed eyes ambling amidst these long rows of white crosses. It’s a mini-Arlington cemetery of sorts, in honor of Castro and Che’s murder victims and those who—utterly without allies—fought and fell trying to free Cuba from the proxies of an Evil Empire. Twenty five years later, President Ronald Reagan ensured that any such fighters in Central America had an ally in the U.S.  Worse still (in liberal eyes) he unashamedly defended the Nicaraguan Contras as “freedom-fighters.”

The tombs and crosses in the Cuban Memorial are mostly symbolic. Most of the bodies still lie in mass graves dug by bulldozers on the orders of a man Democratic presidential candidate George Mc Govern called, “very shy and sensitive, a man I regard as a friend.”

Never heard of this Cuban Memorial in the mainstream media? Well, it honors the tens of thousands of Fidel Castro’s and Che Guevara’s victims. Need I say more about the media blackout? I didn’t think so.

Some of these Cuban Memorial visitors will be kneeling, others walking slowly, looking for a name. You 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 young face of his martyred father, grandfather, uncle, cousin–or even aunt, mother grandmother– the name they just recognized on the white cross.

Fusilado” (firing squad execution) it says below the name– one word, but for most visitors one loaded with traumatizing flashbacks.

On Christmas Eve 1961, Juana Diaz spat in the face of the Castroite executioners who were binding and gagging her. They’d found her guilty of feeding and hiding “bandits.” (Che’s term for Cuban peasants who took up arms to fight his theft of their land to create Stalinist kolkhozes.) Farm collectivization was no more voluntary in Cuba than in the Ukraine. And Cuba’s Kulaks had guns—at first anyway. Then the Kennedy-Khrushchev pact left them defenseless against Soviet tanks, helicopters and flame-throwers. When the blast from Castro’s firing squad demolished Juana Diaz’ face and torso, she was six months pregnant.

On Aug. 7, 1961, Lydia Perez was eight months pregnant and a political prisoner of the man Andrea Mitchell describes as, “old-fashioned, courtly–even paternal, a thoroughly fascinating figure.” Lydia somehow annoyed a guard who bashed her to the ground, kicked her in the stomach, and walked off. Both Lydia and her baby were left to bleed to death.

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  • Chan Siegel

    I'm not Cuban, but I can barely restrain myself from telling off every Che t-shirt wearer I meet, and many times I give them an earful anyway. I don't know how Cuban-Americans stay sane, knowing what they know and what the average citizen does not.

    • Angel Amador

      We stay sane because to anything else would contribute to the end of this wonderful Republic. Ye we love Ragan, the founding fathers and our constitution.

  • Lady_Dr

    Chan, I'm not Cuban either, nor am I Russian but I know many, many who left the Soviet Union and they tell the same story. Every time I think of these things I feel sick – and every time I meet an Obama supporter I want to punch their lights out. I'm not a violent person but the pure evil of the communist (aka socialist) philosophy must be brought down.

    Viva Cuba!

    Viva the American Constitution!

  • Steve Chavez

    Wouldn't Reagan say?: "Here it is, twenty years after the fall of the Berlin Wall, and 'tear down that wall,' the people of Cuba are still inside the Walls of a Prison Society ruled by Fidel Castro for FIFTY YEARS now! He's still calling the shots even if he did pass on the reins to Raul without an election that the world is now demanding of Egypt! His welfare society, depending on the Soviet Union to give them aid, now depend on another despot, Hugo Chavez, who is also turning his country into a Prison where gangs and theives make up the rules! This time however, Chavez spreads his and Fidel's Revolution using our petro-dollars which will then turn many Central and South American countries into Cuban-style welfare societies dependent on Chavez and his extreme ideology! You know, Obama was one of those dupes and useful idiots that the Soviets used against us. Hillary and Bill too have never met a Communist they didn't like and they, and Obama, will be silent on "democratic reform" in Cuba while they protest for it in Egypt! Amazing that useful idiots now run the White House which then begs the question: Did we really win the Cold War?"

  • BLJ

    The Castro brothers should have been stains on the road 50 years ago. They are lowlifes and butchers of innocents.

  • exchangerates

    An excellent read!

    Minor (?) point: the headline might lead some to think the author does not approve of RR or of the Cubans affection for him.