> From Richmond Times-Dispatch, Monday, July 7, 2008 ~
> Dear Editor, Times-Dispatch:
> 'Each year I get to celebrate Independence Day twice.
> On June 30 I celebrate my independence day, and on July 4 I celebrate
> America's. This year is special, because it marks the 40th anniversary
> of my independence.
> 'On June 30, 1968, I escaped Communist Cuba, and a few months later, I
> was in the United States to stay. That I happened to arrive in
> Richmond on Thanksgiving Day is just part of the story, but I digress.
> 'I've thought a lot about the anniversary this year. The election-year
> rhetoric has made me think a lot about Cuba and what transpired there.
> In the late 1950s, most Cubans thought Cuba needed a change, and they
> were right. So when a young leader came along, every Cuban was at
> least receptive.
> 'When the young leader spoke eloquently and passionately and denounced
> the old system, the press fell in love with him. They never questioned
> who his friends were or what he really believed in. When he said he
> would help the farmers and the poor and bring free medical care and
> education to all, everyone followed. When he said he would bring
> justice and equality to all, everyone said, 'Praise the Lord.' And
> when the young leader said, 'I will be for change and I'll bring you
> change,' everyone yelled, 'Viva Fidel!'
> 'But nobody asked about the change, so by the time the executioner's
> guns went silent, the people's guns had been taken away. By the time
> everyone was equal, they were equally poor, hungry, and oppressed. By
> the time everyone received their free education, it was worth nothing.
> By the time the press noticed, it was too late, because they were now
> working for him. By the time the change was finally implemented, Cuba
> had been knocked down a couple of notches to Third-World status. By
> the time the change was over, more than a million people had taken to
> boats, rafts, and inner tubes. You can call those who made it ashore
> anywhere else in the world the most fortunate Cubans. And now I'm back
> to the beginning of my story.
> 'Luckily, we would never fall in America for a young leader who
> promised change without asking, what change?
> How will you carry it out? What will it cost America?
> 'Would we?'
> Manuel Alvarez, Jr.
> Sandy Hook
"God is not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance and have eternal life."--the Bible