My son served in the U. S. Coast Guard. On patrol one day in the Florida straits, his ship came across a sad testament to humanity’s longing for freedom. Bobbing along in the waves, a wooden raft floated silently, its crew forever missing. The raft had been reinforced underneath with chunks of styrofoam and had been powered by a miniscule 1950s boat motor. Much of the styrofoam had broken free, perhaps by a storm or high waves and the vessel tilted half in the water and half out. The crew of the Coast Guard vessel stared in silence, knowing that the Cubans who had attempted to flee the oppression of communism were likely dead.
Cuba in Revolution has lots of intrigue going for it: an escape from communist Cuba that reads like a thriller; a history of Fidel Castro’s rise to power and dictatorial rule; a narrative of the way many in the American media covered up the fact that Castro was a communist; how the Soviet Union gained traction in Cuba; how the Kennedy administration betrayed the Cuban (and American) freedom fighters at the Bay of Pigs; and much, much more.
For many Cubans, Florida shines like a beacon in a dark night.
In 1966, thirteen-year-old Miguel and his father, a physician, made a desperate and harrowing escape from Cuba. Twenty-eight souls boarded a small, dilapidated wooden fishing boat called Venezuela Libre. After two long days and nights at sea, starving, sick, and battered by hurricane-like storms at times, or burning in the sun at other times, the little ship finally reached the Cayman Islands—and freedom. Eventually, the Faria family settled in Miami, then moved to South Carolina.
The Faria family had supported the overthrow of corrupt President Fulgencio Batista, but distrusted the communist schemes of Fidel Castro. That made them targets. Like the Roman emperors of old, the new ruler murdered anyone who could conceivably be considered a threat to his power. That included Batista backers and even his own supporters. Had they not escaped, it was only a matter of time before the Faria family would be imprisoned or worse, executed.
The escape was important to Miguel because, had he not fled the country, he would likely have been conscripted into the Cuban military and indoctrinated in the “virtuousness” of communism. That did not happen because Miguel’s father understood the evils of totalitarian governments.
Miguel attained the dream. He became a naturalized American citizen, graduated from medical school and became a world-renowned neurosurgeon. Today, he is an anti-communist, pro-freedom crusader.
Cuba in Revolution tells a compelling tale of how totalitarian rule can turn a prosperous, thriving nation into a backward hellhole. No wonder so many Cuban citizens wish to flee to the beacon up north.
This book should be required reading in our schools and colleges.
Reviewed by Robert A. Waters
Robert A. Waters is the author of the national best-seller The Best Defense: True Stories of Intended Victims Who Defended Themselves With A Firearm (1998) as well as five true crime books, including Guns Save Lives (2002) and Guns and Self-Defense (2019). Visit his popular blog, Kidnapping, Murder and Mayhem, on the internet at www.RobertWaters.net.
This article may be cited as: Waters, RA. Book Review of Cuba In Revolution: Escape From A Lost Paradise. HaciendaPublishing.com, August 12, 2020. Available from: https://haciendapublishing.com/book-review-of-cuba-in-revolution-escape-from-a-lost-paradise-reviewed-by-robert-a-waters/.
3 thoughts on “Book Review of Cuba In Revolution: Escape From a Lost Paradise. Reviewed by Robert A. Waters”
Many Cubans arrested and forcibly disappeared in the wake of mass demonstrations
Baptist pastor Mario Felix Lleonart, of Cuba’s Patmos Institute, has told Cuba Archive from Maryland USA that, in the wake of Sunday July 11th protests, dozens, perhaps hundreds, of citizens have been detained by government security forces all over Cuba. Many have been taken from their homes in the middle of the night and their loved ones are not being provided information on their whereabouts. Among those is custody are three Baptist pastors arrested Sunday: Yeremi Blanco and Yariam Sierra of the Baptist Church “Mision Bereana” of Matanzas and Yusniel Perez Montejo of the municipality of Songo-La Maya in Santiago de Cuba.
The organization Cubalex reported that by 9AM today, July 13th, it had received information of 148 arrested and/or disappeared since Sunday, of which 12 had been released. Anamely Ramos, a Cuban human rights’ activist who from Mexico administers the Facebook page Desaparecidos #SOScuba, is also creating a list based on diverse sources. A growing number of family and friends of those missing are posting information on social media. A few who have been released have reported that many individuals are in detention in terrible conditions and have injuries and fractures. The number of detainees is feared to be in the thousands, although Cuba Archive has not been able to verify this.
In international law, an enforced disappearance occurs when any state official or agent takes an individual and refuses to say where they are. Disappeared individuals are usually taken against their will and without judicial warrants. These abuses add to numerous reports since Sunday of brutal beatings and attacks (some captured by video), interrupted communications, threats, and other forms of persecution unleashed by state agents against known peaceful dissenters and unarmed civilians across the country. Cuba’s state media has confirmed the death on one 36-year old civilian in the protests and Cuba Archive is awaiting more information on extrajudicial killings reported from Cuba. Cities and towns are militarized and hundreds of elite troops as well as state agents in civilian clothing armed with clubs and bats patrol the streets and occupy parks and public areas. Pockets of demonstrators are tear gassed and many are attacked and/or taken into custody.
This wave of terror coincides with the anniversary of the massacre by the Cuban regime of 37 unarmed civilians, including 10 children, for attempting to escape Cuba in the tugboat 13 de marzo on July 13, 1994.
It is high time for governments, international organizations, and all individuals of goodwill to demand respect for all fundamental rights of the Cuban people and to hold the Cuban Communist dictatorship responsible for its long history of human rights’ abuses and crimes against humanity.
Cuba Archive’s Truth and Memory project documents violations against the right to life and fosters a transition to a democratic society under the rule of law. See a report on the Tugboat Massacre and many other state crimes at CubaArchive.org.
Free Society Project, Inc., 20201. ©All rights reserved.
I’m in contact with a few Cubans, they are fed up with communists they have told me,they are going house to house taking young men as young as 16 to serve in the military TO BE USED AGAINST THEIR OWN PEOPLE. Fortunately in 2021, they have internet and cellphone cameras to document, and it’s much different today because the young people don’t want to live in misery anymore, and understand it’s communism that is the root cause. I was told the police in Camaguey is on the side of the people — so the good news is the communist regime doesn’t have the support of the people, as in the old Fidel days. The police and the military divided. The people are letting the world know that human rights violations are going on. With the support of American Patriots, Cuba is closer to freedom; however, the current occupant of the white house, doesn’t want the protestors, much less the Cuban political refugees because they will disagree with the Democrats’ leftists agenda. So, it is important we as Americans remain strongly in support of the freedom fighters — Sergio Guerra (FB)
The US Coast Guard is sending ships to International waters to try to stop Cuban Americans going to Cuba on strictly missionary purposes to try to save them from certain death. But what else can these families do, desperate as they are to save their Homeland and their families. It rips me apart to see young men dragged out of their homes… Mother Father’s knowing they will never see their children again. What is possible to help these people, a mere 85 miles off the coast of KW. It has to be heart wrenching and a heartache to all these families.— Jewel B. Ford (FB friend)