From Nordlinger at NRO (Czechs & Cubans)

Jay Nordlinger from NRO writes today about two peoples who know the truth about Communism:

Finally, a word about Czechs and Cubans. I have written about the relationship between them for many years. (For example, see this piece, “Solidarity, Exemplified,” published in a 2005 NR. Sub. req.) Czechs understand Cubans, being a formerly unfree people. Cubans are currently unfree — and Czechs, amazingly, care. This makes them stand out among democratic nations.

Why am I sounding this theme again? Because of this recent news item:

Prague was probably the last place on the minds of three Cuban families when they set out from their island home on a rickety boat in 2005.

But, late last month, Prague is where they ended their year-and-a-half-long ordeal in search of a new life. They are the first Cubans ever to be granted asylum in the Czech Republic, a move that further solidifies the Czech Republic’s harshly critical stance toward Fidel Castro’s communist regime.

The families’ journey started with a treacherous boat trip across the Straits of Florida, where they were intercepted by the U.S. Coast Guard. Then back to Cuba to a U.S.-operated facility at Guantanamo Bay, where they waited for a country — any country — to accept their plea for asylum.

After more than a year, that answer finally came from halfway around the world, in Central Europe. On March 20, the 10 men, women and children boarded a plane and flew to their new homes in Prague.

The families are eager to build a new home here, said Interior Ministry spokesman Petr Vorlíček. “They are cheerful and optimistic. In the short term, learning Czech is a main priority,” he said. “In the long run, they would like to find jobs and the children want to get an education.”

Personal details are tightly under wraps, because the families fear reprisals against friends and relatives back in Cuba. They declined to be interviewed or photographed. What is known is that two of the families have children under 18, and one family has an infant son.

“All three families decided to leave Cuba because of persecution due to their political or religious beliefs,” Vorlíček said. For some, this had been their fourth attempt to flee. Because of their parents’ involvement in dissidence, the children were bullied and prevented from going to school in Cuba, he said.

Etc. This looks like a rare Cuban story with a happy ending.

5 thoughts on “From Nordlinger at NRO (Czechs & Cubans)”

  1. The better the Czechs (and even the Germans, for crying out loud!) behave regarding Cuba, the more base, heartless and disgusting the Spanish position appears (and is). All their anti-fascist fervor is empty at the core; they despise Franco but have no real problem with someone considerably worse and far more destructive, as long as he’s suitably leftist. Miserable hypocrites.

  2. The Czech Republic is the only country in Europe with real integrity. They are the only ones that “Walk the Talk.”

    My most humble thanks to the Czechs.

  3. They’re in for a shock when winter rolls around. Learning the Czech language won’t be easy, either, but I’ve met some Cubans here in Miami who worked in Czech factories in the bad old days, and their Czech was pretty passable.

    I hope that they are treated reasonably well. The Czechs aren’t very nice to foreigners.

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