January 1, 1959: “Batista se fue” dijo mi mama!

Like other 6 year old kids in Cuba, I slept through the events of the night before.

My recollection is our home the next morning, or 55 years ago today.

My dad was on the phone, my mom was getting our breakfast ready and listening to the phone conversation.

The TV and radio were on with news reports of Batista fleeing a few hours earlier.

“Que paso mami?” I asked?

“Batista se fue anoche” she answered!

Her face had a simple expression: Just eat your “pan tostado” and say little.

My parents had lived through a few of these tumultuous moments before.

They were children when Machado took over. They were a young couple starting a new family when Batista overthrew the government.

My guess is that they thought that this ‘tormenta” would pass, too and they could go back to their lives again.   It had always worked out that way before!

Unfortunately for my parents, and the rest of us, this “cambio” was engineered by communist gangsters who were never serious about reforms, social justice or reestablishing the 1940 Constitution that they kept talking about.

These communist thugs were all about absolute power. In a short time, the Cuban people had their first taste of it when men and women were thrown into political prisons, executed after “circus trials” and people were demonized for calling Castro a communist.

I don’t have a lot of recollections of that morning. I do know that a dagger was intentionally put in Cuba’s heart by a madman and his clan of madmen.

Maybe some 6-year old in Cuba can wake up one morning and hear from his mom that “el comunismo se acabo”.