Thursday, May 3, 2012

Shady Promises

[Prompt provided by Summer Ross: 'Shady promises oozed from...']

"¡Viva la Revolución!" cried José Martí on May 19, 1895, breaking away from the Cuban forces and riding straight into the Spanish line and to his death.

Fifty-eight years later, in 1953, inciting the 160 members of 'The Movement' to rise up against President General Batista, Fidel Castro encouraged, "In a few hours you will be victorious or defeated, but regardless of the outcome–listen well, friends–this Movement will triumph. If you win tomorrow, the aspirations of Martí will be fulfilled sooner. If we fail, our action will nevertheless set an example for the Cuban people, and from the people will arise fresh new men willing to die for Cuba."

"¡Viva la Revolución!" chanted the tens of thousands, lead by Ernest "Che" Guevera on New Year's Day 1959, the day after President General Batista fled Cuba.

Three months later, to cheers in Revolution Square, shady promises oozed from under Prime Minister Fidel Castro's scraggly beard, “I will lead the country to economic and cultural progress without sacrificing individual freedoms."

And then one truth, "When we have fulfilled our promise of good government, I will cut my beard."


  1. Hi Donna, you are completely right, and I know for my own experience, living out of my country, as cuban exiled, for now almost 20 years. Undoubtedly, Castros (both brothers) are the worst thing could happen to any country. Thank you for this story you bring us today.

  2. Maria, thank you so much for commenting. I'd love to connect with you offline since I have in mind a book project that is still very undefined, but I'd like to have based in Cuba. If you'd be willing to chat with me I'd be thrilled. I'll connect via Story-A-Day next week.