I just finished reading a short piece my dad wrote several years ago. In it, he gives details about his life in Cuba, his courtship with my mom, life with family in Cuba and his departure in 1962, fleeing the Castro regime.
I find his story fascinating. Because I've heard it first hand from his own lips, reading about it makes it all so vivid. I can see my grandmothers crying as both of my grandfathers were arrested. I can imagine their fear over those long weeks while they were imprisoned wondering what was going to happen to them. I can imagine my mother and father worrying about what kind of life my sister would have if she was to grow up under that system of indoctrination.
On Sunday, former dictator Pinochet died in Chile. Fidel Castro is most likely already dead. These were men who were loved by some and hated by many. Regardless of your opinion of either one, when you hear first hand accounts of the lives they affected, you should be rendered speechless. Some, like my father, had their home and possessions taken; their families disrupted and separated. Others had their loved ones brutally murdered because they didn't think like they were supposed to.
I have a strong dislike of idealists. Specifically, idealists who live in an imaginary world where they don't actually experience that which they are idealizing. Unfortunately, many of these idealists work in our universities, or are movers and shakers in the media or in Hollywood.
If you're an idealist, I suggest you hear the voices of the people who are against your ideology; you may learn something from their first hand accounts. When you do, Che will no longer be the Jesus character he seemed to be in "The Motorcycle Diaries". When you do, you will understand why Cubans reacted when an artist wanted to erect a statue of Fidel in Central Park.