I wish all of America could witness the jubilation happening in Miami as many celebrate the death of a terrible tyrant. Perhaps what many citizens around the country, and even in Northern Florida do not clearly comprehend, is that the Cuban people who came to this country did so to escape a brutal, oppressive ruler. They risked their lives to come to America so that their children could live in freedom without the fear and instability of a savage dictator.
I am old enough to remember the influx of Cubans fleeing Castro. My Temple helped countless Cuban/Jewish families come to this country and assisted them in assimilating so that they could live safe, free lives in South Florida.
I grew up and attended school with these children, some of whom were traumatized by a move from their homeland, had to learn a new language, all while trying to block out memories of an oppressive Castro regime. I watched as they acclimated themselves, becoming productive members of the South Florida community. That is why I rejoiced at the news of Fidel Castro’s death. I wish those brave early immigrants, who first arrived when I was little, were still alive to witness the death of the dictator who caused them so much pain and heartache and forced them to flee their beloved homeland.
It is this knowledge I witnessed growing up. I learned the lessons of the Holocaust in the early 1950’s when I observed many of my neighbors with numbers burned deeply into their flesh. It was then that I first understood the value and the price of freedom and equality. Those courageous men and women were examples of the human spirit, and helped shape the woman I grew up to be. Their endurance and strength became implanted in my brain enforcing the message that we Americans must NEVER allow any dictator to rise up ever again. NOT ever!!!
That is why I am wary and very fearful of Donald Trump. He needs to be watched carefully to make sure he does not turn into a Castro or a Hitler. America MUST remain the land of the free, a shining example of democracy. Unfortunately, Trump doesn’t seem to understand that in America, EVERY citizen has rights, and we follow our Constitution. He is President Elect, NOT King Elect and is required to uphold our Constitution. He can NOT do whatever he feels like on a whim.
I pray that each of us stays vigilant so that the Cuban people did not flee their country in vain, and that the Jews who fled Europe for freedom, are not suddenly victims once again of blatant anti-Semitism. And I hope that all the other immigrants who came to this great land because they wanted a shot at the American dream, will get to continue to live out those dreams in freedom.
Today watching the celebrations in Miami, I understood more than ever just how much Castro’s death means to the Cuban community. It represents hope.
I beseech America to carefully make sure freedom always rings throughout our land! It is up to us to make sure that our President Elect does not take away our rights. They are ours to have. Do not let a dictator ruin what so many of our ancestors fought and died for.
G-d Bless America.