[freedomtowernight_edited.jpg] 26th Parallel: Courage Defined

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Courage Defined

It's been a while since I've posted the infamous Letters to the Editors that we all love so much.

Today comes a good one from Miamian John Cruz:

Freedom in exile

Once again, Ana Menendez is taken to task for her painfully honest views about the Cuban-exile community. Frank Calzon accuses her of hating freedom-loving Cubans (Showing disdain for exiles' fight, June 5).

However, freedom-loving people don't engage in censorship or restrict the right of others to travel where they please. Communists do; any fight involves risk. It doesn't take a whole lot of courage or risk to run to the United States, live in relative comfort and expect the United States to fight the battle; and any Cuban who has become an American citizen is no longer an exile. He or she is an immigrant.

I won't criticize his agreement with Ana Menendez regarding the "mafiosoness" of Cuban exiles, nor will I get on him about what he considers censorship.

I will, however, take Mr. Cruz to task about his perceived lack of courage amongst Cuban exiles.

I don't know if Mr. Cruz had to make the gut-wrenching decision to leave his country of birth (my gut feeling is no). Fortunately, I've never had to make that terrible decision. Anyone who plays down the choice that's been made by so many people (Cubans and otherwise) has absolutely no concept of what it's like to leave everything you've known for your entire life behind, let alone being separated from your family.

I would love for Mr. Cruz to make his statement to a Pedro Pan exile, or a balsero, or to those who volunteered to fight in the Bay of Pigs.

I would also love for Mr. Cruz to speak in front of a group of Cuban-American Vietnam Veterans and tell them that it doesn't take a whole lot of courage to come to the United States, voice your beliefs and even risk their lives for their country of adoption so that people like you have the right to have even the most outlandish statements printed in a newspaper for everyone to read.

Doing THAT, Mr. Cruz, would take true courage on your part.

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Blogger Eric said...

I hate to bother Mr. Cruz with trivia, but those of us who call ourselves exiles, were driven from the relative comfort of the lives we knew. We came to the U.S., in my family's case, from wealth and privilege to minimum wage jobs and an overcrowded apartment and a few years of struggle to make it here. No risk? please...
~ Marta

11:48 AM, June 13, 2007  

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