During its dictator days, everybody around the Caribbean Rim called a rum & coke a Cuba Libre, a "free Cuba." A toast, a bit of a hope and a prayer.
After the Castro revolution toppled the dictator du jour, in Miami Cuban refugees from Castro sardonically ordered a mentira. "Lie." It has been 47 years since the first mentira was ordered.
Free men everywhere, and those who wish the blessings of liberty and thereby prosperity for others, wish Fidel Castro a speedy reunion with his Creator. We would not want to see him suffer, or not nearly as much as he has made others suffer. Free men are a bit hardheaded when it comes to freedom, but not spiteful.
Fidel, at age 80, has been rushed into surgery and has given the reins and whips of state to his designated successor, brother Raul. Temporarily, but we hope not.
The obscenity and nightmare that is communism is almost over. It was conceived by Marx and Engels way back in 1848, believe it or not, and then took over 50 years to enter reality as the Bolshevik revolution of 1917. About seventy years later, the Soviet Union at last requested the needle, to put itself out of its self-inflicted misery.
I went to school and lived for awhile in Miami, to where the best and brightest (and admittedly privileged) of Cuba fled after his revolution. They started again with nothing or next to it, and turned a backwater vacation spot into one of America's major cities.
But the most extraordinary people I met there were those who escaped by hook, crook or by raft in the decades after the din of rebellion faded. Osvaldo learned to cook pizza, saved enough to open his own shop, and fed me most every day right after I got out of college. It was damn good pizza.
If you met him on the street, or at a cocktail party, where he'd probably be serving the fare instead of sharing it with you, you'd think him quite an ordinary man. Osvaldo was anything but, and achieved far more than I, and likely you, ever will.
I think perhaps he and many others will leave Miami for their homeland when the time is right, and help build the New Cuba.
And I think it'll turn out to be a good place. A very good place.
Perhaps soon we'll be ordering Cubas Libres again. In fact, I think I'll mix me one up now, in anticipation of the occasion. Godspeed, Fidel. Emphasis on the speed part.