Things we Tend to Remember

Things we tend to remember

Rafael Román Martel

Do you remember February 24, 1996?

I’ll never forget it.

We prayed at our place of work. I was joined not only by Cubans but American coworkers who showed solidarity with our pain. We’ll always be grateful for that. Cuban Communist Thug Pilots, under direct orders from Fidel Castro, had just shot down the Brothers to The Rescue planes where four young Cuban Americans were murdered. Two of them American citizens.

Months before, the Clintons were in open dialogue with the Castro regime. During Clinton’s Campaign he had gone to Miami and declared that he would “push the pedal on the Castro regime”. He lied. Just like most American politicians have lied to our community. Year after year. Democrats and Republicans alike: The Torricelli Law, The Helms-Burton Bill. Where are these people now? After they took our votes they dissapeared. Yet no American politician, except Kennedy, would play us out like Bill and Hillary Clinton. None would disregard the lives of our patriots and countrymen like these people.

The response to the murder of our four young patriots was to send their Secretary of State to Miami to tell us, in that all too familiar accent, that Cuba Serrra Librrree.

We didn’t want an invasion of Cuba. We didn’t want a handout. We wanted a show of dignity and strength. A sign that we too were part of this great country. After all, no other so called Hispanic minority group had contributed and advanced in the United States like the Cubans. The statistics are there for all to see.

The Clintons turned their back on our pain and frustration. They were perhaps too busy in their own dealings, too preoccupied in their own corruption and scandals to properly address our “incident”.

They would come back with another slap in the face of the Cuban community in the Elian Gonzalez case. And another: more talks with Castro, more dealings in dark rooms, more consessions to the Communists. More of the same.

I wonder if they would have treated another community that way. I wondered if Elian was a Jewish child that had reached freedom from Islamic extremists the Clintons would have sent him back to Iraq or any other radical islamic country against the will and uproar of the freedom loving American and international Jewish community.

I don’t think so.

Hillary was there. Now she takes credit for the low deficit and the “good” things that her husband did.

She never mentions the four Cubans who were murdered by Fidel Castro in international waters. She conveniently “forgot” about that. Yet tomorrow she asks for the Cuban American vote in the Northeast of the United States. She has her own politicos to advance her “cause”. She’s counting that tomorrow the Cuban community, like sheep, will go to the voting booth and vote for her. “She’s good for the Hispanic community”, some say. They just can’t mention one thing she did for us here, in the heart of Union City or Elizabeth or any other Hispanic community where she was never seen after the election and reelection of her husband.

Three months after the murder of our countrymen the Cuban community organized the traditional Cuban Parade through Bergenline Avenue in Union City. One of the grandmothers of our fallen heroes, Mario de La Peña, was there. She was old and tired. Her blood pressure was high and I was assigned to give her water almost every block she struggled to walked. Yet she marched from 90 street to 40 street repeating: “I am doing this for my boy! They have murdered my son!”

The then Governor of New Jersey, Christie Whitman was there, so were then congressman Richard Zimmer and the usual suspects: the local politicians who wanted to take a picture with the governor. They even brough their children, as I clearly remember, neatly dressed, with their wives and VIP friends.

Neither Hillary Clinton nor any of her representatives was there.

That’s why I couldn’t help feeling a certain degree of anger and frustration when on tonight’s Texas debate, she explained her stands on Cuba and she told Texans that she was in public office to help people. I don’t completly agree with Obama’s strategy neither with everything he says but he seems to be honest. We know that she’s not. She was already in power. She practically ran the White House. She made a mess out of the healthcare system. If it wasn’t for the leadership of Senator Bob Dole and his political influence in the 90’s, whose effort sttopped her implementing her her so called health care plan, she would have destroyed the healthcare system. She can’t be trusted on Cuba or anywhere or anything else.

No matter how hard she tries she cannot hide her arrogance and greed for power.

In two weeks Texas, when you open the booth and get ready to cast your vote Hillary Clinton wants you to remember that she “feels your pain.” Does she really?

“I was assigned to give her water almost every block she struggled to walk”

(Photo: Union City, May 19. 1996)


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