Here's our Sunday front page. @MiamiHerald #fidelcastroisdead #FidelCastro pic.twitter.com/QfWJA0HZVb— Miami Herald Opinion (@HeraldOpEd) November 27, 2016
I grew-up in South Florida in the 1970's hearing people say one thing more than anything else that ever made an impression on ever-observant me.
It was a phrase that many people said with conviction, borne of bitter and heartbreaking personal experience -of having their or their family's life torn upside-down.
But for others, like many Democrats and liberal politicians or news reporters I came to personally know in 1970's and 1980's Miami while involved with Dade County and national Democratic Party officials and campaigns at a very high ;level, it was said it out of cautious political expediency. The unspoken reason was clear - they knew they MUST at all times be sensitive to the concerns of so many people concentrated in one area who felt this particular pain and sentiment so deeply in their heart and their head, lest those pols become eviscerated come election-time.
That phrase, of course, was 'Cuba si! Castro no!'
But now, today, it's "Cuba si, Castro no more!"
But this morning's news about the death of the Cuban dictator Fidel Castro came far too late for so many childhood friends of mine's parents and grandparents, too late for so many of my own former teachers, coaches, teammates, employers, barbers, auto mechanics, and neighbors in North Miami Beach I knew, admired and was influenced by in ways large and small.
People who desperately hoped, no prayed, that a day like today would someday come while they were still alive and could, perhaps, get at least one last chance to return to visit or live in the land of their birth, with some measure of happiness and satisfaction.
But to no avail.
The Communist tyrant Fidel Castro and his bureaucracy of fear and destruction always lived to fight and rule for another day, another year.
Another year of not being able to walk the streets, sidewalks, neighborhoods, beaches or open spaces of their youth, ones that they could still so clearly see in their heads when they closed their eyes, but which, increasingly, may've only existed as memories, never to be seen again in person.
And today was a fateful day that my own father never saw before he died almost five years ago this Christmas, who worked for so long with so many wonderful Cuban-born men and women I came to know, trust and respect over the years since my family first moved to Miami in August of 1968.
People who, while brave on the outside, always deeply felt a hole in their soul that people not in their unique situation could never hope to fully understand or explain away.
As so many told me in their own words, how can it be a "phantom pain" when you know that Cuba is still there, so close by?
Yes, it's that geographic proximity that burned, that element that made even recounting happy memories back in Cuba soon turn into tears.
How many hundreds and hundreds of times have I witnessed that?
Too, too many....
THE SUNDAY TIMES FRONT PAGE: 'World divides over revolutionary icon who became murderous tyrant' #skypapers pic.twitter.com/8aDXLhFdJt— Sky News (@SkyNews) November 26, 2016
Sunset over Calle Ocho. Buenas Noches, Miami. #AdiosCastro https://t.co/CrQlxXMtXo pic.twitter.com/oh4zDsB11w— Billy Corben (@BillyCorben) November 27, 2016
Miami-area news orgs planned coverage of Castro's death for decades thinking it might be imminent. @sunsentinel plan from 1993 pic.twitter.com/WNVccHkBej— Danny Sanchez (@dannysanchez) November 26, 2016
Cubans worry about what comes next after Fidel Castro’s death https://t.co/yfDI2I1EB1— Diana Marrero (@Diana_Marrero) November 27, 2016
Opinion ... A hope that Castro's death allows Cubans to finally confront their tragic past https://t.co/N8uAWNfSGT— Diana Marrero (@Diana_Marrero) November 27, 2016
@BillyCorben - #AndyGarcia weighs-in with #CommonSense, #clarity and a sense of history re #Cuba under #Castro. https://t.co/sELYuY0mNC— HallandaleBeachBlog (@hbbtruth) November 27, 2016
Still going through a lot of 🇨🇺emotions. I likely wouldn't have been born in US,learned to write in English, etc. if my family hadn't fled.— Monica Castillo (@mcastimovies) November 26, 2016
In Miami's Little Havana, dancing in the streets. The dictator is dead. https://t.co/LMTFvTywmK— NYT National News (@NYTNational) November 26, 2016
https://twitter.com/— Yoani Sánchez (@yoanisanchez) https://twitter.com/
hashtag/Cuba?src=hash">#Cuba</ a> Mi madre creció bajo Fidel Castro, yo nací bajo Fidel Castro… mi hijo nació bajo Fidel Castro, mis nietos nacerán sin Fidel Castro yoanisanchez/status/ 802431579368882176">November 26, 2016
The glamorization of Fidel Castro today is disturbing, if you love life, freedom and liberty you are appalled. https://t.co/MkJNbDlDBh"— SalenaZito (@SalenaZito) https://twitter.com/
>pic.twitter.com/MkJNbDlDBh</ a> SalenaZito/status/ 802523398228344832">November 26, 2016
My mom on Castro: "Batista would only kill you. Castro would kill you, arrest your spouse, make it impossible for your parents to work..."— Soledad O'Brien (@soledadobrien) https://twitter.com/
soledadobrien/status/ 802481955904233472">November 26, 2016
"This is Miami's Berlin Wall moment." https://twitter.com/
My Cuba Libre made with Havana Club Rum saluting all my loved ones who I wish had lived to see this day arrive. https://t.co/0hg1vdNSjC"— MariaElena Fernandez (@writerchica) https://twitter.com/
>pic.twitter.com/0hg1vdNSjC</ a> writerchica/status/ 802407543230238720">November 26, 2016
Aylen Menino and Ivone Menendez celebrate and remember their fathers, who didn't live to see this day https://twitter.com/
— MariaElena Fernandez (@writerchica) November 26, 2016
It’s not about celebrating death. It’s about feeling enormous relief that an extremely long, painful chapter has ended. Hope returns.— MariaElena Fernandez (@writerchica) https://twitter.com/
writerchica/status/ 802415831082680320">November 26, 2016
Earlier this year, I posted about my interview with Nixon "plumber" Eugenio Martínez. Feels right to do it again today. #AdiosCastro pic.twitter.com/EECVpfW0Ft— Billy Corben (@BillyCorben) November 26, 2016
SVT (Sveriges Television) Sweden
De firar Castros bortgång
Publicerad:26 november 2016 12.00
Uppdaterad:26 november 2016 12.27
We were supposed to have dinner in DC tonight. Not happening... https://t.co/ixiQeXeFwy"— Carina Bergfeldt (@carinabergfeldt) https://twitter.com/
>pic.twitter.com/ixiQeXeFwy</ a> carinabergfeldt/status/ 802574380282814464">November 26, 2016
Många känslor i Little Havana.— Carina Bergfeldt (@carinabergfeldt) https://twitter.com/
Slå på teven nu, nyheter kl 18!
(Och 19.30) https://t.co/ObDkPhxtcv"
>pic.twitter.com/ObDkPhxtcv</ a> carinabergfeldt/status/ 802557277530165248">November 26, 2016
Så här reagerar Little Havana på Fidel Castros död.
Vi sänder live i https://twitter.com/
We must seize the moment and help write a new chapter in the history of https://twitter.com/— Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (@RosLehtinen) https://twitter.com/
hashtag/Cuba?src=hash">#Cuba</ a>; that of a Cuba that is free, democratic, and prosperous. RosLehtinen/status/ 802390494328320000">November 26, 2016
If you praise Fidel Castro, don't expect anyone to take your criticism of Donald Trump seriously.— Frank Luntz (@FrankLuntz) https://twitter.com/
FrankLuntz/status/ 802572793456029696">November 26, 2016
"Kaepernick, born in Milwaukee explains to me, the guy born in Havana, how great Castro really is" https://twitter.com/
Justin Trudeau might not want to visit Miami https://twitter.com/
Of course he did! British https://twitter.com/
hashtag/Labour?src=hash"># Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn praises https://twitter.com/ hashtag/Castro?src=hash"># Castro's "heroism." https://t.co/L4rhRE7tDO" >https://t.co/L4rhRE7tDO https://twitter.com/ kausmickey">@kausmickey https://twitter.com/ hillhulse">@hillhulse https://twitter.com/ hashtag/SoFL?src=hash">#SoFL</ a> https://twitter.com/ hashtag/UK?src=hash">#UK</ p>— HallandaleBeachBlog (@hbbtruth) https://twitter.com/ hbbtruth/status/ 802492474656780288">November 26, 2016
My hometown paper. Sometimes you don’t need a lot of words to say so much. https://t.co/xuz7eMXNq4"— MariaElena Fernandez (@writerchica) https://twitter.com/
>pic.twitter.com/xuz7eMXNq4</ a> writerchica/status/ 802394600841224192">November 26, 2016
På grund av visum blir det ingen tur till Havanna. Men likväl till Little Havana.— Carina Bergfeldt (@carinabergfeldt) https://twitter.com/
Live 18 & 19.30 med anledning av Castros död. ️ https://t.co/mMFABHppAL"
>pic.twitter.com/mMFABHppAL</ a> carinabergfeldt/status/ 802461865884454912">November 26, 2016
Nobody in Florida ever put their families on a raft in the middle of the night to send them to Cuba.— Richard Roeper (@richardroeper) https://twitter.com/
richardroeper/status/ 802403437640118272">November 26, 2016
The raw emotion https://twitter.com/