Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Op-ed:
A Personal Glimpse Into Castro’s Hell
By: Diane Sori / The Patriot Factor / Right Side Patriots on American Political Radio bit.ly/2cpXuRd

“Socialismo o muerte." 
- Fidel Castro’s favorite rallying cry

He was no George Washington nor was he Jose Marti...he was a brutal murderous dictator and nothing more...he was Fidel Castro and he is dead...finally and thankfully.

The man who led the 26th of July Movement...a rag-tag group of rebels who morphed into an army of sorts...the man who overthrew Cuba’s once duly-elected president turned dictator Fulgencio Batista...died at 10:29pm last Friday night and the Cuban community in Miami took to the streets in rightful long overdue celebration.

Fidel Castro...the embracer of Soviet inspired communism was the very man who stood strong against ten U.S. presidents from Kennedy to Obama...that man was no mere revolutionary for revolutionary inspired revolutions have a beginning and an end, but for the Cubans in Miami that revolution remains ongoing...that is until next Sunday, December 3rd, when Castro’s ashes will be interned at the Santa Ifigenia Cemetery in Santiago de Cuba, the very site of the beginning of the Cuban Revolution when in 1953 Castro and about 150 other revolutionaries attacked the Moncada military barracks in Santiago de Cuba in an unsuccessful attempt to overthrow Batista’s government.

And the rest is but well-worn notes in history from Castro’s arrest, to his exile in Mexico, to his January 8, 1959 triumphant ride into Havana as Batista’s regime finally fell to his rebels...forever changing what was once called the ‘Gem of the Caribbean’ into a hell-hole of despair ruled with a 50+-year Mafia-like stranglehold on Cuba’s people.

But this article is not a reflection on Fidel Castro’s rule per se but is a telling of truths that must be told as it is the story of but one family’s journey through a nightmare that only now can finally come to an end. And that family is my family...my family through marriage.

My name as you my readers know is Diane Sori but technically according to Spanish tradition my married name is Diane Sori-Marin...wife of Manuel Luis Sori-Marin...daughter-in-law of the late Dr. Manuel Sori-Marin and Olga Sori-Barretto...and would be niece, again by marriage, of the late Humberto Sori-Marin. And if that name sounds familiar it's because Humberto Sori-Marin was once Castro’s Minister of Agriculture and Judge Advocate General where in this position he oversaw the sentencing of many to death...that is until he tuned on Castro and became a double-agent for President John F. Kennedy...handpicked by the C.I.A. along with other members of the Frente Revolucionario Democratico (FRD) to help lead the Bay of Pigs invasion from Cuba’s side...an invasion to overthrow the overthrower...an invasion I believe to assassinate Fidel Castro.

And Humberto Sori-Marin was one of the men arrested upon landing at Fundora Point, Celimar, near Havana, with American-made arms and explosives in their possession...arrested along with other anti-Castro operatives by Cuban state security (G-2) officers after having been caught off guard during a then routine but unannounced G-2 search of neighborhood houses. Executed on Castro’s direct orders immediately after the failed invasion...Humberto was executed in a way to send a message to all who dared oppose Castro...executed before the eyes of his horrified family...shot first in the knees to be photographed falling to the ground as if in pleading for his life only to be then so riddled with bullets that even his own younger brother Mariano could barely identify his body at the morgue.

But why did Humberto Sori-Marin turn against the man he once pledged his life and loyalty to...why did a man who was one of Castro’s ‘right hands’ during the revolution do such a thing especially when he was rewarded with positions of power by the dictator who later became known to the newest generation of Cubans as ‘Papa?’ 

The answer to that is twofold. First, Humberto Sori-Marin was a smart and learned man, a lawyer by profession, who saw that once Castro was in power he started to initiate radical economic reforms that were nothing but a harbinger of a communist state in the making and not the democracy that was promised the Cuban people. And second, Humberto was plagued by guilt...a simple yet most powerful of reasons...for when he was the chief judge in the then ongoing war crimes trials in Havana, it was he who presided over the February 18, 1959 televised sham of a trial of Major Jesús Sosa-Blanco...a colonel in the Cuban army under Batista...and it was he who personally pronounced Sosa-Blanco’s death sentence...a death sentence he ordered carried out within mere hours...a death sentence that haunted him to his dying day. See actual news wheel footage of the televised trial here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tvLfOXCg7BY

And it was this guilt that had Humberto formulating plans to overthrow the monster he helped to create...even if those plans meant assassinating his onetime friend. And those plans...the Cuba initiated involvement in the Bay of Pigs operation...are now believed to be the first attempt on Fidel Castro’s life for a small group could not really be expected to overthrow the regime now in place.

And these whys are what lead Humberto to resign both his minister and judiciary positions, after which he joined Manuel Artime-Buesa’s anti-communist movement while at the same time even more blood starting to flow in Cuba’s streets as one by one members and supporters of Batista’s former government were rounded up to stand before ‘summary courts’... courts in name only where those accused were found guilty without the benefit of a trial...where those accused were found guilty and sentenced to death...and where at least 582 of those accused were shot dead in the span of just two years by firing squads...shot dead just like my would-be uncle by marriage Humberto Sori-Marin was on April 20, 1961
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But Umberto’s death was not the only heartache my future family by marriage would be forced to endure at the hands of brutal dictator Fidel Castro.

My future father-in-law, Dr. Manuel Sori-Marin, older brother of the executed Humberto, was never a supporter neither of Fidel Castro nor of his revolution. A member of the anti-Castro Camaguey ‘urban cadres,’ my father-in-law, a cardio/thoracic surgeon and the medical director of the Hospital La Colonia Espanola as well as a free clinic for Camaguey’s poor, had a warrant out for his arrest as well. And why...while not in the history books and for good reason, the fact is that Humberto Sori-Marin was actually arrested twice by Castro for conspiring against the state...for conspiring against him. The second time was obviously when Humberto was executed, but the first time was when he was placed under simple house arrest in Havana as a favor of sorts by Castro. In a show of weakness of emotions over logic, Castro thought this was a gesture of friendship and camaraderie for Humberto’s having fought alongside him during the revolution. 

But sensing what his fate was eventually to be as well as being plagued by guilt for both the blood on his hands and for his part in Cuba’s now unfolding nightmare, Humberto feigned illness and was surprisingly allowed to send for his personal physician who just happened to be his brother Manuel. Together they made good their escape through a hole in the wall made when they took out an air conditioning unit and under cover of night made their way to the Embassy of San Salvador. There Humberto and my future father-in-law hid out until April 1961, when they were smuggled to San Salvadoria and eventually made their way to Miami where Humberto met with C.I.A. operatives and where his fate was sealed...and where my future father-in-law aided by wealthy Chicago businessman Sam Orenstein, whose daughter’s life he had saved while the Orenstein’s were vacationing in Cuba, Papi (as I came to affectionately call him) stayed but one step ahead of his own arrest and execution.

Now forced by circumstances to leave behind his patients, his practice, and most importantly his young family...my husband-to-be was but a mere child at this time and was the younger of two siblings...my father-in-law, a wealthy man in his own right, lost everything to Fidel Castro in his rush to escape. Coming to the U.S. penniless and alone, Papi aided by Orenstein made his way to Chicago where he was forced to take a job as an orderly in Oak Forrest Hospital in Illinois as he...a once leading cardio/thoracic surgeon in Cuba...had to take the American medical boards in English in order to hold the same positions and titles he once held in Cuba.

And while Papi was allowed by the embassy to have his wife Olga...my future mother-in-law...visit him once or twice while under their protection...said visits were to make clear that both he and his family must plan to escape immediately not just to save their own lives but because under Fidel’s dictatorship sons became property of the state destined for servitude to the regime... something he never wanted nor would allow for his son Manuel... my future husband. And with plans made to time their escape with the first wave of refugees leaving the island...the wave encompassing the ‘Peter Pan’ flights...my now mother-in-law, my now husband Manuel and his older sister Susana boarded a standing room only flight to Miami after being personally searched, monies and Cuban passports taken away, and left with literally nothing to begin their new life in America. Thankfully after landing in Miami, and again with the help of Sam Orenstein, they too made it to Chicago to be reunited with Papi after a month’s separation.

But while Papi’s family eventually made their way to the U.S. leaving behind everything in exchange for freedom, my mother-in-law was forced to leave forever not only her family but to leave behind a life style that only the truly wealthy of Cuba knew...to leave it all yet over time to become the strong woman she still is today. One of two daughters of privilege...Olga Sori-Barreto was the younger daughter of Luis and Aljimira Barreto...a wealthy cattle baron and former railroad supervisor for the American railroad of Cuba. Now forced by fate, a grieving Luis Barreto had to tell his beloved daughter in no uncertain terms that she must leave Cuba, her home, behind...that she must leave not only for her sake and her future but because he too feared the consequences for her young son if they stayed. 

Staying behind by choice...a choice made that saw many Cuban families being torn apart for the first time...was her older sister and her husband who when offered the chance to leave on the same flight chose instead to stay to care for their now ailing and frail parents...to stay to bear witness to all their father had worked a lifetime for being taken away by a murdering dictator and his regime. And when Olga and her children set foot upon that plane...the plane’s doors sealed shut a once happy past and was the last time Olga Sori-Barreto would ever see her beloved father and mother until years later when she was allowed to briefly return to the country that had been her home by the Castro government (under a compassionate visa) for their funerals.

So now here we are many decades later, with this family I spoke of now being my family, and while my mother-in-law’s late sister and her husband were eventually allowed to come to the U.S. for brief visits, these visits were decades after the fact as the sister Olga left behind as a young beautiful woman was now old and sick, beaten down and stripped of a future by the actions of a man in whose death I too rejoice in. And while my beloved Papi did become an American licensed Doctor of Pulmonology and a highly respected thoracic surgeon, his proudest achievement was his and his family’s becoming American citizens...Republicans by choice as Papi knew well the dangers of supposed benign Democratic liberalism morphing into full blown totalitarianism. 

How I wish Papi had lived to see the man who executed his brother and who tore his family apart have his ashes not interred in a peaceful and hauntingly beautiful cemetery but sprinkled over the agonizing fires of hell as payback for all the heartache and despair he caused while living what amounted to a hypocritical coward’s life at the expense of his fellow Cuban people...for only hypocritical cowards do the unspeakable things Fidel Castro did all while living a life of luxury...the very thing he claimed to so despise.

And while history sometimes has a way of absolving the unspeakable acts of both madmen and brutal dictators know that in the case of Fidel Castro, America’s Cuban community at large and many families personally touched by Castro’s hand of death will not allow history to be kind to this most brutal of men...and might I add rightfully so.

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RIGHT SIDE PATRIOTS...LIVE!

Today, Tuesday, November 29th, from 7 to 9pm EST on American Political Radio, RIGHT SIDE PATRIOTS Craig Andresen and Diane Sori share Diane's personal glimpse into Cuba's past, talk about Craig's take on Jill Strein's nonsensical recalls, and discuss the stabbings on the campus of OSU.

Hope you can tune in at: bit.ly/2cpXuRd



2 comments:

  1. Thank you for posting this. I shared it on my FB page. There are so many people who have no idea about the kind of man Castro was. Your family was so very brave.

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  2. Thank you for sharing my family's story...a story that is but one among many. The truth about Castro must be told even if it's one story at time.

    ReplyDelete