Sunday, December 14, 2008

Series examines Cuban revolution at 50

The Miami Herald launched a 10-part series today examining the movement led by Fidel Castro: the Cuban revolution that affected millions of people, not just in Cuba but throughout Florida and the world. The Bradenton Herald taps into that series in today's editions and here online.

As the editors explained today, the series will explore whether anything was achieved in a nation that now boasts a highly educated populace, but one steeped in economic despair.

Bradenton Herald intern Victoria Bekiempis interviewed several Cubans in Manatee County for a sidebar story today. Ronaldo Cruz is one of those voices. As Bekiempis reports:

Like the hundreds of thousands of Cuban-born Americans who have come to the U.S. to think, write, pray and politic freely, Cruz has watched the watershed events on the island — such as President Fidel Castro’s convalescence and brother Raul’s ascent to power — take place from afar.

On the eve of the Cuban revolution’s 50th anniversary, he and other area Cuban Americans remain skeptical, if not hostile, of what followed the 1958 ouster of Cuba’s strong-armed President Fulgencio Batista.

This behind-the-scenes series promises a unique look into one of the most significant movements in our time. A sobering summation by columnist Andres Oppenheimer:

"Fifty years after Fidel Castro took power in Cuba, the big question about the Cuban revolution is not whether it was justified, but whether it was worth it. From all available evidence, it wasn't."

-- Joan

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