Fidel Castro's death following Thanksgiving Day, served to highlight an individual who was a survivor, but not a success, and one who left a 57-year legacy of failure. His actions drastically altered the lives of everyone. He turned our beautiful island nation into an economic and social disaster.
As a brutal dictator, he managed to stay in power — not by popular consent, but by eliminating freedoms, imprisoning or executing thousands of opponents and creating distrust. He confiscated hard earned farms, businesses and property, and created the “neighborhood committees” (Comités de Barrio) — to uncover dissidents and sources of assets.
Thousands died fighting him. Untold numbers drowned fleeing Cuba hoping for a new life in the USA.
Beyond that, Castro's death gave a new meaning to the words some of us have often uttered: "Gracias (Thank You) Fidel." In a peculiar way, because of "him" many of us were blessed and fortunate to have been welcomed, accepted and made part of the great Texas City community.
Interestingly and coincidentally, Cubans and Texans are bound by our flags; both have a "solitary star." Texas is the Lone Star State; the Cuban Flag is known as The Solitary Star.