Open letter to president George
By Hugo J. Byrne
Dear President George W. Bush:
Have you ever read about the scandal that prompted Julius Caesar's
divorce? It happened in ancient Rome at a time just before its dramatic
transition from Republic to Empire. There was a Roman religious ceremony
attended only by the wives of the Patricians. For that ritual no men
were allowed inside the temple. Some of the wives succeeded in secretly
sneaking in a man dressed as a woman. Their trivial action was only
meant to be playful, if iconoclastic.
When the scandal became known, it was apparent that Caesar's wife was
one of the pranksters. Caesar, who was a rising military and political
star at the time, did not react immediately, but after the incident
subsided from the public interest he repudiated his wife and sued for
divorce. Surprised, Caesar's wife asked for her husband's reason. The
future Emperor's response was: "Caesar's wife should not only act
according to her status, but must appear to act in a like manner."
When Federal agents raided Santiago Alvarez's office and home, taking
him into custody some days ago, everybody in the Cuban American
community assumed this action was taken to placate Castro. Castro
demanded Alvarez arrest, together with the many other items of his evil
agenda vis-ŕ-vis the U.S. government in a $136,000.00 worth New York
Times advertisement page, and in a 6 hour long tirade from Havana.
Even if these events are not related -as may be the case- the suspicion
of U.S. government being eager to please or being afraid of the
international misbehavior of the most dangerous anti-American Tyrant in
history is very hard to dismiss. If true, the long and hard series of
inconsistencies and betrayals by the U.S. government to those among the
most patriotic and loyal American citizens would have reached another
shameful milestone. I for one do not want to believe it, otherwise I
would not be wasting my time and ink writing this letter.
Let me remind you of certain very hard facts in recent history: For
almost 47 years Cuba had been subjected to a most barbaric and cruel
totalitarian regime. If you consider the size of the Cuban population,
Castro has killed, imprisoned and exiled on a per capita basis more
victims than Sadam Hussein. Using the same criteria, Castro is revealed
as one among the worst tyrants of the Millennium, comparable to Hitler,
Stalin or Mao. It is not necessary for you to take my word on that sad
subject. Just review the historical
History demonstrated Castro's willingness to engage in terrorism without
any respect or regard to frontiers or boundaries of sovereign nations.
On this subject Castro is no different from Bin Laden. Had the United
States ignored his duplicity in October 1962, this nation would have
been at least partially destroyed by nuclear missiles deployed on Cuban
soil at Castro's own request. His immense hatred of the U.S. and its
is an absolute understatement.
Castro's totalitarian rule is backed by his continuous violence against
the Cuban people. Against that backdrop, Mr. President, do the people
have a right to self-defense? Are Cuban Americans lesser humans on this
planet or do we have the right and the duty to help our brothers in Cuba
to also enjoy certain inalienable rights, like life, liberty and the
pursuit of happiness?
Santiago Alvarez and Luis Posada are prisoners in this country because
they chose to fight for the life, liberty and happiness of the Cuban
people. Do you think the United States has a responsibility toward the
Cuban nation created by historical and geographical ties? Was the U.S.
Congress wrong when in 1898 decided that Cuba "is, and by right should
be free and independent"?
Did Washington and Madrid behave ethically when they excluded a Cuban
delegation at the signing of the Paris Treaty ending the
Spanish-American War of 1898? Did the Kennedy administration take the
honorable path by denying the Cuban Brigade the promised air support at
Bay of Pigs in April of 1961? Did the U.S. acted properly by extending a
guarantee to the Soviets on Castro regime's safety in October 1962?
Mr. President, no nation in history has ever attained liberty without
some degree of help from outside powers. This nation is not an exception
to this rule. Without a French Army led by General Rochambeau and a
French Fleet commanded by Admiral De Grasse, General George Washington
could never have surrounded and defeated Cornwallis at Yorktown in 1781.
De Grasse defeated a British fleet -posed to evacuate Cornwallis- at the
battle of Chesapeake Bay. Honoring that feat the U.S. Navy always has
named one major active
vessel as "Admiral De Grasse".
Ironically, De Grasse's Fleet's last port of call before the Battle of
Chesapeake Bay was the port of Matanzas City, a wide bay in the north
coast of Cuba, sixty five miles east of Havana and my hometown. France
and Spain were at that point in history allies in helping the American
Revolutionary War against Britain. It was the generous contribution of
the people of Havana to the Marquis of Saint-Simon that allowed General
Washington to pay
his long neglected troops.
Saint-Simon, one of the captains of the French fleet was sent by De
Grasse from Matanzas to Havana aboard the frigate "Aigrette" to request
economic aid from then Spanish Colonial Governor Juan Cajigal. The help
-raised from private donations- reached the incredible amount for that
time of one million ducats (the equivalent of $25 million). The people
of Havana had suffered over one year from British occupation during the
Seven-Year War, and anti-British feelings were still running high.
Thanks to the Cuban
people of colonial times De Grasse's fleet was able to refurbish its
munitions and supplies for the Battle of Chesapeake Bay and George
Washington was able to pay his destitute soldiers.
Castro and his client Hugo Chávez are now openly and blatantly
intervening and destabilizing almost every other nation in South and
Central America. Their main objective at this time is to neutralize
Colombia, besieged by the collusion between communist insurgency and the
cocaine industry. President Alvaro Uribe, the only U.S. ally in the
area, seems to be the last obstacle to the final conquest of Latin
America by the totalitarian rabble they command. You Mr. President do
not need to be reminded of the final objective
of this nefarious couple.
With the background of this most unsettling scenario it is mind boggling
to witness Federal agents engage in persecuting and imprisoning those
Cuban exiles whose only crime is to wage an uphill struggle against
America's Public Enemy #1. Luis Posada was twice judged by unfriendly
Venezuelan Courts and found not guilty -for lack of evidence- of the
fatal bombing of a passenger plane off the coast of Barbados in 1976.
Then Venezuelan President Carlos Perez kept Posada in prison, bowing to
Castro's pressure until
There is absolutely nothing the American public would or should fear
from men like Luis Posada or Santiago Alvarez. Posada is a little older
than I am, but I have followed very close his heroic quest for freedom.
Alvarez is from Matanzas, and I have been a friend of his family since
my early childhood. Our parents were very close friends and we served in
the same unit in the U.S. Army. I do not think Santiago would need me as
witness any time soon -he has more notable friends- but I would gladly
do just that.
If the accusation of "terrorist" by Castro and his like should be
sufficient to order the arrest of anybody in the U.S., I should wait for
the visit of federal agents at any time soon. In December of 2003 "Gramma
International" accused me of "terrorism". Castro's despicable rag made
that accusation because of a letter that I among half a dozen Cuban
American activists in L. A. sent to then Panamanian President Mireya
Moscoso. The letter, given to the Panamanian local Consulate, requested
freedom for Luis Posada and three
other Cuban patriots, then in a Panamanian prison, again victims of
You see Mr. President, for tyrants like Castro or Chavez, anybody
opposing their criminal rule is a "terrorist". For that reason alone I
appeal to your sense of justice, as well as your best political
judgement. The Cuban community was paramount on your election victory in
Florida in 2000 and decidedly contributed greatly to your reelection in
2004. Persecution and incarceration of those defending freedom and
offering the best of them to
that noble cause during your watch is beyond absurdity.
There is no difference between U.S. soldiers or marines fighting for
freedom in Iraq and Cubans facing death and braving terror and
repression in their quest for liberty. Alienating freedom-loving Cuban-
Americans could do great damage to the permanent interest of the U.S.
and the cause of freedom.
That can only promote a dangerous division between the exiled community
and your administration. Castro's tyranny would be the only party to
gain by that action. I am afraid that is precisely what Santiago
Alvarez's arrest could largely achieve.
In the name of freedom, dignity and Humanity release Santiago Alvarez
and Luis Posada!
Hugo J. Byrne.
November 30, 2005