Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Feliz Cuatro de Julio!!


This was the cover of Bohemia magazine featured on July 1, 1956...

Bohemia, literally "Bohemian" was a very popular publication in Havana, indeed all over Cuba. While not quite the same - for one thing, the type of paper used was different for each magazine - it could have been compared to Life magazine in the USA.

(Life - July 6, 1942 - from www.gono.com)

The unique Bohemia cover reminds us of a time when Cubans, in their own land, could honor and celebrate the Fourth of July, alongside their American neighbors, if they chose to do so. No one would interfere, nor care. It has been 50 years since that front cover, paying homage to American Independence and its Father, George Washington, was published.

Today Cubans yearn for the day when, once again, they will be able to celebrate their own independence, from cruel and bankrupt foreign ideologies and histrionic, ranting ideologues. In the meantime, those of us scattered in a diaspora over many lands, in gratefulness for the freedom we do have, through the grace of God and Uncle Sam's hospitality, look on this day as a day of inspiration, thanking God and Uncle for what we have and honoring the patriots of Lexington, Concord, Valley Forge, Saratoga, Yorktown, and many other places of bloody battle, for what they did to make it all possible.

As we do so, let us not fail to remember other patriots who fought the good fight, albeit unsuccessfully to bring about a new Independence Day for Cuba - at the Escambray mountains, at Playa Larga, San Blas, Giron and many other places, over the years, in spite of the odds and outright betrayals which were their "reward." Their sacrifice will not be in vain. Someday, another Bohemia front cover will honor not only the Fourth of July 1776, but also the new Day of Cuban Independence!