Flying out and seeing a bay of freedom from the window of the airplane, I thought back to a rag tag sinking ‘boat’ that came limping into Guantanamo, a safe haven, they hoped.
A Haitian ‘WAR SHIP’ no longer than 60 feet, and taking on water as fast as the pumps could work and the men bailing for life and it was still sinking.
The Bay patrol told them not to enter, this was USA property and restricted, but the little boat came anyway. They tied up at the pier within 75 feet of my Sherry’s working space. the men on the boat were immediately detained. That is when their sad story came out.
As most folks know, Haiti was ruled by Papa Doc Duvalier. To some he was a benevolent Dictator but to most he was a Tyrant. Life became even worse for Haitians when Baby Doc took charge. More folks were starving as Baby doc got richer.
There was a time that the rag-tag military of Haiti talked of revolt. The Navy (such as it was) also agreed. On a certain day at 1200 hours, the navy would fire on the Dictators Palace. The Army would then attack the Palace and take Baby Doc prisoner.
On the day assigned, only one boat fired at the Palace. You guessed it, our delinquent little ship was the only one to follow the plan every one else changed their minds. The skipper and his small crew made a hasty get away with their ‘friends’ firing at them.
They made it to GITMO. The USA and BABY Doc were ‘friends’ so we were between a rock and a hard place, but the USA did protect the crew. Their families were killed and an even sadder situation, a radio repairman was on the boat at the time. He was not part of the plan, but his family was killed also.
Haiti is such a poor little country and it is sad that they cannot get leadership that can help them rise out of poverty.
This situation was heart breaking to us on GITMO who felt for the military crew, understanding full well what it meant for those men to go against their political leader, a Dictator. they would be under death sentence and their family would suffer greatly. Revolting against a Dictator is a very dangerous path to follow.
With all its faults. I love our freedom in the USA.
They tell me the snow is most gone in the North Woods. I hope Woody’s place is snow free now. I borrowed the pictures for him.
Sad situation for sure. I agree I love our country in spite of it's faults.
How heartbreaking that must have been for those men. We are so very blessed here in the US. I never really knew much about Haiti until they were devastated by hurricane a few years ago now.
That is very sad..We are so lucky
in the good ole USA for our freedom.
We have so many things to be thankful so many choices and very blessed.
Almost too sad to hear about what happened to them and their families.
I'm glad you shared this, Jack; it is very sad, but I don't think I would have known about it if you hadn't written about it. I am thankful that the USA is a democracy indeed!
Nd Haiti is still a poor little sad country - after all that devastation took place a few years ago.
Incredibly sad, yes.
The networks and headlines almost never shed light on the 'human' side of issues, do they?
I'm thinking every little tale, or vignette, or whatever you want to call it, helps shrink this big old world somehow.
When tragedy struck Haiti a few years ago so many people I know where wondering how that happened! My friend Dawn and her hubby Cliff lived there in the 1970s. She taught me so many frugal ways to live and stretch a dollar!Haitian people are so wonderful and yet they are suffering in such terrible poverty. I am so shocked how all these years later they have not been able to rise out from under it! I always pray for them. Whenever I make Dawn's recipe for Beef Stroganoff I think of her days living in Haiti. She shared her recipe with me over thirty years ago when we worked int he medical school together. Jack you always find a way to help me jog my memory with my own stories. Thanks for always sharing your stories here. I hope you and Sherry are blessed this weekend, Enjoy!
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