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Vicente Locay, Rest in Peace



My friend Luis called yesterday (11/24/09) to tell me that his father, Vicente Locay had passed away.

Vicente was not a tall man, but he stood tall at key moments in his life.

Over the years, Luis told many stories about what Vicente said and did in Cuba. One of my favorites was that Vicente, not being particularly religious, had no plans to have Luis christened. But when Castro outlawed public displays of Catholicism, Vicente changed his mind, and made sure that Luis had the benefits of a public christening.

When it became increasingly clear what was in store for Cuba under Castro's dictatorship, Vicente managed to get his family on a rickety plane, and escape.

In Cuba, Vicente had owned several small businesses. In the U.S., he started over, without ever mastering English. He worked hard remodeling houses to support his family.

For many years, I had hoped that Vicente would outlast Fidel, and would return in triumph to a post-Fidel Havana.

It's too late for that to happen. The best we can do is to acknowledge and salute a man of courage and strength, who chose freedom.





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