Island Of The White Rose-ISBN: 9780981617558

Island Of The White Rose
R. Ira Harris
Bridge Works, Aug 7 2013, $24.95
http://www.BridgeWorksBooks.com
ISBN: 9780981617558

In 1958 affluent Americans consider Havana as another Vegas playground though the visitors chose to ignore the impoverished plight of the Cuban people. Instead places like the thriving Havana Yacht Club is so exclusive that President Batista does not qualify for membership as his pedigree fails to meet the HYC requirement of only the white wealthy elite of the elite belonging. HYC member Father Pedro Villanueva loves sailing his Lightning yacht La Rosa Blanca though he hates the chastity imposition of priesthood and that the Church implicitly supports the brutal reign of the dictator.

When his brother died as they rescued a state prisoner, Pedro’s anger has no bounds as he joins the freedom fighters trying to overthrow Batista. Underground leader Dolores Barre and disgruntled government official Maria Guerra persuade Pedro to run meds and guns to the rebels. After Castro succeeds in deposing Batista, an even more depressed Maria tells Pedro they exchanged one violent dictator for another as they sail La Rosa Blanca across the Florida Straits knowing that Barre pursues them in a swifter boat.

This is a strong insightful historical that uses a dissatisfied unhappy priest to tell the tale of the Castro duplicitous revolution; summed up by the Ed Sullivan show interview in 1959 in which the American concluded Castro is the Cuban George Washington (see YouTube for the clip). The storyline vividly describes Batista’s right wing violent dictatorship followed by Castro’s left wing violent dictatorship. Readers will relish this well-written entertaining tale that cautions the audience to avoid extremists regardless of their political and economic leanings as neither side is good for the people.

Harriet Klausner

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