When you are young, you are full of optimism, hope. You look for the best in people. When I was a young boy of thirteen, I joined Fidel Castro’s “Young Commanders.” We were the youth, the new generation of communism. I believed his words of freedom and I became the leader of the brigade.
Soon I was inside the inner circles of Castro’s elite. I saw what they said and did; how they referred to the people as stupid, as sheep. How they took everything from the rich, and instead of giving it to the poor, like they promised, they kept it for themselves. There was simply a new ruling elite class: Castro and his followers. I saw people lose their lives simply for voicing disagreement with anything he did or said. Families I had grown up with that owned businesses had them taken away by the government. People starved, while Castro feasted.
I did not choose to be a spy, it chose me. I could not just watch Castro squeeze the life out of my people. I had to do something. And so I started a series of events that cost me more than I ever imagined. It eventually cost me the life of my son. I turned against Fidel and his empty promises and his greed, and supplied information to the international intelligence community from the Prime Minister’s office where I worked. When I was discovered I fled the country, barely escaping with my life. Using my scuba skills, I snuck into and out of Cuba dozens of times, earning myself the name “Lightning” from Castro himself. For over thirty years I served the cause of freedom for my people, and others around the world in oppression.
For more of my story, and the story of others in Cuba, see The Zipper screenplay.