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Now that I've tried to answer the sticky question as quickly and politically correct as I could, I shall launch this narrative by rewinding my imagination to Havana in the mid-fifties, and while at it, borrow from Dickens 's masterpiece, "Tale of Two Cities", the most fitting of all introductory lines: "It was the best of times. It was the worst of times..." And let it go at that. I have learned from my ancestors that if every man writes a book, plants a tree, and fathers a child, the world around him will be more agreeable. This book is my tree. The roots reach back sixty years. Its fruits are still fresh. Not a celebrity in any way, I'm a common man who feels compelled to share his memoirs with his adopted countrymen for the sake of reflection. Therefore, I shall raise my martini glass and propose a toast: "May the story of our lives bring enlightenment to the blind, appreciation for our liberties in America, the resolve to learn from the past, and the tenacity to prevent negligence from tainting our country's self-determination...for centuries to come: Salud!