Let the Bastards Go: From Cuba to Freedom on God's Mercy

Overview

Hispanic parishioners at Grace Episcopal Church in New Orleans told Doss and Frade of their friends' and relatives' dire situation in Cuba and pleaded for assistance. The two organized first a series of "freedom flights" that helped rescue more than one thousand people, but these were cut off when the great Mariel boatlift began. In a riveting narrative, Doss describes how he and Frade then purchased an old World War II submarine chaser they renamed God's Mercy, engaged in delicate diplomacy at the highest level ...

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Overview

Hispanic parishioners at Grace Episcopal Church in New Orleans told Doss and Frade of their friends' and relatives' dire situation in Cuba and pleaded for assistance. The two organized first a series of "freedom flights" that helped rescue more than one thousand people, but these were cut off when the great Mariel boatlift began. In a riveting narrative, Doss describes how he and Frade then purchased an old World War II submarine chaser they renamed God's Mercy, engaged in delicate diplomacy at the highest level of Cuban authority, and ultimately ran an American Coast Guard blockade to reach Mariel. Throughout his tale of the dramatic rescue, Doss intersperses compelling portraits of many of the participants and pilgrims, revealing the human faces behind a historic event filled with suffering, cruelty, and violence, as well as heroism and humor.

Doss originally wrote Let the Bastards Go — the title echoes a Cuban anti-émigré slogan — in 1984, and Walker Percy provided a foreword. Doss decided against publishing it then, however, fearing that the wounds within the Cuban American community were too fresh. Nearly twenty years later, both Doss and Frade — now Bishop of Miami — agree that enough time has passed. The inspiring story of God's Mercycan, and should, finally be told.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780807128541
  • Publisher: Louisiana State University Press
  • Publication date: 3/28/2003
  • Pages: 279
  • Product dimensions: 5.90 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 1.20 (d)

Meet the Author

Joe Morris Doss, retired Bishop of the Diocese of New Jersey in the Episcopal Church, was rector of Grace Episcopal Church in New Orleans from 1971 to 1985. He is the author of The Death Penalty: Law and Morality; The Songs of the Mothers; and the play Earnest. Now a resident of Mandeville, Louisiana, he leads an ecumenical effort to foster reform and unity within the global church.

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Table of Contents

Foreword xi
Preface xiii
Prologue 1
Part 1 The Mission
1 The Parade 7
2 On the Streets 13
3 Freedom Flights 18
4 Behind the Political Scenes 20
5 Barriers 23
6 The People! 30
7 Decision 43
8 Repudiations 53
9 Going 60
10 Propaganda 69
11 The Last Flight 73
12 The Meeting at Tamiami Park 81
13 Negotiations 84
14 Commando Priests 97
15 The Rubicon 106
16 The Cigar Maker 108
17 Storm Clouds 111
18 Marlene 115
19 Samson and God's Mercy 116
20 Yamil 127
21 Going Anyway 128
22 The Leper 139
Part 2 Que Se Vayan
23 On Board God's Mercy 149
24 Casting Off 153
25 At Sea 155
26 Running the Blockade 156
27 Mariel 162
28 Difficult Decisions 170
29 The Dockworker 177
30 Youth 184
31 The Guests of the Triton Hotel 190
32 Ready or Not 202
33 Designs 211
34 Growing Anxiety 220
35 A Family Story 227
36 The Camp at Mosquito 230
37 Desperate Actions 238
38 A Time to Go 253
39 Voyage Home 255
Appendix The Passengers of God's Mercy 273
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