I was 11 years old when I read the New York Daily News account of William Alexander Morgan’s execution. Morgan was an American adventurer who had gone to Cuba in 1958 to join the fight against Fulgencio Batista. A brave and resourceful soldier, he became a comandante in Castro’s army—the only foreigner to attain that rank apart from Che Guevara. Yet, just three years after he arrived, Castro denounced him as a traitor and ordered him shot.
The August 17 Washington Post carries a fine obit on Terence A. Todman, deceased August 13. No quibbles with Emily Langer’s synthesis of this remarkable man, my first boss in 1986 in the Foreign Service. Just a few footnotes to add:
I was Ambassador Todman’s press officer the day he gave his fateful news conference in Copenhagen, denying that his future posting would be South Africa… Continue reading Remembering Todman
The greatest American civil rights leader of my lifetime was a South African. I say this not just because Nelson Mandela’s fight for equality and justice followed a path blazed by Henry David Thoreau and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. I say this because he carried the torch for freedom at a time when it was under siege throughout the world. He held it high and with dignity, never letting it be extinguished by violence and recrimination. Continue reading Growing Up With Nelson Mandela