Nampa, Idaho (December 7, 2016) — Around the world political dictators come and go, and history shows they too often leave a trail of broken lives in their wake. Fidel Castro was no exception. After almost five decades in power the news of his death on November 25, brought mixed reactions from around the world.
Personal narratives can provide a window into the world of the lives of those living under extreme conditions. Heart-wrenching stories show the uncommon courage of the few who choose to follow their conscience rather than buckle to the demands of a tyrant. Now, in a soon-to-be released book by Jose H. Cortes, president of the New Jersey Conference of Seventh-day Adventists we hear another such story. Never Lose Hope recounts his early life as a young pastor, separated from his pregnant wife, and thrown into jail in Castro's Cuba. There, where every shred of human dignity is compromised and his fellow prisoners more closely resemble wild beasts than men, Cortes holds onto the faith of his childhood as he waits to see what God will bring about. "In matters of conscience," he says, "nobody has the right to legislate: neither rulers, nor kings, nor even the church. The Creator has given us an inalienable right called “Free Will” and without it life is meaningless." Never Lose Hope is scheduled to release before Christmas.
Pacific Press® has also published the story of Noble Alexander, written with Kay D. Rizzo. Alexander was falsely accused of conspiracy to assassinate Castro in 1962 and was imprisoned for twenty-two years in one of the most inhumane and brutal prison systems in the world. I Will Die Free tells the story of his determined fight to stay alive and remain faithful to the Lord even while living inside the very gates of hell.
No More Broken Strings: The Early Years recounts the story of Jaime Jorge, the well-loved, gifted violinist who began life in communist Cuba and fled with his family at age ten, choosing to be faithful to God rather than compromise his faith. Today, he says, "Whether under Castro, Hitler, Mao, Stalin or any other oppressive regime or tyrant, we live in a world of pain, suffering and sorrow. Jesus came to bring us hope, light, assurance, and salvation."
In today's political climate of uncertainty, each of these books provides a calming reassurance that the One who watches over Israel neither slumbers nor sleeps. God is faithful and will stand with His children in every age and situation. "We praise the Lord," says Jaime Jorge, "that when Jesus returns to take us to our Heavenly home, we will never experience death, suffering or tyranny again!"