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"Love and Terror in Havana"

Here is an Excerpt from the book...

 “You will be executed at noon tomorrow. It matters not what you have to say.”

Roberto, tied to a chair in front of Captain-General Weyler’s mahogany desk, studied his captor. The Spanish officer wore the look of death. His inky black eyes, cold and beyond indifferent, betrayed no emotion. Tiny hairs on Roberto’s arms and neck warned him of the danger. The boy took a deep breath. His voice did not falter.

“Your niece is held prisoner in the camp of General Maceo.  You are to resign your position, effective immediately, or she will die. I am told her death will be a slow and horrific process.”

Weyler twitched.

He immediately turned his back. Roberto noticed.

“My niece will die whether I resign or not.”

“I agree.”

Weyler spun in place. His eyebrows shot up.

The boy smiled.

“Explain yourself,” said Weyler.

“Once you have resigned, neither I nor your niece are of any use to the Americano.

“The Americano?”

“Frank Lamb. A mercenary from the United States. Lots of money and good connections. Wants the Spanish government out of Cuba.”

“Why do you tell me these things?”

Roberto bit his lower lip. His watery eyes closed. He cleared his throat.


The teenaged rebel choked on his words. He tried again.

“Because. I am in love with your niece.”

The captain general smiled.

“And now you will surely die.”

Roberto shook his head in disagreement. He spoke softly.

“I will not die. At least not at your hands.”

“I have ordered the execution of thousands of rebels. Why should you be any different?”

“Because, my dear general, she is in love with me.”

“I do not believe you.”

“Allow me to explain. It does not matter if the rebels kill your niece or if you kill me. You will never see your niece again. It is a fact of life, my friend. A broken heart can do as much damage as a bullet.”

Weyler exploded. He rushed forward and slapped Roberto in the face.  First, with the palm of his hand and then with the back of his hand. Weyler did not stop. He slapped the prisoner, again and again. Roberto’s lips oozed blood. The boy’s eyes rolled to the back of his wobbly head.

“Take him away. And see to it that he is unharmed. I should like to kill this rebel bastard myself.”

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