In 1989, a young Chinese man captured the attention of the world when he laid his life on the line and faced off against a row of tanks moving to crush the uprising against communist rule. An act of futility perhaps, but almost 23 years later his act of resistance remains a powerful symbol of resistance and courage.
In 2012, he has been joined in freedom's pantheon of anonymous heroes by this man, a young Cuban who on Monday as the Papal Mass in Santiago de Cuba was beginning rose up and declared, "Down with communism!" and "Freedom!"
"Down with communism!"
The Castro dictatorship will try, but those words -- prayers, really, considering where and when they were delivered -- will not be silenced. They will echo in Cuba long after the pope has returned to Rome.
Like the young Chinese man who stood up to the tanks in Beijing, one nameless Cuban and his act of extraordinary bravery will not be forgotten.