US

A rose for family of US plantation owner executed by Castro

  • In this Tuesday, Nov. 22, 2016 photo, Frances R. Fuller displays a Life Magazine, from Oct. 31, 1960, with the photo, top left, of her parents William Fuller, left, Jennie Fuller, right, and her brother Robert Fuller, center, at her home in Miami. In 1960, Robert Fuller joined an ill-fated mission to lead a boatload of poorly trained Cubans from Miami in hopes of mustering up a counter-revolution on the island. Instead, the men were quickly captured, and Fuller confessed under torture to counterrevolutionary activities.  Fuller was sentenced to death by firing squad. The family asked to bring his body back with them to America. Castro's people said no. (AP Photo/Alan Diaz)

    In this Tuesday, Nov. 22, 2016 photo, Frances R. Fuller displays a Life Magazine, from Oct. 31, 1960, with the photo, top left, of her parents William Fuller, left, Jennie Fuller, right, and her brother Robert Fuller, center, at her home in Miami. In 1960, Robert Fuller joined an ill-fated mission to lead a boatload of poorly trained Cubans from Miami in hopes of mustering up a counter-revolution on the island. Instead, the men were quickly captured, and Fuller confessed under torture to counterrevolutionary activities. Fuller was sentenced to death by firing squad. The family asked to bring his body back with them to America. Castro's people said no. (AP Photo/Alan Diaz)  (The Associated Press)

  • In this Tuesday, Nov. 22, 2016 photo, Frances R. Fuller points to a photo in Life Magazine, dated Oct. 31, 1960, with the photo, of her brother Robert Fuller, center, flanked by parents William Fuller, left, Jennie Fuller, right, at her home in Miami. In 1960, Robert Fuller joined an ill-fated mission to lead a boatload of poorly trained Cubans from Miami in hopes of mustering up a counter-revolution on the island. Instead, the men were quickly captured, and Fuller confessed under torture to counterrevolutionary activities.  Fuller was sentenced to death by firing squad. The family asked to bring his body back with them to America. Castro's people said no. (AP Photo/Alan Diaz)

    In this Tuesday, Nov. 22, 2016 photo, Frances R. Fuller points to a photo in Life Magazine, dated Oct. 31, 1960, with the photo, of her brother Robert Fuller, center, flanked by parents William Fuller, left, Jennie Fuller, right, at her home in Miami. In 1960, Robert Fuller joined an ill-fated mission to lead a boatload of poorly trained Cubans from Miami in hopes of mustering up a counter-revolution on the island. Instead, the men were quickly captured, and Fuller confessed under torture to counterrevolutionary activities. Fuller was sentenced to death by firing squad. The family asked to bring his body back with them to America. Castro's people said no. (AP Photo/Alan Diaz)  (The Associated Press)

  • In this Tuesday, Nov. 22, 2016 photo, Frances R. Fuller, left, and her niece Kathrine Fuller, right, sister and niece respectively, of Robert Fuller, show photos of Fuller at their home in Miami. In 1960, Robert Fuller joined an ill-fated mission to lead a boatload of poorly trained Cubans from Miami in hopes of mustering up a counter-revolution on the island. Instead, the men were quickly captured, and Fuller confessed under torture to counterrevolutionary activities.  Fuller was sentenced to death by firing squad. The family asked to bring his body back with them to America. Castro's people said no. (AP Photo/Alan Diaz)

    In this Tuesday, Nov. 22, 2016 photo, Frances R. Fuller, left, and her niece Kathrine Fuller, right, sister and niece respectively, of Robert Fuller, show photos of Fuller at their home in Miami. In 1960, Robert Fuller joined an ill-fated mission to lead a boatload of poorly trained Cubans from Miami in hopes of mustering up a counter-revolution on the island. Instead, the men were quickly captured, and Fuller confessed under torture to counterrevolutionary activities. Fuller was sentenced to death by firing squad. The family asked to bring his body back with them to America. Castro's people said no. (AP Photo/Alan Diaz)  (The Associated Press)

Cuban exiles in Miami have been celebrating the death of Fidel Castro, so noisily that in a nearby cemetery, the marble angels echo with the cheers of conga-lines down Calle Ocho. The Caballero Woodlawn Cemetery on Southwest Eighth Street holds many famous anti-Castro exiles, including the family of one Robert Fuller.

That's not a name that leaps to mind nowadays, but Fuller holds a special place in Cuban history, as one of a small group of Cuban-Americans who tried to overthrow the Castro government in 1960, six months before the Bay of Pigs invasion.

Fuller was born in Cuba and had dual citizenship, and was furious when the rebels confiscated his family's sugar plantation. He rode a PT boat with several dozen men and a few weapons from Miami to the island, where he was swiftly captured and executed by firing squad.

His niece, Katherine Fuller, visited the family gravesite this week to honor his memory. She hopes to visit the island now that Fidel is gone. But first, she said, she's got some celebrating to do.