A couple weeks ago, I posted this photo with this caption: ”He barely spoke any English. But I did gather that he’d recently moved from Cuba, and had come to America for ‘La Libertad.’”
After seeing the post, the man sought the services of a translator in order to fully express his story. Here is the version that showed up my inbox today:
“This is my story and it’s real. I was born in the humble town of Central Guatemala on the Island of Cuba after Castro’s revolutionary triumph. I have been living in exile in the USA for the past 3 years. I come from a very beautiful and united family. I miss and love my family immensely. I never stop thinking about them, not even for an instant. Despite living here in America I still worry about their well-being and day-to-day necessities.
My mother, who is the most precious person in my world, is battling cancer. Not being able to see her face-to-face and tell her how much I love her deeply hurts me. Due to Castro’s cruel dictatorship, however, living in America means that my entry into Cuba is not permitted. As such, it’s not possible for me to see my mother, to hug her, and to tell her how much I miss her. I am afraid that I may never see my mother again.
Being a professional sportsman gave me the opportunity to represent Cuba in a workshop in Venezuela named ‘Barrio Adentro Deportivo’, which is one of the methods used by the Cuban regime to portray Castro’s dictatorship as benevolent. Many of us are ‘selected’ to go abroad using coercion, deceit and threats. If you refuse to go, the regime degrades your economic and social status. Some Cubans opt to follow this charade and use it as a means to improve their social and financial status. Others, like me, decide to use it as a gateway and potential escape to a better life.
Migrating to a new country has been a very difficult experience, as it has been for many other Cubans who, like me, made the decision to leave Cuba to be embraced by this and other nations. These adopting countries have given many of us their support and solidarity because they are aware of the suffering we have experienced in leaving behind our families, friends, culture and, often, our hearts. Many of us have risked our lives fleeing through the borders of several nations in search of liberty. It is shameful and painful, but nevertheless true, that many Cubans have to face such calamities in order to achieve a right that The Creator has given to all humanity: the right to freedom.”