Not to disparage the generation of Cubans who fought valiantly against the Spanish to win Cuba’s independence, but to individuals like myself, Cuba’s greatest generation was that of my parents and grandparents. It was that generation that did the unthinkable: Leave their homeland with nothing to a new country where they did not speak the language in order to ensure their children and grandchildren grew up in freedom. As a parent, I cannot begin to imagine how difficult it was for my parents to do this for my siblings and me, but they somehow found the courage.
Now, that generation is slowly dying off, leaving us one by one. But as their lives come to an end, they leave behind more than just their memory. They leave behind families that have had the privilege of growing up in the freedom this great nation provides us. They leave behind their legacy of courage and undying love for freedom and liberty. They leave behind in our hearts and souls a love for both Cuba and the incredible American nation that took them in with open arms.
Via the Tampa Bay Times, here is another member of that greatest generation that has left us:
Ana Mier sent her children to Florida, stayed behind in Cuba
ST. PETERSBURG — Ana Mier stepped off a plane in 1965 and into a new world, all of the comforts of a privileged life gone for good. Mrs. Mier was leaving her homeland of Cuba, the only place she had ever known, the source of everything she could ever want.
She had earned a doctorate in education there, raised children and attended to their needs with cooks and servants.
Now she considered herself lucky not to be in jail.
Her daughter, also named Ana, waited for her at Tampa International Airport. Four years earlier, Mrs. Mier and her husband had sent their two eldest children to the United States to live with relatives.
What was left in Cuba? Not security — the government had confiscated property and changed its currency. Neighbors monitored neighbors, reporting suspicious movements and bits of overheard conversations.
The children would be safer in the United States for now, figured Mrs. Mier and her husband, Benito. This Castro regime would not endure. In six months or so, he would be out of power and the family could be reunited, they thought.
Ana Hartnett was 15 when she left Cuba with a brother. She had carried a photo of her mother with her for four years. When all the passengers had gotten off the plane, she thought her mother had missed the flight.
Then a woman who seemed much older than the one in the photo approached her.
Continue reading HERE.