A Cuban Rafter Looks Back, 20 Years Later
This story, as told by Pedro Fournier, is part of an oral history series.
I was born in Guantánamo in 1956. I moved to Havana as a teenager to study and ultimately graduated with a math degree. In 1994, I decided take a raft to the United States.
I had to leave Cuba. I had no future there.
I graduated from the University of Havana believing that if I had a good education and worked hard, I would succeed in life. But because I wasn’t integrated enough with the government, there weren’t opportunities for me. So I resorted to selling produce on the streets with my university degree in my pocket. Later, I cleaned floors at the Hotel Inglaterra.
I also wanted to leave because I valued my freedom and found that I didn’t have the freedom to express myself in Cuba.
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