Hi. Sorry Im late…

Hectic morning at the Prieto household.

I thought I’d share the following email:

One of yesterday’s posts asked “Why are you here?” And my answer
turned out to be a little longer than a proper comment.


Why am I here? Good question, ’cause I shouldn’t be. I should be
outside; moving water sprinklers and trimming bushes. I need to be
outside NOW, while it’s only 83 degrees, because it’ll be over a
hundred by lunch time.

But that’s not what you asked. You meant here, as in Babalublog. And
that answer is both simpler and more complicated than the other.

I am here because she is gone.

I met her when she started dating my best friend. I had no particular
interest in Cuba or Cubans. But the two of them started dating and,
while my old high school Spanish was rusty, he didn’t speak any and she
said my accent was good and she insisted that I be their translator.

After they married, I was regularly invited to their home. I was
required to spend Christmas Eve with them. I watched their boys grow
up and smiled when they called me “Tio”. I welcomed her brother to
America after he came out through the Mariel boatlift.

And then, one day, came the phone call. “The Doctor says it’s cancer.”
I don’t want to think about the long fight, the almost constant pain,
or the way the laughter died in their home.

After the services, my buddy moved out of town. His sons were grown
and had their own families and homes. The happy memories faded. No
more of her stories about what the cousins in Cuba were doing or rumors
about another Mariel. No more Noche Buena. No more cafe con leche or
Cuban-style espresso.

And then I found Babalublog. And the stories. And the memories. And
the hope.

And that’s why I’m here. Because of her.

3 thoughts on “Hi. Sorry Im late…”

  1. I am also here to learn. And in the few months that I have been reading this blog, I have replaced typical American ignorance with factual and documented information.

    When I returned from an humanitarian trip to Cuba last November, I was convinced that the US Embargo was the cause of all of the suffering of the Cuban people. Naive? Yes! However, isn’t that exactly what most Americans believe? Talking with friends and relating my experiences on the Island brought forth an appaling lack of UNDERSTANDING on their part about the REAL CUBA. They believe the progaganda; how sad.

    I cannot thank Val and his contributing writers enough for opening my eyes about past and current political history. The books I’ve acquired (thanks to this blog), the websites I regularly visit and the heartbreaking stories of Cuban exile families have made me an advocate for all who express their thoughts and feelings here.

    As I share photographs and anecdotes about my short visit to deliver medical supplies to Jewish communities in Camaguey and Havana, you would be proud of the information I am able to convey to others who haven’t a clue about what has happened in the past, is occuring now and the true cause of suffering on the Island.

    None of my friends will ever permit their grandchildren to wear anything with Che printed on it!! I become vehement when I confront comments about this reprehensible man being a hero!
    This is another example of the ignorance of a large segment of the citizens of this glorious, free country.

    Ziva’s post today (7/20/06) about the State Department booklets and “fact sheets” is the perfect example of a complete lack of understanding in this country about the REAL CUBA.

    If our government is so woefully ignorant and most Americans don’t have a clue, how can we disseminate this knowledge to a broader audience? I know everyone here struggles with that question and I wish I had an answer.

    I hope that my conversations with friends and associates will prompt them to question their notions about castro and Cuba. Most are thoroughly incredulous when I tell them about what I saw in Cuba, what I’ve read and how much I’ve learned from

    Thank you all for opening my eyes.

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