“This is where I want to die.”

From NorthJersey.com:

For Aleman, who has now lived here longer than in Cuba, going back to the city of Camaguey to live out the rest of his life is not an option.

“My family is here,” he says. “What am I going to do in Cuba? Where would I live? There is no place for us to live in Cuba. I may go there to visit. But that’s it.”

Even those who arrived much later than Aleman have already settled here.

“I would go back to help out, to help rebuild Cuba,” said Justo Delgado, 62, of Union City, who came from Cuba in 1980. “But my wife is Dominican, I have an American child and I am a U.S. citizen. I am very grateful to this country for the treatment I have received here. This is where I want to die.

If given a choice on where I would prefer to die, it would be here, where I lived in freedom.

Read the whole thing.

9 thoughts on ““This is where I want to die.””

  1. ya yo eche raices aqui…even though I came to the US in 1995…

    I think it will take years to rebuild Cuba…but DECADES to change the people. When I lived in Cuba, never having lived anywhere else, a lot of things bothered me (la chusmeria for example) … and after living in the US for a little bit, I think I couldn’t live anywhere else…. I’m spoiled I guess…

    …not to mention los niños…

  2. The Havana, the Cuba my family and I left, lives on only in our dreams and memories – as do our loved ones and friends there, from those days, who are no longer with us but who were as much a part of our life as the landscape. Many factors created and molded our Cuban identity, unfortunately shattered by the most un-Cuban of the island’s natives. We rebuilt our sense of being, belonging, and identity in this land of freedom, and here our ashes have been – and will be – scattered. I pray the Cuban people will never again go through anything like the nightmare of the past 47 years, and that no Cuban will ever again be uprooted by capricious dictators.

  3. I’ve seen pictures of Havana on therealcuba.com(which is a phenominal website!) and from the looks of things, I can’t even begin to fathom how long it will take just to rebuilt Havana let alone the entire island.

    It looks as though Havana needs to be completely bulldozed and rebuilt from the ground up which is sad because even though it is all a mere shell of what it once was, in its heyday the architecture was absolutely stunning!

    I hope that the contractors that are in charge of the overall reconstruction process hold true to the original overall architectual style as they completely modernise everything.

    Seeing as though bringing back the past to influence the present is very popular in the United States these days I see no reason as to why it can’t be done in Cuba as well.

  4. Look what they’ve done in Las Vegas: built Paris and Egypt. Let free enterprise into Cuba and I think it would surprise a lot of people how fast they could rebuild the place and yet retain the attactive architecture.

    As for Justo Delgado, I’m proud to call such a man a fellow citizen.

  5. My father feels the same as Señor Delgado. My father left Cuba at age 24 in 1962. Now he is a 67 year old man. My father married my mother here (a Colombian). My brother and I were born here, and we are now married and having children. He’d go back to visit (someday when Cuba is free and stable) but not to live. Ahhhhh…..my lullaby as a girl was the Cuban National Anthem. Maybe someday — yes someday! — I’ll visit Matanzas with him.

  6. I was born and raised in Miami and when I was little my mom always told me that when Cuba was free she wished to go back and live there. My brother and I are now in our thirties and we have our own families, I asked her again if she would ever return to live there and she said no. The Cuba she left in the 60s is no longer the same and it would take many many years for it to rebuild and that the ideals and she grew up no longer existed.

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