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.