Why we’re here…

From the mailbag:

Dear Val,
Despite what my email says, my name is Alina (name witheld). I’m half Cuban and my mom was two when she left Cuba. I grew up hearing all about Cuba, Castro, and communism. And anyone who says the newer generation of Cubans don’t care about Cuba don’t have a clue. Anyway, I’m writing to you to tell you about an incident in my Spanish class. I went up to my teacher’s desk to take a test on the alphabet. After, I asked him if we were learning about Spanish countries. Yes, we were. Were we learning about Cuba? Yes, although they might not let us talk about it much. I told him about my Cuban ancestry and his face lit up. ‘I love teaching about Cuba!’ (or something along those lines, I don’t remember) ‘Vive Castro!’ He was all smiles until he saw my expression. “Vive libertad!” he said, trying again. I calmed down, segued into chatting about how I don’t know much Spanish, yes, my grandma watched novellas, blah blah, and went back to my seat. For the rest of the day, I alternated between shock and anger.
That was my first real experience on just how little people know about Cuba. Sure, my friends didn’t know much either, but they sure didn’t say anything along the lines of ‘Long Live Castro!’ Why are people so ignorant as to believe that Castro is a good guy? More so, why would they assume that since I’m Cuban but OVER HERE IN AMERICA I’m pro-Castro? I mean, whaaaaaaaaaaaaat???
Anyway, thanks for reading this. I love Babalu!

My only hope is that Babalú has helped open some eyes about the realities of Cuba and the despotic regime that oppresses her.

3 thoughts on “Why we’re here…”

  1. Please refer to the comments for the “Round Two” thread below for the latest on Jose Marti’s response to an American newspaper’s vilification of the Cuban people.

  2. I’ve have very similar encounters as well, when I left Miami to attend school in Boston, and now at my new job in New York. People hear I’m Cuban-American and immediately ask “So, are you pro-Castro?” I immediately respond with “The day you meet a Cuban-American outside of Harlem that is pro-Castro, you let me know.”

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