Carne del Refugio y The Decision

Our friends over at generation ñ are hosting another excellent episode of Que Pasa, USA? this week and it’s one of my favorites.
Episode 15: Citizenship.
I cant help but remember coaching and tutoring my parents, getting them ready for their citizenship test. To become American Citizens was not an easy decision for them as, like most of the first generation of Cuban exiles, they hoped to someday return to their homeland.
Right after my father’s ceremony, the old man came up to me and thanked me for helping him learn this country’s history and government. Then, with tears in his eyes, said in his broken English: “This is the proudest day of my life.”

5 thoughts on “Carne del Refugio y The Decision”

  1. Val,
    We are eternally indebted to our parents for taking us out of Communist Cuba in which we would not have no future whatsoever and bringing us to the greatest nation on earth.
    We the younger generation adapted much easier than they did to a much different culture in this our new country that where we came from. They struggled much more because they were older and the adjustment became much more difficult for them.
    We need to make them feel proud for all the sacrifices they made for us because they gave our future for ours and we should always honor them for that.
    Every time we succeed here we need to remind them that the only reason that we succeeded was because they had the wisdom and the courage to get us out of Cuba and made the sacrifice to bring us here.

  2. Val, please let me correct this part:
    We need to make them feel proud for all the sacrifices they made for us because they gave their future for ours and we should always honor them for that.

  3. Have you ever used drugs? Yes (with emphatic nodding)
    Have you ever been a prostitute? Yes, Yes, I like it very much!!!

    That is one of my favorite episodes too!!!

  4. Freedom,
    You’ve hit the nail on the head. It wasn’t until much later in life that I realized the sacrifice and the courage it took for my parents to leave Cuba (their parents, siblings, all that was familiar to them, etc.) and move to a totally unknown environment, albeit the language wasn’t an issue – we went to Espana. I still remember that faithful day. I was saying goodbye to my uncle, my mother was despidiendose de su hermano. I hugged my abuela, my mother left her mother behind. I didn’t understand why my mother was holding my hand to her pecho and crying while we waited on the tarmac for the Cubana de Aviasion prop to take off. I was going on un paseo, my parents were moving to otro pais.
    It wasn’t until my own daughter was born that I was able to put that sacrifice into perspective. It was at that moment that I realized what courage and strength mami y papi showed moving the family to a new country. I couldn’t understand why anyone would want their children to grow up anywhere else in the world but here and I supposed my parents felt equally as strong about their own country and yet in spite of that they made the decision to leave, for their children.
    Here is to all our parents for ensuring we grew up knowing the sweet, sweet taste of freedom.

  5. w2bd2,
    We all have our own personal stories of what have gone thought to make it in this great country. Books could be written about it.
    As we get older and we continue burying the earlier generations of our relatives who came with us to this country, it pains me to see that they were never able to realize the dream of a free Cuba in their lifetime again.
    I can only pray every night to our mighty Lord God that freedom and justice finally arrive for Cuba and its people, for the sake of the souls of our relatives that have already passed on, so they may finally rest in peace.
    There has to be a reason for this entire painful ordeal, God only knows. I hope that he finally hears my prayers.

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