A great essay by Justo Antonio Triana, who came to the U.S. in search of freedom and found his fellow students embraced the socialism that oppressed him in Cuba. Now he’s trying to do something about it.
Cuban immigrant enrolled at Syracuse works to ‘dismantle the socialist deception’
OPINION: Living under a communist regime, the last thing you could imagine is that, by coming to the United States, you would be exposed to people who really believe that socialism works
Like the average Cuban boy harassed by school authorities for trying to speak freely or even for having long hair, I fantasized about a society where I could be critical of government officials — and the government itself — without fear of punishment.
A society where I could advocate for my ideas, participate in politics, and try to live a life with dignity and basic human rights.
Because Cubans have always been indoctrinated in the notion that the U.S. government is the sole force behind all attempts to overthrow the communist regime, people naturally assume that most Americans have the same political position as their government, or at least, that they are informed of what is happening on our island.
But nothing could be further from the truth.
I arrived in the United States with my mother and sister in 2019, after a family reunification process filed by my father. He had immigrated five years before.
What struck me the most at first was the number of people who had a distorted idea of what it was really like to live in Cuba. Many could only think of the palm trees on a beach, but the first impulse of others was to repeat the magic words with which the international left justifies the tyranny: “free healthcare, free education, American embargo.”
Even those who had some idea of our misery could not distinguish Cuba from any other country with an economic crisis. Nobody knew about the constant mental siege in which Cubans survive: the strong political indoctrination and the forced cult of the personality of the leaders, the communist propaganda thrown at us by all the media, the absolute repression of individual thought, the impudence with which the government dictates and controls everything in our lives.
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