During our early months in the U.S., my parents were so impressed with just about everything about the new country — most of all the new freedom and opportunity that the U.S. had given us.
My father would always remind us of all of the benefits of being here. For example, he’d say someone with my big mouth would be sitting in a political prison in Cuba for insurrection. He’d also say Castro would have sent my brother and I to Angola if we had stayed behind. In fact, many young Cuban men did serve in those wars in Africa with many dying or coming back with AIDS, as the press reported in the late 1980s.
Something else my parents would often talk about was U.S. highways. Cuba had a developed road and train infrastructure, but nothing like those huge super-highways that connect U.S. cities. I can remember my mother admiring the roads on Sunday afternoons when we’d go on a picnic.
How many times did I hear our Cuban friends compliment those clean and well paved U.S. roads? A lot! It was a topic that many Cubans would actually talk about in those small Cuban gatherings where our parents were in the living room and the young listening to The Rolling Stones.