July 2, 1964: Our family’s “freedom day”

It was July 2, 1964.   We call it our “life, liberty and pursuit of happiness” day.

After waiting about 3 years to get the papers and the famous “telegrama”, my mom and dad grabbed the three of us and we boarded a flight to Mexico City.

From there, we flew to Jamaica, where we waited for our entry to the US. (My dad could not work in Jamaica so we were supported by our two uncles in the US!)

Two months later, on my brother’s birthday, we landed in Miami.

About a week later, we landed in Wisconsin to start our life in a new country.

My dad worked a day and night job. We packed into a very small apartment and the rest is history, as they say!

In our family, July 2nd is a special day of “freedom”.

It was the day that we escaped Castro’s regime and got a new lease on life in the US.

My father died in late 2015. I usually spoke with him about this day and would ask for details, from the weather to the ride to the airport to waiting in “la piscina” or what they called the room we waiting for the flight.  He was always happy to fill in the details and share a lot of information about that moment in our family’s story.

My brother, sister and I understand what our parents did.  It was a “leap of faith”, as my father admitted in our last conversations about leaving Cuba.   They had no guarantees but took the chance.

We are very grateful for their devotion and desire to see us grow up in freedom.

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