Dec 7, 2009

Cuba 2009: The View

As I've posted a few weeks ago, my father has finally joined us to live in peace and freedom in this exceptional country that is the United States. It is, indeed, the first time in ten years, since I left Cuba, that I will have my immediate family together for Christmas.

We really don't want any special gifts. The sole gift of being together and seing my son growing up with his abuelos is the ultimate gift any mother would wish to ask from Santa.

The process of bringing my father was long and grueling. It became specially stressing last summer, when my father suffered two heart attacks in a row, back there in the gulag. After a nine months ordeal for me to get the authorization (visa) to enter the country where I was born - yep, and after spending +/- $2000 in payments to the Cuban government - I was finally able to make a quick crash travel back to Havana to see him. And my former-reporter-blogger spirit traveled with me.

I brought pictures, stories and impressions that left me emotionally drained, depressed and sad to see what my homeland has become. I also came happier, prouder and uber-grateful of my adopted homeland.

Photographs were a challenge: everybody is scare to death of everything and everybody else. Besides, I couldn't play the courageous role; I spent two weeks there, almost secluded in my family's home, but I had to leave my father behind, and I had to think in his own safety at all times.

From now on, I will forced my overworked brain to remember those details, to tell the stories of what I saw.

Here is one of the first pictures that I took:

A quick pick, from the car, of a state-run daycare center in Guanabacoa, East of Havana. This place is right accross the street from the immigration municipal offices where I had to go and pay a $50.00 permit for my American-born-citizen son to stay at my family's house in Alamar.

Do you really want to have free and for all, goverment-run daycare services?
Are you willing to pay the ultimate price: freedom and the indoctrination of your children?
Think again. And be careful what you wish for... there is no such a thing as a free lunch.

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