An unimaginable journey for the pursuit of liberty and freedom. The author’s life experiences during the Cuban Revolution, the effects on him and his family because of government policies and political events and his reflections when he returned to Cuba 60 years later with his husband- all rolled into one story.
The current international media coverage of immigrants risking their lives to emigrate to a free country makes my personal story meaningful, educational, and relevant. A cruise to Cuba during the Christmas holidays of 2018 brought me back to my childhood when my family was being forced to adapt to a communist revolution. Then came the disappointment of a failed citizens revolt that attempted to return the country to a democracy, the subsequent raid by armed soldiers of my family’s home and the eventual arrest of my father without cause. These were only a few of the events that forced my family to plan our exodus to the United States.
At the age of 8, I was sent to the U.S. alone with my brother under a program coordinated by the Catholic Charites and the U.S. State Department. Operation Pedro Pan is the largest mass exodus of children in the Western Hemisphere. We were welcomed to a new homeland by a network of generous religious organizations, corporations, private citizens, and a country that had empathy for families seeking asylum from restricted and dangerous societies. I had to live in numerous locations including a regretful stay in an orphanage for troubled young boys from broken families who could not be placed in foster homes. While I was still separated from my family, I experienced the horrors of a close encounter with nuclear war.
My book combines my experience in Cuba during the cruise, my recollections as a child, and how political events and decisions made by the Cuban, U.S. and Soviet Union governments during that time changed the course of history and affected my family directly. I wrote this book because history is important and should have a significant place in our education system. Without it, we have no platform from which to leap ahead. I wrote this book because new generations should have access to roads others have paved in the past that perhaps have made life just a bit better for everyone. I wrote this book in hopes that readers take what they can, continue to build their own path and distance themselves from mistakes of the past.
Anthony Timiraos, Author
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