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Leaving Castro's Cuba: The Story Of An Immigrant Family ##TOP##

This is the story of one middle-class family who shares in the excitement of Castro's victory only to experience disillusionment and betrayal. Struggling against repression and economic hardships, Marina's mother, Zeida, a teacher and single mother, goes to extraordinary measures to protect her daughters and defend her principles. Marina Villa's illuminating account of life in Cuba during its communist transformation and the family's immigration to the United States is an inspiring gift that puts into full relief the Cuban-American experience.

Leaving Castro's Cuba: The Story of an Immigrant Family

Marina uses excerpts from her mother's writings, interviews with friends and family members, and her own memories to tell her mother's story. Full of the same spirit her mother brought to her life, Leaving Castro's Cuba: The Story of an Immigrant Family recounts their journey while weaving a rich tapestry of familial sacrifice, courage, and love.

Enriquez said immigrants arriving in the United States needed a sponsor to leave in-processing. Nobody claimed his family upon arrival in Key West, and after five days, they moved into the Miami Orange Bowl stadium. Enriquez and his family moved into a tent city under the I-95 overpass after a month at the Miami Orange Bowl without a sponsor. He described the refugee camp as dangerous; he said violence and crime, including rape and theft, were common.

I have read this book more than once and each time have found myself pulled into the life of the main character, a Chinese contract laborer, and his story, which spans several generations, set across the late nineteenth and twentieth centuries. The novel features an Afro-Chino Cuban family and shows how they become deeply part of Cuba. It also shows how the descendants of the mixed-race couple face trials in New York City and Vietnam, depicting complexities of race, gender, family, and heritage with beautiful, painful detail and emotion.

In August authorities detained two lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender (LGBT) activists without charges for 13 days, in connection with their efforts to plan a "Mr. Gay Cuba" competition; during that period they were held incommunicado for more than 24 hours. On September 23, police detained Belinda Salas Tapanes, president of the Federation of Rural Latin American Women-Cuba, for several hours and questioned her about her advocacy activities. Salas was 38 weeks pregnant, and her family was not notified of her location. In the week leading up to the September 20 "Peace without Borders" concert in Havana, more than 40 leading dissidents were briefly detained and threatened with imprisonment if they attended. On the day of the concert, PNR officers were stationed outside many dissidents' houses to prevent them from leaving.

The CSW also reported that in May authorities confiscated the home of pastor Tomaza Victoria Ayala Zellero of Las Tunas Province, which also served as her church, leaving the family homeless. The government threatened to charge Ayala with "dangerousness" if she continued to participate in religious services. Authorities also closed the family's carpentry shop, depriving them of all sources of income.


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