Desi Sanchez recalls his life, from a boyhood accident that left him scarred to his participation in the Bay of Pigs Invasion to his immigration to the United States.
Businesses built by honest, hardworking, and enterprising people; enterprises that had provided jobs and livelihood to others—the Castro government began a systematic intervention (a new form of stealing) to take over these businesses. I was no longer thinking about having a good time; there were no good times to be had!
Freedom, as I knew it, was taken away by the government simply saying, “If you are not with the revolution, then you are the enemy of the revolution, and therefore, we will deal with you accordingly”—a direct threat to all Cuban citizens and their right of freedom of expression. I knew that it was time for me to go, but how? When?
I was able to leave Cuba with my uncle’s help. My uncle Enrique provided me with the opportunity to become a merchant marine, just like him. … I thought that working as a merchant marine was the ideal situation for me; I would be away from the pressures ofjoining the system, at least for a while. And at the same time, I would be touching port back in Cuba, where I could see my family and friends and check out how things were going with the new regime. If the regime had not changed by then, I would jump off ship into another country, hopefully the United States, and ask for political asylum. Life does not always go according to our plans.
Copyright 2012 A Funny Thing Happened on My Way to Freedom. All rights reserved.