You are here


On a balmy, moonless Cuban night 58 years ago, I said a crying goodbye to my buddy and hero, my would be over a year before I would see him again. I was lucky; others would never see their loved ones again.

He worked for an American company and was singled out to be arrested and possibly executed by a firing squad as an enemy of the revolution. He and two of his friends were going "Al Norte" he told me, and soon we would be joining him there.

So, under the cover of darkness, they carried a boat, that he had built in our backyard, powered by an old Perkins engine, to the river, less than a block away. He carried a small handheld compass, for navigating, and five gallons of water. After a few agonizing days of not knowing his destiny, my family somehow found out that they had made it to Marathon, in the Florida Keys, and had been granted political asylum. The Castro regime also found out and the nightmare intensified. They quickly confiscated all of our property, branded us "gusanos" and we were threatened and harassed daily. I will not go into details, as there is a point I am attempting to make with this letter.

My grandfather petitioned the U.S. State Department to allow his family to emigrate to the United States. It took over a year before my grandmother and I were allowed to leave, with only the clothes on our backs. At the airport, as we walked towards the plane, the people called us terrible things and chanted "Muerte A Los Gusanos!" (death to the worms) while spitting at us. My father, mother, and sister would not join us in freedom for another year, enduring the hunger, misery, and lack of freedom in the Godless society that is Communism. My grandfather, not speaking the language, did carpentry, odd jobs, and fished in the same boat that brought him to freedom in order to pay for all the legal costs to bring us to America. He, nor my parents, asked for handouts. Instead, they worked for everything and taught us kids to also work for everything and to give something back to this wonderful country. We were taught to embrace Old Glory, learn the language, and embrace the culture; and woe be to us if we ever broke the law. I had a curfew imposed by my father, even when I was 18-years-old, and he made sure that I didn't have friends that would lead me astray.

Now to my point: I'm for immigration... the lawful way… and if you are going to be a law-abiding, productive citizen. The people marching towards our border will never love our country. They are being paid to destroy it. Look at their actions, their demographics, and how they shamelessly use children. A trek like this will take 67 days walking 25 miles a day. They are arriving before midterm elections, being fed and supported by the left.


-Juan Botino

Share this:

Related posts

error: right click disabled!!