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A Citizen in the Cuban Revolution

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The year was 1958. My family and I were living in Cuba. I lived with my mother, father, my two younger sisters, and older brother. My mom stayed at home all day, cleaning, cooking and doing chores. My dad left in the morning for work and came back late in the afternoon. He harvested sugar. Every month he gets paid 203 pesos, which isn’t a lot at all. All of my sisters and brother, including I, are going to school. My family is classified as poor. One day I hope to become a doctor so I can support my family. If i made enough money, we could move out of this little broken down shack. Every house on the street was like ours. There were trees and flowers all around us. I don’t want to live in this poverty anymore. It would be nice to leave Cuba and move to America. That is my dream. I can find a job here, save up some money, and pay someone to take me by boat, to America.

I hear a lot about people getting arrested because they are revolutionaries. In July 26 1953 the rebels attacked the Moncada Army Barracks. This was lead by Batista. I never understood the political side of these revolutions, but I understand it a lot better now. The attack on Moncada was a huge failure. Some rebels that got caught, were not killed but sentenced to 15 years in prison. I didn’t like violence at all even though it was all around me. My family looked forward to the day when the government got better. We wouldn’t mind a new leader and better laws. I wish my dad made more money though. Then we could live in nice houses like rich people. But that won’t ever happen because it is almost impossible to make that much money. We would have to stop eating and cut back on practically everything. I don’t think its worth it anyways. I am fine living in our little shack.

I might as well get a job now. That way I can save my money sooner. It might be hard to get a job around here. I told my parents about my dream to go to America. My mom said it would be nice. She also said, “It will be hard to save up the money. You will need the money for food, the ticket to America, and a house”. My father was being negative when I told him. He acted like it was impossible, but I know it’s not. He looked at me like I was stupid and said, “I highly doubt you can make it. First of all, it is not cheap, you will need to work a ton of hours to make that kind of money. Second of all, I want you to go to college here because you are not old enough to go to America by yourself”. I felt like my dreams were crushed. My parents don’t think I could do it, but I'll show them.

There was rumors going around that a guy named Castro, was trying to overthrow the government. I asked my mother one day about him because I didn’t know a lot of what he was doing. She loved talking about him. She told me he will change our lives one day. He was a revolutionary. He has lead a lot of revolutions. The Cuban laws would change if he came to power. Maybe if this happened my chances of going to America will increase. I have high hopes.

A year has past and it was June 1959. Finally Castro has come to power! We all celebrated with everyone else. People kissed each other on the cheek. It was because they were so excited about our new leader. Every one was including in this celebration, friends, family and strangers. Things were going to change starting now. I was so excited for that to! I have been saving up some money now. Sometimes I would go to work with my dad and they would pay me. I would do anything for money. I would offer to do yard work for my neighbors to make money. I decided to stay in Cuba for a little longer and work on my grades. Only one more year before I graduate. I am not going to waste any of this time. I am also staying in Cuba and going to college because it’s free here.

By the time I graduated college, I had enough money to go to America and buy a small apartment. When I get to America I plan to start trying to find a job. Eventually I will settle down and have a family. I bought my ticket to go to America. I packed my stuff, said goodbye to my family, and got on the boat. It was a very emotional goodbye, but I plan to come visit often. When I arrived in America it was so much different then Cuba. But I loved it so much!





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