Arturo Sanchez

April 10, 2012
My name is Arturo Sanchez, and this is my story. Growing up in Cuba under the rule of Fulgencio Batista was unpleasant yet bearable. The houses were in ramshackle condition, the food was served in rations per week, and the water was nearly undrinkable. During this time many citizens were growing more and more irritable and fed up with his rule. The economy was failing, the people were getting angered, the military was getting weaker, and Batista was getting older. One Sunday afternoon I was getting my haircut at the local barber shop when I overheard two older men talking. I faintly heard their soft voices exchanging words about rumors of a group of revolutionaries planning an attack on Batista. The moment I heard this I jumped out of the seat, tore off the vest, and bolted home as fast as I could. When I arrived home I told my parents everything and they listened intently, but upon finishing they laughed and said “Where did you hear this nonsense?” but I didn’t care, I knew what I wanted to do.

Now all that mattered to me was joining the revolutionaries and taking down Fulgencio Batista. I soon began drawing logos for the groups and writing slogans that I thought to be catchy and clever. My parents were still against it but I knew in my heart that it was the life or me. I kept listening and learning about their leader, Fidel Castro, a well spoken man with a kind face and a fiery heart filled with passion and desire for equality in the world. One day my friend had told me that Castro was passing through the town that I lived in on his way to Havana, the capitol of Cuba. I had to go, this was my chance to join the revolutionaries and fight or my people. When I arrived at where he was said to pass through I was surprised at the sight of the size of the crowd that had gathered to greet him. It seemed like hours went by before he had been spotted but when the first cry of joy sounded many others followed until the whole crowd was an explosion of joy. I was right in front cheering, clapping, and shouting, but things went from joy to fear almost as fast as a blink of an eye. One of Castro’s men fell to the ground with blood forming a puddle around him. Everyone’s eyes shot every direction trying to find out where the shot had come from. I had found the culprit, it was Batista and his army.

At that moment I no longer wanted fight alongside those revolutionaries because on that day I saw the cold truth of what my future might be. I saw a man get shot just 20 feet from where I was standing. I thought long and hard about the decision I was going to make, I could either pursue my dreams and live a long happy life or I could risk everything fighting against a man who I barely even knew what he did. I made my choice, I wasn’t going to put my life in the hands of a man who I didn’t even know. I was not a revolutionary, nor would I ever be.





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