Cuban Exodus

April 10, 2012
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The year was 1959 and Castro had just come to power. I didn’t think that the change in leadership would have that great of an impact in my life but as usual I was wrong. All I remember is waking up one morning to a new reality. I lived in a quiet neighborhood. There were many trees surrounding the area and a nice park nearby that I would visit often. All the houses were built in a similar way making it easy for people new to the area to get lost. Today was a sunny day. I had just left the house ¬and was on my way to work. When I arrived I found a rather unpleasant surprise waiting for me. “What’s going on?” I asked.
“The government is here and they’re taking control of the factory.” Someone answered.
“What? Why?” I responded.
“Well that’s just part of communism I guess. Not a big fan myself but I don’t think we have much of a say in it.” The man said with a scowl on his face.
“Hopefully this won’t change much. Will we keep our jobs?”
“Look buddy, I don’t have all the answers to your questions. If you really want to know then you should ask them.” The man said while he stormed off.
I decided to approach the government officials in the area with my questions. “Excuse me, sir.”
“Yes, what is it that you need?” The man replied with a smile on his face.
“I’m just trying to understand what exactly is going on here and I was wondering if you could fill me in on the details.”
“There’s really not much to say about the situation here. The government is taking control of all the property and distributing everything equally. You all will keep your jobs and work shouldn’t change that much.”
“Ok, thanks. That’s all I really wanted to know.”
“No problem, just doing my job.”
I proceeded inside to start the day. The usual topic of conversation for today as one would assume was Castro and the new communist government. It seemed that all the employees were talking about it and everywhere you went you could hear it in the background. Weeks went by without any real change. It wasn’t until one day when someone had the idea of questioning how things were being run. “I don’t see why the government needs to but in on our personal business. Things were just fine until they showed up and took control of everything.”
“What problem do you have with them exactly?” Someone asked.
“My problem is that they tell us what we can and can’t do. We have to follow their rules and if we don’t bad things happen. It’s just going to get worse from here.”
“Well they haven’t done anything to me yet so I’m fine with it.”
“You’re all idiots you hear. Soon enough, you’ll see!” The man said angrily as he left the room.
After that day he stopped coming to work. Nobody knew why we all just knew that he wasn’t here. Eventually news spread of what happened to him. He was being detained for plotting to overthrow the government. Being detained for simply expressing his dislike in front of his coworkers? At that point I knew that I had to leave. We all devised plans on how we would escape but not all of us were thinking the same thing. “We could get a boat!” Someone said.
“A boat?” Someone else retorted. “Do you happen to know where to get one?”
“Well do you have any other idea on how we could leave this island?”
“Do you have any idea on how to get a boat?”
“Everyone stop fighting!” Someone said. “We’re here to discuss how to escape not argue with each other. Now obviously we’re going to need a boat of some sort but how we get one is still up for debate.”
“I happen to have some relatives who own a small sail boat. They use it to go fishing and I could see if I could talk them into giving us a lift.” Someone said.
“But what time would we leave?” Someone said. “It’d have to be at night not to cause suspicion.”
“I’ll take care of everything. Just leave it to me and by next week we’ll all be on our way.”
The next day we were all given instructions to meet at midnight at the pier. We all arrived there on time and all helped prepare the boat. We were ready to head out. I turned back and looked one final time at the land of my birth. I’m going to miss you Cuba.

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