Carmen's Immigration Story



Your favorite cuban dynamic deal is back at it again and this time we have immigration story. I'm carmen and i'm freda and welcome to take it easy carmen. I know you're going to be sharing a lot with us today. Where do you wanna start carmen. If my story. Oh god over the course of my life. I've told the story countless times and every single time tell. Everyone is always so appalled end. It's remarkable it is remarkable story end yet for me. It doesn't really feel that way because it feels like just another thing in my life and on top of that. It's something that happened so long ago. I immigrated when. I was only three years old and so a lot of the details of the story are the recollection of a three year old. And there's also the fact that as i said it is a pretty remarkable story. There's a lot it's not just a lot emotionally but it's a lot politically. It's a lot economically and natural that my parents have really wanted to dive into the subject. Too much over the years at this point it's been over twenty years and only now away really starting to feel like my mom specifically is opening up about any of this but it's been really hard so that's why i wanted to open up and also i just wanna say i'm really excited to share my story because i think the stories are important to conceptualize where we're coming from in the grand scheme of this podcast to just give you a little bit more insight into who we are freed as story is coming at some point soon so we hope that you will tune in for that as well yeah carmen. I think it would be great to hear a little bit more. About what got you to this point. You've been able to have any conversations with your family around your story in terms of asking just to ask my family over. The years hasn't been very open. I i often will approach the conversation and say. Hey mom. can you tell me about the time of time we spent in guantanamo and my mom would say what do you want to know. You already know everything. I already told you everything. And that's kind of dismissive way of going about it. But in a sense. I understand where she's coming from to. She just want to talk about it and the same with my dad and my brother will. He was only eight so he remembers a lot more. He's a lot more open. Now that i have this podcast. I'm able to sort of approach it from a more structured way and say. Hey look for the podcast. I want to know xyz and so they'll start to open up able to ask more pointed questions. But in the past. When i've asked in a more open ended way it's not been something they wanna get into which i think anyone can understand once we go into the story so let's begin yet. So the year is nineteen ninety four and it's august and i'm three years old in nineteen ninety. Four cuba was going through. What is known as the video espec- and this is a special period of time in history when it followed the fall of the soviet union which was a big support to cuba and cuba started experiencing severe shortages of resources from things. Mom has told me that she would go to the store and there would be no food on the shelves to buy. It was difficult to come across basic necessities like soap. Medicine was difficult to find simple medicine. You would need to go to a hospital or have like a hookup to get simple. Things like aspirin and so life became increasingly difficult. I don't remember any of this. My life is for all intents and purposes pretty happy. I'm just a little kid running around the neighborhood and looking forward to starting school my parents at this time new or my dad knew someone who owned the boat fishermen and he had been planning to leave the country with his family on. This book and my dad was a pediatrician. He knew this man from seeing his kids as patients and also from their childhood they grew up together in this really comment like cuba is a very small place uneven. Cuban communities are pretty small in the sense that everybody knows each other in some way. And so this man emi. My dad agreed that my dad and my mom my brother and i this boat with them it was not a raft or anything that he and his family had built over years buying parts. You know it's your first time. Bring up the word raft. And i know that some of you might have heard of the cuban rafter crisis which happened in nineteen ninety four so we know that a lot of cubans like tens of thousands of cubans came over trying to get to the us or at least trying to escape cuba and a lot of them were on makeshift. Rafts put together from pieces of equipment that they found so. It's really helpful that you carmen. You're able to find someone with a boat that was meant to be about let it started the bolt right yes vote. It didn't start off as bad or as a tra- bobby kerman quick aside. Did you ever hear this story. I think it happened later on way. After the nineties there was a scoop of cubans who came over to the us in a truck. No no. I've never seen her but it didn't surprise me. Actually yeah in. This was an actual pickup truck. That floated okay. So it's ridiculous. That's amazing that is as please look this up. You need to see photos of this. It's amazing they made it over to the. Us and a lot of people were following the story because of how ridiculous it was so yeah. I just wanted to take a moment to add color to the variety of transportation methods. That were used at this time. But you know back to little carmen and her boat and this is a common theme in a lot of cuban stories like the sheer amount of absurdity. A lot of things anyway so we left in the wee hours of the morning before it was even light outside. We got on this boat and we left from this river. Called shielded santo

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