"Finally, the next day, arm in a sling, Papan waved discreetly at Maman from the window, and my grandmother boarded the Marques de Comillas soon after. Pedro, however, did not join the plan of escape. He wanted to stay and fight. He’d fled enough, he said. As a result, he ended up captured and was tortured in Castro’s prisons for nine years, until Papan got him out with the help of the Spanish and American governments. My grandfather always used to tell me that more stressful than getting out of Cuba were the years he spent trying to get his brother out, unsure whether they would ever see each other again.
For a long time, my family could not return to the island. Even when they legally could, they felt it would have been unethical to feed tourist dollars to the dictatorship that exiled them and murdered those they knew. If they were going to return, it would be to a free Cuba."
Excerpt from "Seeing Cuba from a Parking Lot in Miami" written by Vanessa Garcia and published on Catapult, November 3, 2021. The Instagram post below is a video from the author @vanessagarciawriter about the article. Links to all of Vanessa's Non-Fiction articles are published on her website at vanessagarcia.org.