My relationship with him — even as an absence — has always been complex.
When I was little, I remember seeing his photograph, a big bushy beard overpowering the frame. And while we were eating our supper, I would ask my mom innocently, as children often do, "Mom, doesn't Fidel get his soup noodles stuck all over his beard? And how does he ever get them out after he eats?"
|My father in an undated photo toasting |
for our future happiness, in Cuba
Fores Family Album
Maybe that's what happened to all those around him...
My father fled Cuba because he lacked political freedoms. He believed we had these liberties here in the United States, however, so my brothers, sisters, and I grew up convinced in this country of democratic justice and fair play. This lawyer — my gentle father — could have been imprisoned for years or died for us in Cuba. He suffered greatly trying to escape, just like my mother: as children, we do not remember much. And my parents never talked about it afterward, only to tell us how lucky we were to be living in this land. When my dad chose to come to the United States to ask for political asylum, he knew he wanted us to be able to live and speak freely, and he never doubted that we might not have that.