November 12, 1999


Los Vemos en Cuba en 2001

The older Cuban Miami residents are living in a make believe world. A world that we, as first generation Mexican Americans, subscribed to for generations. Their dream was that they were here in America only temporarily "…that eventually they would return to Mexico their ancestral home. That belief was held so firmly that few would give up their Mexican citizenship. That dream was fostered for decades. The mentra was that `we were only visitors here only to earn money.' We would stay just long enough to go to school or (fit your own reason). But for sure we were going back to our home…"

It never happened. As the first generations begin dying off and never returned to the homeland, it became clear to the generations that followed that home was here in North America. Our culture had changed, in many ways we had become assimilated and acculturated. Yes, we still hold many remnants of our father's culture but it no longer has the pull that it once had. We held on to the old culture that we liked and took on bits and pieces of the new. We have become the new Mexican `mas de aquí que de allá.'

So it is with the Cuban community. As the older generation is passing on, the new generations, of which many have never been to Cuba, have more and more reasons to not return. The United States is their home of birth. The have taken on the new mores and created their own sub-culture. They are carving out their own particular American culture… They see their future here and not in a strange land called Cuba. Much of what they learned about Cuba is a homeland that in many instances no longer exists. Soon it will be what Mexico is to most second-third generation Mexican Americans: It is "A NICE PLACE TO VISIT BUT NOT TO LIVE IN"!

The leadership in American politics needs to reevaluate their actions and views on Cuba and take into account not only the dying wishes of an older generation but take into account what the new CUBANO Americano is thinking. The new Cubano has now become the new American who brings a new element into the rich tapestry that is America. They will not abandon their ancestral home but much like we, the Mexican Americas do, they will maintain a protective attitude towards "La Madre Patria."

They are ready for a new relationship with CUBA and her people. We as Americans should also be ready for that new relationship. It is to our national interests and the national interest of the Cuban people in the homeland who in the end must make the decision as to what's is in their own national interests. Just as we, the Mexican Americans cannot tell Mexico or the Mexican people what is best for them neither can the Cuban Americans attempt to dictate the future of Cuba. Cuban Americans have a special bond with their mother land as we Mexican Americans have for Mexico. Now we believe is the time to help her chart a course, in these troubled waters, that will bring to her into a satisfactory political, economic and social harbor that will benefit all of Cuba.

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