Portrait of Alina Fernandez Castro
Do you think you’ll be able to go back one day?
"I think about that a lot because I’m not at home here. I don’t reject where I live because I have a choice, but I don’t belong to Miami. Miami is not North America. It’s a very disorganized place where people are always arriving,and they’re often in transit. Though, I didn’t feel at home in Cuba either. At 13, I already wanted to leave Cuba. My mother believed in my father’s ideology and wanted to stay. I felt that something was really wrong and I was right. As soon as they explained that ‘voluntary’ actually meant ‘obligatory’, I understood that there was a problem. All the work that we had to do, supposedly ‘voluntary’ work, was really mandatory, because we were forced to take part in all sorts of community works. It was calculated to keep you in line. Cuba has such a tragic history that even within your own family, people refer to ‘traitors.’ If you think differently, even within your own family, you’re considered a traitor, and people call you gusano (vermin). You are the enemy and you’re treated like the enemy. This was my case. In Cuba, poverty is everywhere. They never managed to spread the wealth but they managed to spread poverty. Cuba’s wealth was probably lost supporting all those guerrilla movements that the Cuban government has supported over 45 years. Now, Cuba is ruined. Sugar cane production is lower than it was in 1929 duing the Great Depression!"