For a long time now alot of my friends have been asking me why I love Cuba so much. They think it is weird that a non-Cuban spends her free time reading Cuban blogs, re-tweeting tweets about Cuba and trying to get other people to care about what is going on there. I think about Cuba everyday. I think about the dissidents there who are struggling to get the world to notice the truth. To notice the real Cuba. To look past the facade that the Castro's have painted to the world about Cuba.

There is no one reason as to why I love Cuba. I love the music. The sounds of salsa and Celia Cruz (my favorite). Hearing Cuban music takes you to another place. Cuban music touches your soul like no other music can. Even if you can't understand Spanish, the music itself will speak to you. You just don't hear it, you feel it. But the main reason why I love Cuba, is her people and their struggle for freedom. The Cuban people, in my opinion, are some of the most passionate people on this planet. Their passion for life, for family, for religion, for their children, for their friends, for their country. A country that was taken over by Communist dictators more than 50 years ago with false promises. The dark truth is that this beautiful country just 90 miles away from The United States, is a hellhole for Cubans. They live in fear every single day. Most of them cannot have access to internet, cell phones or any of the tools that we use to communicate with. They are not even allowed to travel outside of their own country. They have none of the freedoms that we take for granted on a regular basis. The Castro's have made that country into a prison. A place where saying that you disagree with your President will land you in prison for 25 years. A place where handing out cell phones to people is a crime. A place where talking to foreigners is also a crime. And yet people all over the world ignore this. News organizations ignore it. Other governments ignore it and continue to do business with the Castro's.

There are some Cubans, with the help of those in exile, who have been able to start blogs to post about what is going on in Cuba. They have Twitter accounts. They upload videos to YouTube of their fellow Cubans being beaten and arrested by police so that the world can see the brutality of the Castro regime. Cubans like Orlando Zapata Tamayo and Laura Pollan have paid the ultimate sacrifice in the struggle for their country's freedom. It is not hard to learn about the real Cuba. All you have to do is look on the net and there are plenty of blogs and sites to go to and learn about all of the dissidents and prisoners who are fighting and struggling every day. What pisses me off the most is that alot of people don't care because they say it's "not their problem".....I disagree. We are talking about a country directly next to us. A country whose government actively supports terrorism across the world against the U.S. and our allies. A country that is a safe haven for terrorists of every kind. From Islamic terrorists to the I.R.A. We need to care about Cuba and her people. We need to fight for her freedom. We have supported so many people in different countries but yet people turn a blind eye to the country closest to us.

I don't think most of us would have the strength and courage to be Cubans. Or to be a Cuban in exile. To have our families torn apart by a murderous regime. To have our loved ones be arrested and imprisoned for most of their lives. A son separated from his Mother. A Husband separated from his Wife. Daughters separated from their Fathers. All because of a government that believes they are second-class citizens. We cannot even begin to comprehend what it must have felt like years ago being arrested and having no trial and be sent in front of a firing squad to die. That's what happened in Cuba when Fidel Castro took over. Thousands and thousands of innocent Cubans sent in front of firing squads for simply speaking their minds. And it still happens today. Would you be able to have the courage to look at the firing squad right before they killed you and yell out," Viva Cuba Libre" or "Viva Cristo Rey" like alot of Cubans did? Even at their final moments they stood strong against the regime. They died as martyrs. Would you have the balls to get into a raft and set out for the Florida Keys knowing that you could be caught by the Coast Guard and sent right back to where you were trying to escape? To risk being eaten by sharks or killed by the elements? These Cubans risk their entire lives, everything they've ever known to come to a country where we take literally everything for granted. Would you have the courage to die struggling for freedom like many Cubans have? This is what Cubans go through on a daily basis. I admire them. I admire their strength to stay in Cuba and refuse to let the Castro's have the final say in their history. I also admire the Cubans who have been exiled all over the world and who have come to this country with nothing, literally nothing, and worked their asses off and became teachers, doctors, lawyers, started businesses. Would you be able to come to a country with nothing but the clothes on your back and work 3 jobs and learn an entire language and start from the bottom and work your way up with little resources? Most of us couldn't fathom that. But that is the reality of nearly every exiled Cuban family. Alot of exiled Cubans have family still in Cuba. Family that they cannot see. Cannot hug or kiss. It is beyond sad. Beyond tragic. I imagine that every exiled Cuban has a hole in their heart. A hole that is un-repairable. A hurt that we can never understand because we have not lived it. We have not felt it.

I ask myself often why people don't care about Cuba. And today I thought of a phrase in Spanish. Ojos que no ven, corazon que no siente. What the eyes don't see, the heart doesn't feel. But in reality, we can see what is happening. We might not be there in person, but there are videos on the Net of Cubans being beaten, arrested. We have no excuse not to care about the Cuban people. I know I sound preachy but if you have the time to post about animals being abused, or your favorite stupid tv show, then you also have the time to educate yourself on what is happening in Cuba. I really don't know if my non-Cuban friends actually read what i post about Cuba. I hope they do. I hope they understand that instead of going to parties, or playing FarmVille or whateverville, I choose to try to make a difference, however small, to make people pay attention to Cuba and her struggle for freedom. I choose to use my freedom to help the Cuban people gain theirs. I choose to have empathy instead of apathy.

Today is International Day of Prayer for Freedom in Cuba. Please take the time to pray for the people of Cuba and their struggle for freedom. If you can't blog or post links on facebook or re-tweet tweets on Twitter then the least you can do is pray. Prayer helps in ways that we cannot imagine.

I wrote this post to try to reach out to my friends who do not understand what is going on in Cuba. Or who simply don't know anything at all about Cuba. And as usual, I am rambling. I don't know why I have so much passion and love for a country that I have never been to and might never be able to go to. But I am glad I have this passion. And I hope other people will have it too.

The more people that know about Cuba and what is going on, the closer her people will get to freedom. I hope what I have wrote here has made some people get involved in the fight for Cuban freedom. Or at least made some people understand what is happening in Cuba. Un dia, Cuba sera libre. Peace be with you all.


  1. Thank you Colena. You love Cuba because you are Cuban. One doesn't have to be born in the country to be of that country. You're Cuban like I'm American. It's a beautiful thing. Cubans, Americans and beyond, in prayer today yes, for Cuba.

  2. Thank you Colena! You have really understood how most Cubans feels. Thank you for caring. God bless you!
    If one day Cuba is free and I still have a house there when the time comes, you are more than welcomed to stay at my house. Maybe some day soon you will get to visit the country you so kindly helped in their struggle for freedom.


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