Just a place where I can sit and write my thoughts on my newest passion. . . . . knitting. Hopefully, I will better document my progress throughout knitting and get in touch with others as obsessed as I am!

Friday, June 03, 2005

I'm not usually very political, but . . . . . . . .

Oh, oh. I think this is a soap box speech coming out. For those of you with opposing views or beliefs, feel free to share and chime in. Everyone just PLEASE remember to be respectful of everyone else's views and opinions when commenting. My sincerest gratitude in advance for listening, commenting and respecting all others in this forum. So here goes. . . . . .

Ok, so as the title of this post states, I am not usually very political. I pick and choose what issues truly matter to me and they are usually topics that touch my heart. One of the issues that touches me the deepest (because of my own parents flight to freedom from Cuba in 1961) is the issue of freedom. What freedom means, how very little it seems to be appreciated (or understood?) by some, and how selfless and honorable I feel those who fight for our everday freedom are. (bad sentence but you get my point). The following article was printed in the Miami Herald on June 1, 2005. I feel that it is important to let others know that these things DO still happen, this truly IS what is occuring in Castro's regime and that we must all strive to preserve, protect and honor the freedoms that we all are given here in the good ol' US of A! At the end is a beautiful quote from the cuban patriot Jose Marti. I have made an attempt (pathetic I am sure) to translate it in english for you all.

`Our only luggage was hope'

As a child I had an experience that taught me the price that individuals are
willing to pay for freedom.
I was only 7 years old and living in communist Cuba. My parents yearned for
freedom and dreamt of coming to America. They secretly planned to escape,
along with 72 others who shared their dream. We embarked on a wooden
tugboat. Our only luggage was hope, but in that attempt, 41 lives were lost.
Among them, my mother and brother. My father refused to give up hope, and a
short time later, we risked our lives in a second attempt, but on this occasion,
aboard a raft.
It began on the fateful day of July 13, 1994, as we embarked on the 13 de
Marzo tugboat at about 2 a.m. About 13 miles off the coast of Cuba, we were
suddenly attacked by three Cuban tugboats. They rammed us. Pressure hoses,
normally used to put out fires at sea, were used against us. Their impact
was so powerful that children were swept to sea from their parents'
protective embrace.
Those on the tugboats shouted insults over loudspeakers. In a frenzy, they
crashed into the ship, damaging the hull, which caused the tugboat to take
in water rapidly. Within minutes, the ship sank. People were screaming and
begging to be rescued, but those on the tugboats showed no pity. They
circled us and made whirlpools in the water, causing men, women and children
to be lost forever in a black sea of despair.
After what seemed an eternity of brutal abuse, the tugboats finally stopped
and began picking up survivors. My mother and brother were not among them.
Those of us who survived, more dead than alive from the ordeal, were not taken
to receive medical assistance. Instead, we were taken to prison, where my father remained. I was later sent home in a small van and handed over to my aunt, to take care of me.
A month later, my dad was released from prison, and we were more determined than ever to attempt our search for liberty once more. It took about two weeks to build a raft. One night we embarked on the raft along with seven others and began navigating the seas with wooden paddles. We paddled for a whole day and suddenly we got caught in a storm. We tied ourselves to the raft with ropes and fell asleep from exhaustion. When we woke up, we noticed that we were being taken back to the coast of Cuba by the rough currents of the storm.
At that instant, it seemed as if all our hopes had been lost, but again with all the strength within us, we continued paddling assured that freedom awaited us. We were rescued by the U.S. Coast Guard and eventually taken to the Guantánamo Naval Base in Cuba.
On Jan. 21, 1995, we finally arrived in the United States. At that moment we felt happier than ever, but there was sadness and anger and disappointment that in our search for a new life, my father and I had lost our most valued treasures -- my mother and brother. Yet the first thing my father and relatives did was fly to Washington and testify before the U.S. Congress on
what has come to be known as the Massacre of the Tugboat 13th of March, perpetrated by the Castro regime.
Two months after our arrival, life showed us how generous it can be. My father met an incredibly loving woman who has been a mother to me. A month later we moved to her apartment and started our new life in the United States, supported by her unconditional love and guidance.
I will be graduating from high school today. Another dream has been achieved. To this day, I remember that awful tragedy and I still struggle with the memories. But I know I have another dream to accomplish for myself and the memory of my mother and brother. I will go to college. I will do it in the land where everything is possible -- in the land where I found something so valuable that people are willing to risk their lives to obtain it.

It is called freedom.

Sergio Perodín Jr., a survivor of the 13 de Marzo tugboat massacre, is
graduating from Coral Gables Senior High today.

"Solo la opresión debe temer al pleno ejercicio de la libertad. Libertad es
el derecho que todo hombre tiene a ser honrado, y a pensar y a hablar sin
hipocresía. Un hombre que oculta lo que piensa, o no se atreve a decir lo
que piensa, no es un hombre honrado. Un hombre que obedece a un mal
gobierno, sin trabajar para que el gobierno sea bueno, no es un hombre

{"Only oppresion should fear the simple exercise of Liberty.
Liberty is the right of humankind to be honorable, and to think and speak

without hypocrysy. A person that hides what they think, or who
does not dare speak what he thinks, is not an honorable person .
A person that obeys a bad government, without working to make
that government good, is not an honorable person ."}

- José Martí


At 1:00 PM , Blogger amylovie said...


And the communists in Cuba wonder why everyone is trying to escape??

At 2:51 PM , Blogger Stacy said...

Very nice post! I agree with everything you said.

Thanks for visiting my blog! I haven't had yet tried to knit the Banana Republic sweater I swatched for am love but I want to soon. I think I've decided which yarn to use (but of course, could still change my mind at any time!). I have so many things to make on my plate that anything I need to order yarn for has gotten pushed to the backburner.

At 1:53 AM , Blogger Amy said...

That is the most heart wrenching story. I'm at a loss for words, but just wanted to let you know this touched me deeply.

Thank you for your thoughtful comments on my blog as well. I will be visiting often!

At 1:40 PM , Blogger Christy said...

Terrific article! Thanks for your kind comments on my blog :-) It's good to be back and catch up on what's been happening with everyone!


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