I Stayed in the United States

Erasmo Calzadilla

HAVANA TIMES — Dear HT readers, in September, I crossed over the pond and came to the US as I had been invited to attend a journalism-related event. After many doubts and going over and over the topic in my mind, I finally decided to stay here, taking advantage of the wet-foot/ dry-foot policy – as it turned out, shortly before it was revoked.

I can’t say I’m overjoyed with the decision, but that’s after the fact. A combination of personal circumstances and emotional confusion that swept over me while I was staying in Miami, led me to this. I have given more details on my personal blog (in Spanish).

Now I’m here in the USA, in Texas, trying to work and get ahead so I can help those dear to me. Not just my family and friends, but also those who share my ideas. The challenge isn’t easy but I’m taking it on willingly.

My intention is to return to Cuba in the not so distant future, I would like to buy a piece of land in the countryside, a beautiful place where I can plant my crops and live peacefully. I would love to invite my friends, who are scattered across the world, to take part in my dreams.

Because, even though I have moved to the most developed and polluting country in the world, or one of them at least, I continue to believe that the next decade will be disastrous. Resources needed for progress will run out and the environment will be destroyed. If that happens, it will be difficult to survive as an immigrant in a country built on high energy consumption.

Cuba is better prepared for financial crises; we have been carrying this burden for many years. Cuba has a kind climate; you can live without heating, breed animals, sow crops and harvest them without oil or artificial fertilizers. Cuba is the country I know, and where my loved ones continue to live, driven by such a project.

So, am I a political refugee? I think this term is too strong to be applied in my case. I believe we can still do many things to change the reality of Cuba without coming into direct conflict with the government. That’s the path I want to go down. My respect and support goes to those who risk their personal freedoms and their peace to fight for the freedom and peace of all Cubans.

Over the next few days, I will tell you about how I crossed over the border in Laredo, the border control post where Cubans gather today who haven’t been able to share my same luck.

Erasmo Calzadilla

Erasmo Calzadilla: I find it difficult to introduce myself in public. I've tried many times but it doesn’t flow. I’m more less how I appear in my posts, add some unpresentable qualities and stir; that should do for a first approach. If you want to dig a little deeper, ask me for an appointment and wait for a reply.



11 thoughts on “I Stayed in the United States

  • Ahh erasmo…i have been reading your stories for some time now and i have enjoyed them…you have changed…something in this story tells me that you have changed…out of the frying pan into the fire…….or be carefull what you wish for. Or the grass is always greener on the other side…..i wish you luck!!

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  • Welcome to the Land of the Free & Home of Brave. Love it & it will love you back. 🙂

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  • I too enjoy your posts. Hope you continue to write and tell us what you think of the USA.

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  • Congratulations. Anything is better that hell hole that is Cuba today where the only thing that function is repression.

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  • I didn’t read in your post anywhere how grateful you are and should be for the opportunity that the US is giving you to come to my country to work to improve the quality of your life and that of your loved ones. I saw your criticisms, which is your right, but your gratitude I must have missed. I will read your post again. It just that my parents and their parents before them shed blood for my country and I would feel less than grateful if I didn’t point it out to you.

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    • Erasmo sounds like a confused young man…full of idealistic thoughts. Give him another few years of thought-provoking experiences. Maybe by then Cuba will be more democratic and he’ll be able to return to the land that he loves. But then again, maybe he’ll fall in love with his new home. Meeting a nice woman would help too! I would get rid of those sunglasses, though and maybe move to South Florida where he would feel more at home.

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      • I hope that you are right.

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  • The estimates for a huge new oil field in Texas was announced in November: 20 billion barrels of oil and 16 trillion cubic feet of natural gas, the largest ever assessed in the USA. They’re not about to run out of fuel anytime soon.

    Erasmus, you seem to be emotionally attracted to apocalyptic visions of doom and collapse. Perhaps this is a product of having grown up in Cuba during the Special Period, when the false vision of the Socialist Utopia collapsed into despair and economic failure. I suggest your abiding fear of the environmental apocalypse is a projection of your own internal psychology and not about the external world at all.

    Fortunately for you, you are in a good place. Texans are the most optimistic Americans and don’t believe in impending doom. By next decade, after you have saved a nice nest egg from all your hard work, you will be able to return to Cuba and buy that small piece of land of your own. By that time, if the Castro regime is still around, Cuba will be in utter ruins and the Cuban people will need all the help they can get to rebuild. Good luck!

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  • No one is forcing you to stay here. If you don’t like the United States then leave! All of your claims are false. It must have been that shitty socialist education that you received in a 3rd world banana republic. If life in Cuba is so good, then why are people risking their lives to float to America on rafts instead of the other way around?

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  • “I can’t say I’m overjoyed with the decision, but that’s after the fact. A
    combination of personal circumstances and emotional confusion that
    swept over me while I was staying in Miami, led me to this” plus “So, am I a political refugee?”
    People like you don’t have a political base because to begin with you don’t know what is liberty of expression, liberty of movement, liberty to decide your own destiny, but then enter this country using an immigrant law for real political refugees who are being persecuted and take advantage of it by lying your political beliefs and status. You are a fraud, a fake, and ungrateful in not even acknowledging the generosity of this Great Nation in allowing people like you to live here.

    As far as you being a “political refugee”, you’re simply a hypocrite and liar, since you still defend and consider the dictatorial-totalitarian regime in Cuba as something of benefits to the cuban people. GO BACK TO THE HOLE IN CUBA THAT YOU CAME OUT WITH YOUR BS IDEAS AND THOUGHTS!!!!. Lets hope that the Inmigration Dept. read the BS writing of yours and return you the Island.

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  • Erasmo, you make perfect sense! You acknowledge the faults of the U.S and the potential Cuba can have to be a great country. The grass is not necessarily greener in the U.S especially with that clown/madman running this country.

    Reply

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