Toward a New Life

HAVANA TIMES – I had my “parole” under revision since June 2023. For those who don’t know, it’s a program implemented by President Biden aimed at mitigating the drama at the southern border of the United States. Whether it has succeeded or not is another story.

My partner had been insisting for some time that I get a passport, and after much persistence, she convinced me. We were included by a sponsor from her family. Every day it was common to see her following any topic related to humanitarian parole. I, however, chose to forget about the matter. I never had the aspiration nor the resources for it, so I didn’t want to obsess over it. I had long resigned myself to misery and survival in an increasingly impoverished country.

One morning, as usual, I opened my email and, as usual, received the my daily dose of spam in my inbox. Those unsolicited messages that are mostly scams. But one caught my attention; it was from none other than US Immigration. As I read, my eyes couldn’t believe it. Instantly the phone rang, and it was her exclaiming, “We got approved for parole; I knew it would come, and we would leave together.”

I could sense the excitement on the other end of the line, but my skepticism kept me calm in such situations, and I reacted without showing much surprise.

The next day, I received the travel authorization, and we only had to wait for hers to head to the United States, that country which, for better or worse, is part of every Cuban’s collective imagination. A country that, at least for me, represents progress and freedom, two qualities so distant from what we have, whether due to karma or destiny.

Days went by, and her permit didn’t arrive. I didn’t want to leave alone and leave behind the author of my opportunities. A month passed, then another. I felt lost, like in limbo, and at times like Moses, who despite glimpsing the landscape, would never reach the promised land.

The expiration date was approaching, and I had to leave. With the plane ticket in hand, I started organizing my things. One of the most important tasks was saying goodbye to my daughter. It was painful to leave knowing that years would pass before I would see her face again, hug her, smell her hair… I had to hold back the tears. The next day, I left.

My partner saw me off with a smile, the kind that comes from someone who loves you unconditionally, as you are, with your ups and downs, although we both hid the pain as best we could.

I found myself boarding a plane for the first time. Initially, entering that tube gave me a feeling of claustrophobia, luckily fleeting, until I managed to control my mind, and I no longer felt fear.

I enjoyed the trip that only lasted an hour. Although my emotions went through a mix of states, I was leaving behind my daughter, my relatives, and friends, leaving a country sunk in misery, oppression, and despair. A country that despite everything is my country. Ahead of me awaited a new life.

I was thinking about these things when the crew’s voice announced the landing. Then I looked out the window and saw the evening lights of a city that seemed to have dressed up to welcome me.

Read more from the diary of Pedro Pablo Morejon here.

Pedro Morejón

I am a man who fights for his goals, who assumes the consequences of his actions, who does not stop at obstacles. I could say that adversity has always been an inseparable companion, I have never had anything easy, but in some sense, it has benefited my character. I value what is in disuse, such as honesty, justice, honor. For a long time, I was tied to ideas and false paradigms that suffocated me, but little by little I managed to free myself and grow by myself. Today I am the one who dictates my morale, and I defend my freedom against wind and tide. I also build that freedom by writing, because being a writer defines me.

2 thoughts on “Toward a New Life

  • Congratulations! I wish you well! I hope your family can join you soon, or better yet that your country’s conditions improve so that you can choose to happily return to your homeland if you wish and have all that you need to have a great life there.

  • Missed your reports. Buen suerte en su nuevas adventure.

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