Every Cuban-American family has the following black–and–white picture hanging somewhere on a wall: Grandfather and his many brothers, dressed in smart suits with thin ties; wives and sisters in floral and pastel dresses; everyone crowded together, some kneeling, others standing, all beaming broadly. That was Cuba in the 1950s. That was the country that Fidel Castro ruined.
For those of us in my generation – the first to be born in the United States – the memory of our families’ exile begins with that old black-and-white picture. It is the backdrop to the family history we were raised on, which all Cuban exile families share, stories of upheaval, loss, and salvation.
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