I have been involved in the Cuban fight for freedom even before I was born. When my mother was pregnant with me, as a good patriota, she still went to meetings, protests and even organized a few rallies.
I guess the same way that some fathers make their pregnant wives watch football so their babies will love the sport, my mom’s activism subconsciously made her American born baby a super Cuban, with the same fervor as the winning quarter back in a Super Bowl game.
Some of my first childhood memories are comprised of me reciting long poems of Jose Marti to random crowds of people while handing out white roses, asking strangers to sign petitions to denounce Cuba’s Human Rights violations and of course participating in pageants for “Los Municipios de Cuba en el Exilio” (the municipalities of Cuba in Exile festival) . Even in college I helped organize student protests agsinst the Clinton administration because of Elian and another against Jose Serrano. So yeah I’ve been doing this for a while.
A dark reality for all Cuban-American activists is the existence of Cuban spies. Yes they do exists! and no I am not being overly paranoid (ok, maybe a little, but I will get to that) … and Yes they are everywhere. I have met some, heard of many, one even tried to brain wash me…. clearly he didn’t prevail; I saw what he was doing…. LOSER!!!
Even in Washington D.C. during my latest work for “La Causa,” I was taken aside and told about the presence of Cuban spies in DC and how they target people like me!!. Ahh!!! Clearly I have become a super paranoid person, to an existent that recently on a business trip to New York City I let my paranoia get the best of me.
On my only free day in New York City this fall I was just walking around the city. I realized there was a Hispanic parade and quickly got enthralled in the pageantry. Everyone had their national flags, so I went up to the nearest vendor and asked for “mi banderita Cubana.”
As I happily waved and saluted to the few Cuban floats, towards the end of the parade a guy comes up to me and starts asking me about Cuban floats in the parade. He then starts asking about Cuba. He keeps asking me questions. He is Cuban, my paranoia got the best of me. I quickly assumed he might be a spy. I asked him questions, trying to measure him up. I even ask him if he is a spy!!!!
How paranoid does our activism make us (ok me) and we (I) assume that some people we (I) meet might be spies!!!
I know they exists. I know where they might hang out (members of the Cuban government hang out at Havana Village in Adams Morgan - I don’t go there—and it also has a huge Che poster that makes me sick to my stomach). But I also know that I have to chill out, be cautious but chill out.
Thankfully the guy has a sense of humor and we laughed it out. That is after the poor guy spent 20 minutes trying to convince me he wasn’t a spy, showing me every piece of identification he had and telling me a short bio of his life. He was just a nice guy interested in me. …
I finally believed him….. Why not, he was a nice guy Cuban boy… Well, I really believed him after I made a few calls, just in case for peace of mind…. You know…..
Viva Cuba Libre!