The Street Belongs to Me, to You, and to Every Cuban

My name is Julián Guerra Deriet. I was born March 11, 1972. I live in cubicle 1 of hall 6, on Varona Street between Mayia Rodriguez and Lindero, in the Poey neighborhood, Arroya Naranjo municipality. My wife is names Marisol Bolanos Cordero, she’s pregnant and we already have one daughter.

My life is like that of many, a constant struggle.  And if I decided to get married and have my own family, at least I have work to support them. I am not impudent, I was a shoemaker, craftsman, I tried a lot of things until one day I met a gentleman and with him I learned to make sweets. Nothing ever fell from the sky for me, I had to mow a lawn the size of a baseball field to earn $10. With this money I bought an oven, fixed it and went to work. Now many people know me as Julian the Pastry-maker. I live from this, making sweets. I don’t think it’s a good thing that there are political prisoners, I make them cake and with much love send it to them in prison.

Wait, allow me a commercial, I also make donuts that you know are better than glory and smell of resurrection.

Currently I’m a delegate of the Havana Political Prisoners Movement, and we go out often with a group of friends and perform acts of disobedience to demand respect for civil rights.

If I were to receive any help from the exile I would not leave this country;  but I don’t get anything and I survive by performing a thousand tricks. My family is persecuted, harassed, they have beaten us, abused us, targeted us with acts of repudiation… My mother lives in Vedado, in Linea Street at the corner of 10th, just next to the newly opened “Casa del ALBA,” and when some bigwigs come, or the whole “10th of December” group, State Security goes around to her house and won’t let her leave.

For all the reasons I’ve explained, I’m asking for political asylum, and on February 1st I was awarded refugee status from the United States Interest Section in Cuba. In order for my wife and I to leave we need to go to Immigration to ask for the famous Exit Permit. Time, money, bad treatment… you already know it all.

In a few days my wife got the White Card (exit permit); but the little girl and I, nothing.

You understand?  No, not me, I got angry, imagine, I’m working my life away here, sweating like crazy, and then some trash talker comes out with his buoyant face and destroys my family. No.

Later officials from State Security came by and asked me to stay calm, and promised me that on July 17th I could leave.

Look pal, this is called blackmail and I also won’t allow it. Leaving is my right; and my family is sacred.  So be sure of it, buddy, I’m not going to stay calm, and I’m not going to be convinced.

The street belongs to me, to you, and every Cuban.

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~ by Juan Juan Almeida on July 4, 2010.

 
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