Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Legacy of Loss

I recently came across this heartwarming human interest story which appeared in the Sacramento Bee. Maria Celia Garcia is making a movie of her parents' life before and after the revolution, including the trials of attempting to flee the regime. Now, I have no idea how old she is. But not two days later in a conversation with a young student filmmaker who is trying to make a movie loosely based on the Anguilla Cay incident, we agreed that when pundits, politicians, and the press talk about a "generational shift" among young Cuban Americans, they misread their tea leaves.

Whatever their everyday concerns, their political predilections, I'll guarantee that just about each and every child of a Cuban parent has inherited the awful sense of loss, of the wrong done. It is something my generation, the first born or brought up in the United States, picked up directly from our parents and grandparents, and which we in turn have passed on to our children. Perhaps it does not manifest itself in protests on Calle Ocho; but here and there, it surfaces, whether in a movie or a review, a book or even a school project. There is a need to say, "This happened."

So while some celebrate the passing of the "hard-liners," the first exiles, they underestimate the upcoming generations, who- standing on the shoulders of their wronged forbears- are making their way up the ladder of American society in every field of endeavor in even larger numbers. They are our own fifth column in the propaganda wars, this generation of Americans who carry the exile in their hearts. We will not forget, and I suspect they will not let them forget either.

Cross-posted at Babalublog

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