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Out of the Humidor

CA Readers
From the Print Edition:
Ernest Hemingway, Jul/Aug 99

(continued from page 3)

The articles and the issue as a whole gave me a sense of Cuba that I had not been privy to. It is a remote part of my life, for now.

I very much wish to someday visit my birthplace. I wish I could see what my parents and grandparents carry in their hearts and minds, what they loved--what they left behind in their pursuit of freedom. It is unimaginable to me how they could of made the decision to leave Cuba.

But at the same time I could not imagine my life without the freedoms that their struggles gave us and that I often take for granted.

I envy those who travel there without scars and see only the natural beauty of the country and the warmth of the people. They go to Cuba without the conflict of guilt.

I am very grateful to your magazine because it is through your eyes that we glimpse at the beauty of Cuba. If only Cuba could have escaped the wounds of its politics. I wonder what it would have been like today.

As a Cuban American, I hope that someday soon the Cuban exiles will accept what happened and heal. That Castro will take some responsibility for his part in the decay of the Cuba that was. His ways haven't really been the solutions he promised at all--merely another set of problems. I hope he truly finds a way to help the people enjoy the privileges we Americans take for granted sometimes.

Most importantly, I hope with the help of people like yourself, that we--Americans, Cuban Americans, Cuban exiles and native Cubans--all see a clear picture of what Cuba should and could be.

Thank you for having such affection for a place and its people. From your conviction it does seem true that seeing something for yourself once is better than being told about it a 1,000 times. Here's hoping!

My siblings and I affectionately refer to someone who is very Cuban in their ways as being Cubaniche ("Cuba-neech"). You are officially knighted!

Maria Menendez Marchassalla
Douglaston, New York

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