Between 1960 and 1962 more than 14,000 Cuban children escaped Fidel Castro’s communist regime as part of an airlift known as Operación Pedro Pan. LORENZO PABLO MARTÍNEZ was one of these children. In CUBA, ADIÓS: A Young Man’s Journey to Freedom, Martínez vividly recounts his participation in a program that bridged two different cultures and achieved great political significance over the years. At eighteen, he forfeits a music scholarship to Prague to accept an unknown future of exile in America without knowing the language, money to pursue an education, or family to help. Plagued by guilt around his sexual identity and having to care for a younger brother, Martínez forges ahead to become the composer of his future; later he opens the doors that enable his sisters and parents to join him after a harrowing sojourn in Mexico City. With the same determination, he attends college and pursues a music education, obtaining a master’s degree from the Manhattan School of Music, then a doctorate from Columbia University. Even after his music compositions are published and performed on television and at international festivals, Martínez feels restless and spiritually unfulfilled. Until, that is, he is able to define the true music of his freedom. CUBA, ADIÓS is a poignant, thoughtful account of one boy’s survival and self-acceptance, written with unflinching honesty and a wry humor.
Luis Gonzalez grew up in Culver City, California after his widowed mother of three fled Communist Cuba in the late 1960’s. Though he quickly assimilated into his new country and culture, and though he had no trouble mastering his new language, Cuba never left him. Cuba was always with him: inside him, driving him, calling him. He realized this more than ever when, in the 6th grade, he did his country report on Cuba and thus began a love affair with his homeland that continues to this day. It was only natural that Cuba should play a part in his writing, and even from grammar school age, Luis Gonzalez knew that writing was in his blood.
“I always loved to write, even as a young child, I guess I’ve always been an indie author because when I was in the third grade, after only having been in this country a couple of years, I wrote two stories. One was called The Magic Slippers, the other “The Dolphins.” I took sheets of paper that I folded over and stapled and not only did I write the stories, but I illustrated them and made the cover and everything for them. I still have these two first books of mine and I look back on them now and wonder, wow, I really always was a writer. To this day those two items remain some of my most treasured possessions for they provide a glimpse into the passion that helped shape the person that I am, and if I’m anything, I’m passionate, and if I’m passionate about anything, it’s writing.”
As someone who is deeply moved and inspired by politics and religion and the arts, it was no wonder that he came up with the idea for his novel, Luz, a story that grapples with all three realms. These days Luis Gonzalez calls San Francisco home where he lives with his wife and two of four daughters.
Music on the show by Terio.
Cubano, la libertad de Cuba depende de ti! Dale la noticia a tu familia en Cuba para que sepan lo que tienen que hacer. Pueden hacer dos cosas buenas:
Tirarse para la calle o quedarse en sus casas sin salir. Paro general y Desobediencia Civil en Cuba este Martes, 1ro de Abril a las 12PM. como un acto o proceso de oposición pública a la política de un gobierno ostil como el que impera en nuestra patria. Unanse, sean activos en el proceso y el camino hacia la libertad en Cuba.
Falta un dia, Ayuda que se sepa en Cuba, inventa como! Corre la voz.
MY LIFE IN CUBA UNDER THE COMMUNIST REGIME
The title says it all!