PALM TREES IN THE SNOW by Gloria Maria Strassburger 5/27/2014

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Gloria Maria Strassburger

Co Host: Fernan Hernandez, author of The Cubans: Our Legacy in the United States: A collective biography

In the author’s words:

Havana, 1939—The glamorous capital city of an alluring Caribbean island, the year that Rolando Fernández and Ninina Perea meet and fall in love. Strassburger begins her story with her parents’ courtship in the golden years of pre-Castro Cuba. Her memoir recounts how her father’s mental collapse and the communist revolution of 1959 uprooted her privileged childhood, both physically and emotionally.

While providing substantial background on Fidel Castro’s political revolt, Strassburger focuses on her family’s experiences: The appropriation of their wealth and properties by the rebel regime. How families were torn apart as children were taken from their parents, forced to undergo communist indoctrination in Russia. Strassburger narrowly escaped such a fate through Operation Peter Pan, one of the largest political exoduses of children in history. Fearing for her future, her parents sent her out of Cuba—alone—in 1961. She relates the terror of being separated from her family and living in a foreign country without them.

With affecting detail, Strassburger depicts her family’s disintegration as her father spiraled into schizophrenia and communism forced them into exile. They left behind their loved ones, their homes, and their identities to face the hardships of a new life in the United States. Palm Trees in the Snow is a family’s story of love, sacrifice, and survival. It is the author’s tribute to a way of life lost forever and the embracing of a new one in America.

Published by Cold River Studio
Nashville, Tennessee

 

Music by SugarCane Rush

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My Trip To Cuba with Professor Cecilia Rodriguez Milanes 1/13/2012

Cecilia Rodriguez Milanes

Cecilia Rodriguez Milanes is a professor of Latino/a literature and writing at the University of Central Florida in Orlando.  Professor Rodriguez Milanes recently visited Cuba, an Island that offers 5 star world class resorts, hires foreign Chefs from Canada, France and Italy to ensure that the meals will delight the almost 2 million yearly visitors, magnificent beaches, dancing, music, and historic views while their citizens live under strenuous laws that subordinate freedom of speech, freedom of the press. Cuba where government maintains complete control over all forms of mass media, including newspapers, radio and television, an Island where criticism of national leaders can lead to imprisonment and even death. There has always been a mystery surrounding this Caribbean Island and Cecilia will tell us stories as only she can about family, education , living conditions, food prices, access to electricity, water, gas, architecture, changes, progress, Etc.

If you have always wondered about Cuba and would like to know more about  the Island from someone who has been there recently or if you are curious about the present Cuba, this is the show for you. Open Mic the last half hour, call with your questions.

Cecilia’s is a accomplished writer as well, her short fiction has been anthologized in Iguana Dreams: New Latino Fiction. Did My Mama Like to Dance? and Other Stories about Mothers and Daughters, and in New World: Young Latino Writers. Her short story collection, Marielitos, Balseros and Other Exiles which was released in June 2009 and Everyday Chica among others.