Sunday, July 06, 2014

November 1961

If you had met me in November 1961, you would have not recognized me. I was a total ignoramus, when it came to politics and other important social issues. 

Back then, I was only 17 years old and los curas de La Salle del Vedado had brainwashed me totally. Communists were the “enemy.” I didn't even know who Karl Marx was. None of his books were present in the shitty school library, because they conflicted with Catholic dogma. 

I had just left Havana on the 18th, with two visa waivers in one my pockets, in one of the flights of Pam American Airways. Their four propeller aircraft left what was then called Rancho Boyeros Airport and then landed at MIA, one hour later. 

All the unaccompanied male minors were transferred to Camp Matecumbe in the Everglades, the females were sent to Kendall. A Catholic priest, who was called Monsignor Walsh, ran both places with copious funds provided by the Yankee government. 

My English was very good because I had an excellent teacher at La Salle, who was a Scotsman, who also had taught my brother, who was the brains of the Gonzalez family. Mr. McEwan was extremely strict but he treated me very well. The social worker at Matecumbe did not speak a word of Spanish and I some times helped him as an interpreter. Matecumbe was not a bad place. 

My god-mother, who also was my aunt, had convinced my stupid parents that Fidel Castro was going to take la patria potestad away from them, and that he was going to send all Cuban children to the the Soviet Union. I was one of the 15,000 victims of Operation Peter Pan, a joint operation of the CIA and the top hierarchy of the Cuban Catholic Church. 

After a six month stay at Matecumbe, myself and five more victims of Peter Pan were sent to Portland, Oregon, in the Pacific NW coast of the U.S. Catholic Charities, with copious financing from the Yankees, financed a “program” in PDX. 

In June of 1963 I graduated from Lincoln High School. I left the program. I was on my own. 

I held various not-so-good jobs. I was going, at the same time to Portland State College. Par-time, paid with my own funds. 

I got interested in computer programming and started taking a correspondence course. It was really shitty. I was finding errors in the course. I quit and enrolled at Western Business University, a private vocational school. The school had an IBM 360, Model 25, computer. The 59-week course was excellent. I borrowed money from a bank and paid for the course myself. 30 students started and only three graduated. I was one of the three. I graduated “With High Honors.” 

The school helped the students find jobs in their chosen fields. One month after graduating I was working for J. Henry Helser and Co. I started operating their computer, an IBM 360, Model 20. Within 30 days I was also writing computer programs for their data processing department. 

The USA back then was a good place, not very much like the USA of today. Jobs were plentiful in the manufacturing sector. After the USA started exporting the manufacturing jobs to Mexico, Hong Kong and China, the USA STARTED GOING DOWNHILL. 

I got married in Portland and two boys were born later on. I bought a three-bedroom house in a good neighborhood in PDX with a $16,000 mortgage from a bank. You need today at least $250,000 dollars to buy a similar home. The capitalists in the USA have totally destroyed the country with their never-ending greed and financial speculations. 

I have always been a voracious reader. I learned in the 1980's that Socialists and Communists were not my enemies. I learned about Karl Marx. Now, I know who the real enemy of the working-class is. 

Now, at 70, I am retired in sunny Florida, which is not such a good state, if you compare it to Oregon, which I miss a lot. My two sons and my six grandchildren are here. Home is where the family is.

No comments: