~"Can you run an errand for me"? she said in a tone that was not really a question. "Go to the bodega on Aricochea and bring me the oranges that the clerk will give you," she said. Tell the clerk you are there to get the oranges for a sick person."

I tried to ask her who was sick, but she ignored my question and gave me a little, persuasive push.  On the way, I kept thinking, How does the clerk know I am coming?~

Copyright, Dania Rosa Nasca
All rights reserved, January 24,2016

~Brainwashing to create a new communist generation included expunging much of Cuban history from schools and libraries. What remained was rewritten and distorted to serve the government's purposes~

Copyright, Dania Rosa Nasca
January 22, 2016, All rights reserved

These are for you..........

A few days later, I was standing in front of our house. By 1969 life had become so dull that there was nothing else to do. Fidel had eliminated anything and everything that could bring entertainment or joy to the human soul. Even radio soap operas were laced with propaganda.
While I was standing there, the chivato appeared, catching me by surprise. “These are for you,” he said, handing me a cluster of bananas. His voice seemed to say, “I am sorry you found out the kind of person I have become.”
He scrutinized my face, trying to detect whether I had told anyone. I felt bad for him. It seemed to me there was sadness in his expression and demeanor. He knew how much our family had suffered under Fidel’s iron fist, and he had always been respectful and caring every time he saw me and always said hello.
I walked inside and handed my mother the banana bounty, and she hung the entire cluster in the back of the house by the laundry area. A few days later I was helping her do laundry by hand, as was the custom, when she asked, “Why didn’t you tell me you were supposed to share the bananas with the neighbor’s daughter?” Perplexed, I looked up at my mother. I had no idea what she was talking about. She said that Judas Goat had told a neighbor that the bananas were for both her daughter and me.
“He told me the bananas were for me. He didn’t tell me I was supposed to share them with anyone.” I was furious. The snitch was trying to make a liar out of me. He was hoping my mother would not believe me in the event I told her about his spying. How little did he know my mother! Had I told her about the incident, she would have found him and would have given him a piece of her mind, a good spruce, as she did with every snitch she discovered. I don’t think his family’s connections to the party would have held her back. In my mom’s eyes snitching on your fellow Cuban was a cardinal sin. She was right, of course; but people are people and people often make bad decisions, especially when they are afraid or want to belong. 
Copyright Dania Rosa Nasca, January 16, 2016


To My Son, Anthony Edward 

My son, soon you will turn twelve, the same age I was when I left Cuba on April 20, 1970. I have written this little book for you before my memories get so foggy that they lose their significance. Often when the sun rises, we forget the storm, and I don’t want my childhood experiences and the experiences of my family to die with me. I don’t want the past, good and bad, to be lost, so I have gathered these moments for you.

These memories and the memories of my family and our friends, which are inextricably interwoven with twentieth-century Cuban events, are the memoirs of your mom, a young Cuban girl who was born in the City of Parks, HolguĂ­n, Oriente, Cuba, during the most exciting revolution of the twentieth century, a revolution intended to restore democratic free elections to the Republic of Cuba.

Despite the original democratic intent behind the Revolution, I lived the first twelve years of my life under a communist government because the Revolution was stolen by one of our own. Perhaps the only gifts that I received from living in communist Cuba were that I learned at a young age to think for myself and not follow the herd, to hold my head up with dignity, and refuse to allow names to hurt me, for labels only harm if you let them stick to you.

My writings are a humble attempt to shed a true light on the nature of communism and its impact on my family and on all of Cuba; a true light on the nature of Fidel Castro, a ruthless man so many consider to be a champion of the poor; and a true light on the nature of the foreign, evil presence in Cuba, Ernesto Che Guevara, a killer whom so many revere as a freedom fighter. My writings are meant to show you and those who seek truth that Cuba under Fidel Castro is not the utopia the world has been enamored of for the last fifty years.

I love you, my son. You have made my life so complete. May you always live in liberty. May you remember that it only takes one man to take liberty away, one man to change the world for the worse or the better. Never underestimate how observant and smart children are, how important it is for them to be told the truth, and how a child can be perceptive of injustice when adults are blind. Never engage in class warfare and never let anyone plant the seed of hate in your heart, for I know what hate can lead to. It can even bring down a republic.



© Lights Out: A Cuban Memoir of Betrayal and Survival
    Dania Rosa Nasca
History is written by those who win,truth is written by those who were there.I was there Lights Out: A Cuban Memoir of Betrayal and Survival.

Welcome to my blog. Glad you stopped by. I will be posting regularly, so I hope you will revisit. I welcome your comments and look forward to getting to know each other.

I was born in 1958 in Holguín, the City of Parks, Oriente, Cuba, the year the Cuban Revolution drove Batista from power. I lived in Cuba during Fidel Castro’s hijacking of the Cuban government, his brutal consolidation of power, and his ill-advised and disastrous takeover of all private business. In 1970, at age twelve, with my parents and only a few other relatives, I immigrated to the United States on a U.S.–sponsored Freedom Flight. A proud Cuban-American and hockey mom who hates snow, I live with my husband, Tony, and son, Anthony, in Rochester, New York, my home since arriving in the United States.

Lights Out: A Cuban Memoir

Happy New Year!

The purpose of this blog is to keep you posted on the progress of Lights Out: A Cuban Memoir.

Lights Out has gone through another round of editing.

There's no way I can include all the history I wanted to include in the book. There was a history overload in the manuscript. This blog will allow me to visit some of Cuba's historical moments.  I will also post excerpts from the book and pictures of Cuba before Fidel and Cuba after Fidel.

I'm determined to publish Lights Out, and I'm confident a higher power will guide me through this process.

Lights Out is so timely.