Woman and Sagittarian / Juan Juan Almeida

My name is Rosalba Susini, I was born December 5, 1974 in Old Havana, and today I am an American citizen.

I studied at the teacher’s training college of Cojimar, East Havana. I graduated in 1993.

I Cuba I had no problems until, like all families, mine also split up. My father came here when I was 6. He returned in 1994, and have a huge hug, I breathed deeply and called forth all my courage and whispered in his ear what all kids tell their parents, even today, “I want to go.”

Imagine, my mother there, my father here, and me, a young girl. At that time people were leaving Cuba through a third country. We tried to go to Panama but that was frustrated because my mother would not give me permission to leave, she worked in the hospital at La Covadonga.

In 1996 I had the chance and I threw myself on a raft. The trip was horrible, I don’t even like to talk about it; but I can tell you that if you were born in the same circumstances, living without freedom, you would have done exactly the same thing.

It was hard, very hard, 8 years without my seeing my mother until I could bring her over. More than once I asked permission to enter my country but I always got, from the Cuban authorities, the usual response with no explanation: “Your entry permit has been denied.”

I have been here 14 years, the punishment is indefinite, and when you ask for a reason, everyone looks away. My grampa died, I couldn’t see him. My grandmother lost her mind, she doesn’t know who I am. My aunt us very old. It is not fair to have to ask permission to enter your country.

Havana is my obsession. I frequently dream I travel there without telling anyone and that I land at the airport and go straight to my house, stand at my door and people start screaming, “Rosabla’s here! Rosalba’s here!…” I don’t know if it’s the excitement or for the block party; but my dram is over. I wake up. In my dreams I always go… but I never arrive.

October 9, 2010