Cuba, Land of My Birth

Oh Mario Diaz-Balart, what am I going do with you? You need to listen to the majority of people you represent instead of your party of hate and exclusion. It is time to come into 2015 and find a way to better handle a Cuban embargo that has not done what it was intended to do. Here we are 50+ years later and nothing has changed except that our Cuban brothers and sisters are living in a time and place from the last century. You need to take your head out of the sand and stop denying what is true, what is inevitable. Ignoring it, as your party has a tendency to do, does not mean it does not exist.

Many of us have left Cuba over the last half century and have never returned to see the homeland.  Some are no longer with us but there are many others, like myself, who would love to see her beaches, her cities, her people, again.  I was so young when I left that the memories I have are through pictures and stories I grew up hearing from my elders.  So much time has passed that several generations have died and several more have been born as Americans never having seen the land of their birth, of their ancestors birth.  We have prospered here in the United States and have become proud citizens but it is time for us and our children to have the privilege of traveling to the place of our beginning as many other immigrants throughout history have done.

The time has come for us to forget the mistakes and the grudges of the past and move forward into this century with a sense of compassion and anticipation that the US and Cuba can come to a mutually acceptable agreement that will benefit both countries.  I support President Obama and his administration in the steps they are taking to normalize relationships with Cuba.  A large majority of American and Cuban people agree with this sentiment and the steps that were begun in December of 2014 have led to the announcement of embassies reopening in both countries.  Once this happens, the path will be open for further negotiations and agreements and many of us look forward to the day when we step foot on Cuban soil and breathe Cuban air and look into the grateful eyes of the Cuban people who have waited so long in anticipation of this day.

My name is Alina Valdes, MD and I am running for Congress, House of Representatives, in Florida district 25.

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