Open letter to US Senator (R) Marco Rubio
You made us so proud last night my whole family was brought to tears by your excellent speech. You touched on the soul of all honest and hard working immigrants, in our case: political exiles.
You reminded me of my father, my experience, and my daughter.
We came here with nothing, not a cent in our packets but we had the value of hard work and family. My father and mother only went to third grade. My father, José Martel, owned a small bycicle shop in Cárdenas, Matanzas for 28 years. Work and family was his life, his religion. They Communists stole it from him and thus they destroyed a good part of my old man, who went on to work for K-mart for another 28 years in New Jersey.
He passed two years ago.
Once my father’s position became resistant to the dictatorship they persecuted them, and my mother and me, and my parents were sent to work in the Cuban fields (concentration camps) because they didn’t agree with the system, and wanted to leave Cuba. The Communists separated me from my family-sending me to live with my grandmother-and destroyed my childhood-but my parents were firm in taking their son out of Communist Cuba. Whenever my dad had a chance to see me and speak to me alone he would tell me: “Esta gente son una mierda, son unos asesinos y ladrones. Yo te quiero llevar a un país de libertad.”
I had to leave Cuba through the International Rescue Committee, and they followed. The same way we finally arrived in America.
I’ll always be grateful to the IRS. Once in the US they kept telling me while he worked double shifts at K-Mart Corporation.: study, you have to study. I did. The day I got my masters degree we were all together, and I embraced my family because I knew that without their sacrifices and support I could have never gotten there: I told my daughter if I did this you can do better. She was just starting HS.
She went on to Harvard University, where among other significant accomplishments she was the first Hispanic woman to ever run for Student Council President of Harvard University. She graduated at the age of 20, and next year, God Willing, she will earn her law degree from Fordham in New York, at only 24 years of age.
I thank you Senator as a Cuban-American for your leadership and your authenticity, for never forgetting your roots and the greatness of America.
We were all deeply moved by your words, and all the support of my blog Rafaelmartel.com, and in myself and my family you have our votes and full support in a not far future when I predict you’ll run for president of the greatest country in the world. It shouldn’t surprise you that I am a Democrat but it comes to leaders like you, my Republican heart comes out in your support. Thank you and May God Always Bless you and your family.
Rafael Román Martel