Looking back...This picture was taken in Havana when I was 2 -
It reminds me that there was a piece of my very blonde hair that my mother had cut it -and pasted on my pink baby album. I used to look at it and loved it! And my mother also enjoyed looking at the album with me...
But when we left Havana for exile in the late 60´s, the album was "confiscated" at the airport by the army militia people who were in charge, because "it is not part of the permitted items list Compañerita (Little Comrade)" ...so they removed it from my suitcase as they counted the "3 permitted changes of clothing"-- and I never saw it again. That same morning of March 18th my mother was carrying a scarf that belonged to her recently deceased mother (it still smelled like my grandmother!) and it was also "confiscated" by the airport army goons!
She had to control herself because we had been told that if we protested or cried, "it would made things worse". And we had been waiting for this permit to leave Cuba for 3 years! And -even more important- my brother was about to turn 15 in just 3 months, thus making him enter into Cuba´s Obligatory Military Service --and being shipped out to the wars of Angola or Congo, where Castro sent Cuban soldiers to fight! So this was our one and only opportunity to leave, spare Leon from such a terrible future --and a baby album, or my grandmother´s scarf, could not put this in danger.
So -terrified- we did not protest and flew to exile in Mexico City.
Small cruelties -and a surreal situation of impotence and fear- that continues to exist to this day in Cuba's lawless & cruel regime.