Carlos M Nieto Eire
Carlos M's Story
My brother Tony and I were separated upon arrival on April 6, 1962: he went to Kendall, I went to Florida City. After 3 weeks at the camps, Tony went to live with an American foster family in Miami (Sid and Carol Rubin) and I went to live with another American family (Louis and Norma Chait). After nine months with these wonderful families, in December of 1962, we were transferred to a group home run by a Cuban couple, a few blocks from the Orange Bowl. This home was a cramped, vermin-infested hell hole: the foster parents were abusive and half of the boys were juvenile delinquents and gang members. Nine moths later, in September 1963, we were sent to live with an uncle in Bloomington, Illinois. We lived with him and his family for two years, until November 1965, when our mother arrived from Cuba. After joining our mom in Chicago, Tony and I worked full-time jobs, since she was physically handicapped and couldn't find work. Our father never made it out of Cuba, and died in 1976. Tony still lives in the Chicago area, but I moved away in 1973, to attend graduate school, and have been on the move ever since. I'm a historian -- a specialist in late medieval and early modern European religion -- and I teach at Yale University. My two memoirs, Waiting for Snow in Havana (2003) and Learning to Die in Miami (2010) contain all the details compressed into this brief account.