Freedom Flight Memories

Marisa Zayas-Bazan Rodriguez

My original name in Cuba was Maria Isabel Zayas-Bazan Loret de Mola. When I became an American Citizen I changed it to: Marisa Zayas-Bazan Rodriguez.I together with part of my family came in the Freedom Flight #100, on February 14, 1966. Our nucleus family consisted of 7 (seven) persons. They were:

1) Aida Loret de Mola de Zayas-Bazan (my mother, my father was Eddy Zayas-Bazan that stayed in Cuba because he was a political prisoner).2) Bertha Zayas-Bazan Loret de Mola (my sister)3) Maria Isabel Zayas-Bazan Loret de Mola (myself)4) Pablo Roberto Rodriguez Ponce (my husband)5) Maria Isabel Rodriguez Zayas-Bazan (my daughter) 5 years old6) Pablo Roberto Rodriguez Zayas-Bazan (my son) I year old7) Juana Ponce Duarte (my mother in Law)

We are all from Camagüey, Cuba. Our trip was very stressful because we were coming with my mother, who was very sick and we had the two small children. Because my father had been the Governor of Camagüey we experience a lot of persecution. They had no consideration for us. Previously of our trip, there were some “Spanish Dolls” available for sale. My husband was able to stand in line for about 5 hours to be able to get the “Spanish Doll” for my daughter. The milicianos in Camagüey took the doll away from my daughter. My daughter was devastated. When we were in the “Lagito”, as part of the whole trip, there was a group from Mario Sabates family whose daughter had brought two dolls and after they heard what happened to my daughter, their daughter gave one of the dolls to my daughter.

My two brothers were in the Bay of Pigs Invasion. Eduardo Zayas-Bazan Loret de Mola was a frog man, who was wounded and stayed over a year in prison. Rogerio Zayas-Bazan Loret de Mola was one of the ones that were not allowed to disembark. If you are interested, I could elaborate more in our experience. Thank you very much for doing this.

Marisa Zayas-Bazan Rodriguez