Freedom Flight Memories

Estrella A. Espinosa

Although we do not appear in the database, my parents and I arrived in Miami on January 26, 1967 by the Freedom Flights. We had remained in Cuba due to the Missile Crisis. My 11 year old brother and I, 8 years old, were kept out of school, my parents had given away most of our household items to neighbors and family in anticipation to our departure on October 1st 1962 which never occurred. As the years passed and without hope, my brother was approaching the military age of 15 which will not allow him to leave Cuba. As a result, my parents in desperation arranged for him to go to Spain hoping that we will follow him soon. He and a cousin of the same age left to Spain one month before his 15th birthday in 1966 .

We were very lucky to leave on the Freedom Flights three months to the day after my brother's departure. We left Varadero on a cold January morning. Not only my immediate family reunited, but from 1961 to 1969 my mother's 10 siblings were united. Many families were not as fortunate as ours and their families were divided forever. We have made Miami our home and built our lives in this country embracing their traditions as well as keeping ours. Sincerely, Estrella A. Espinosa