Eduardo F. Calcines was a child of Fidel Castro’s Cuba; he was just three years old when Castro came to power in January 1959. After that, everything changed for his family and his country, and over the next few years, it was hard for Eduardo to understand why soldiers now stood on every street corner, food was strictly rationed, and adults weren’t allowed to gather together—even at Christmastime. But as he grew older, the realities of Communist Cuba became clear to him, often painfully so.
After his family applied for an exit visa to immigrate to America when Eduardo was ten, he was ridiculed by his schoolmates and even his teachers for being a traitor to his country and, worse, his father was sent to an agricultural reform camp to do hard labor for fifteen hours a day as punishment for wanting to leave. During the years to come, Eduardo hoped with all his might for one thing: that their exit visas would be granted before he turned fifteen, the age at which he would be drafted into the army.
In this gripping memoir, Eduardo F. Calcines recounts his boyhood in Glorytown, a neighborhood in the city of Cienfuegos, and chronicles the conditions that led him to wish above all else to leave behind his beloved extended family and his home for a chance at a better future.