Introducing George from Cuba and how he got here

Introducing George from Cuba and how he got here

March 3, 2020 Uncategorized 0

Lisa

Hi. Welcome back to RView where we talk about life travel in real estate. I’m Lisa Richart-Hernandez. And today I have with me my husband, Jorge Hernandez. We have been married since June 2016. We’ve only been married for three years. Yeah. We did actually forget our anniversary this year, which is kind of not really bad. But thankfully, we both forgot about it because every day’s an anniversary. That’s right. You were always so happy. All right, so I always refer to you in all of my social media and everything. I was my hot Cuban husband. Um, So, like, sometimes people don’t even know that you’re Cuban. They always like

George                

I got mistaken more for Italian than Cuban, Believe it or not, my whole life. Well, I don’t know.

Lisa                

A lot of people don’t know that you’re fluent in Spanish also. Whatever that means. Uh, so anyway, I love I want to tell you a little bit about George and his life and who he is because he’s gonna be my co-host.

I don’t love our shows because my travel planner and the RV driver so tell our audience about this is the story that I always love when you tell about how your parents came from Cuba and a little bit about the story about your dad like I always saw, especially with all the stuff that’s going on in politics. I never really want to talk about politics but about, you know, immigrant illegal immigrants coming in and things like that and what your take is on that and how you’re how your family came to come to the United States. How? Tell us kind of that story.

George                

So my story starts in 1964 When I was born. As soon as my dad found out my mom was pregnant with me, he decided that he was gonna get us out of Cuba one way or another. But he was gonna do it the right way legally, and he started immediately applying for visas to leave the country. Which, of course, as we all know extremely difficult to leave Cuba, but he got it done. So what happened was.

When he applied for the visa the government told him that they would grant him of these For the three of us to go to Spain. You could not come directly to the United States at that time (1964).

But in order for him to get those three visas, he had to go to a “work camp”. But basically what A work camp in Cuba that time Was prison. He had to go to prison for two years and cut sugar cane all throughout Cuba. So my mother would go visit him at whatever prison they told her he was in for that week. And by the time she got there to go see him, well, he’s been transferred to another one because all the sugar cane been cut here. So that went on for two years. My dad again was in prison for two years. My mom was chasing him from place to place. She saw him every once in a while.

Lisa                

Oh, wait. Were you already born then?

George                

Yes, I was born at that point. So he did his two years, and at the end of the two years, he went to the consulate or the embassy or whatever it was to get the visas.

When he got there, We’ve had some issues and we only have two visas, one for your wife and one for your son. You can’t leave. My dad said, Well, as long as they have their visas, I’m going to get him off the island and I’ll get off the island one way or another. So this went on for from what I recall, six months maybe.

So now it’s been two years and six months. He goes back to the consulate one more time and the guy still tells him there are only two visas, you know, you can’t leave your family behind. And how are you going to send your wife and kid to Spain? When you know you’ve got nobody there, you have to stay. And my dad just stuck to his guns and said, I will send them off and I will find a way off this island.

So at the last second gentlemen slipped him the visas. And when my dad looked in the envelope, there were three visas. They had his visa the whole time. They were just trying to convince him to stay. We got the three visas and all the paperwork is done that he had to get done in order to fly to Spain and to go live there. You had to have a sponsor. So his sponsor was, a friend that he made a couple of years earlier, and then they ended up in the same work camp. This gentleman was a pharmacist. The man never did hard labor in his life. My dad helped him out tremendously and picked up his share of the work and not all of it, but helped him out.

When he got to Spain first he told my dad that he would sponsor him. So we went to Spain, and we lived there for three years. So by this time, it was 1968 or so. Yeah. 68. Um, so we lived in Spain for three years. In that time, Molina, my dad’s sponsor, filed all his paperwork and got into the United States, and he told my dad again come to the United States I’ll sponsor you. So my dad immediately started the paperwork from Spain to get a visa to come to the United States. And he had a sponsor, and he got all his paperwork done. And that’s several years. Also on at that time, my brother was born my brother in 1970.

Lisa                

Oh, so Jamie was born in Spain?

George                 

Yes. Jamie was born in Spain. Okay, so now he did all the paperwork, got us all to the United States from Spain with all the paperwork and the minute we landed in the United States, he started working and immediately started applying for citizenship. And, you know, at that time it wasn’t. Oh, you’re here. You’re a citizen. You get everything. It was You have to fill out paperwork. It took years. Um, but my dad always wanted to do it the right way, and he wanted it to be legal and bound, and just he believed in doing everything the right way. So I think it took another. I want to say, five years from the time we landed in the United States to the time that he went for his citizenship and You know, it’s just amazing what he did for me and my family.

Lisa                

Yeah. So, like you didn’t even mention when you, your mom and dad left Cuba, you couldn’t take, they couldn’t take anything with Nothin. I can’t even imagine going barely to the grocery store with a two-year-old without, like, an extra bag of clothing and a change of clothes and a bunch of extra shit, like, literally to be. No, just all you take is what you have on your back. Like we leave everything. And what does your dad do in Cuba before, um, the Communism took over?

George                 

My dad did a number of jobs. He was a mechanic, worked at a grocery store, He went to college and had an education. Eventually, him and my uncle open a home oil distribution company back in Cuba. Everything was run on oil so they would deliver oil to Homes. That was their business. They were doing very well.

My grandfather had a big, beautiful farm before Castro took over. And, you know, they were doing very well for themselves. I heard many wonderful stories from my dad before Castro, of how beautiful Cuba, was. And you know, Cuba before Castro was the place to be in the Caribbean, all the movie stars hung out in Cuba. The original Copacabana was in Cuba. It was, you know, that was the place to be. And then when Castro took over, it obviously died out and it’s communism took over. But, you know, my dad was doing very well before Castro. So that’s

Lisa                

it’s so interesting to me. Like we’ve talked to your parents and they like we were planning a trip to Cuba on a cruise. It was gonna be the first cruise into Cuba out of Charleston. And then they canceled all the cruises or trips to Cuba, which I’m kind of bummed that we missed that. But at the same time, like, you know, it makes me feel bad that we would go there and tourists have completely different money than actual Cuban people do. So our tourism is more helping the government than it would be even helping the actual people of Cubans. All right,

George               

That’s correct. There’s tours, money, and there’s local

Lisa                

Actual different currency.

George                

Right and Locals cannot get caught with the tourist money girls, they get in significant trouble. Um, it’s just, you know, and it’s kind of sad because I think people have a misconception of Cuba, that everything’s okay and everything’s good and it really isn’t It’s still

Lisa                

no, we talked to so many

George                

terrible so run down

Lisa                

Cuban friends that go back that are have gone back and, um, we always just hear stories about Yeah, well, how hard it is.

George                

Going back to my dad’s story, He had a mission. He was going to get us out looking for a better life. And he did it. And when he got to the United States, you know, I remember my dad working 3, 4 jobs at a time. He was doing whatever he had to do to make this dream come true. And he did. I always admired him for that. And I will always love him for that. And, you know, it’s just it’s amazing when you set your mind to do something, how you can do it. You know, he left his home country with nothing and came to the United States and made a life for himself and for me and for my brother. And it’s just it’s to me. I always get goosebumps and touch, you know, it just touches me every time I tell that story.

Lisa                

Yeah, it’s a great story. Uh, no. I mean, that’s we talked about A lot of these podcasts is, you know, things that are inspirational and make you think about things. And so the idea of it would just be so like for most people that were born in the United States and we think we have a bad life or whatever. Just literally to imagine leaving everything that you have walking away to a foreign country like that alone just is so scary, you know? And then when you went to school, you didn’t even speak English. How will we use in kindergarten? First grade?

George                

No, I started in second grade, but the time I got here, I was ready for second grade. And here I am. Don’t speak a word of English. And they sat me down in a classroom and luckily, we moved to Sleepy Hollow in New York on There was a significant Latin community there. So there were enough kids in school that spoke Spanish that helped me get by. And, you know, I’m not picked up the language quick and, you know, attributed a lot of my English to Sesame Street

Lisa                

Well, that’s a lot of Sesame Street. but I lost a lot of Sesame Street too. Yeah, well, it’s a

George                

Lot different when you speak the language.

Lisa                 

Yeah usually think I might have learned my Spanish from Sesame Street. That might be the opposite. Now they have Dora the Explorer by the way.kind of later passed our time. Yeah. Uh so after, like, you grew up in New York, Sleepy Hollow, that’s always kind of like, Well, honestly, when we first started dating, I looked at your Facebook profile is said you were from Sleepy Hollow and I was like, Oh, he’s so funny. I don’t even know it was like a real place.

George                

No, It’s a truly called Sleepy Hollow. It was a great place. I wouldn’t change it for anything was such an incredible place to grow up. Our Halloweens were unmatched because that was sleepy hollow literally the home of the headless Horseman. Everything was a headless horseman. Our school was at Sleepy Hollow High School. Our mascot was the headless Horseman. We had the Headless Horseman Diner, the Headless Horseman bicycle shop. We had one of the apartment buildings that my parents lived in was the Van Tassell from The Legend of Sleepy Hollow, the Van Tassel family. It was just the old Dutch church, Was it? It is, and Sleepy Hollow. It’s actually become quite a tourist location because of the TV show Sleepy Hollow.

I think it died off a while ago, but when that show was in its peak, my buddies would call me and you know, whenever I talk to them and they would tell me that man, they are shipping people in by the busload to Sleepy Hollow because they just want to see if they want to take pictures. And it’s awesome. It was great for the economy of Sleepy Hollow, and it deserves that. It’s a beautiful, beautiful town.

Lisa                

Well, thank you, George baby for being here with me today and telling us a story about your family and how they came to the United States. It’s very inspirational and I love your comments about anything you set your mind to or believe that you could do, you can do! And that’s just like hopefully a takeaway for all of you. The biggest compliment we can get from you guys is to share this on your social media and with your friends and family and follow us on Instagram at Review Podcasts. That’s the letter R View podcast on Instagram or for, um, if you want to send me an email or have questions. [email protected] and George tell him what your Instagram is so they can follow you with your RV information.

George                

Mine is Rviewfromtheroad that’s R V and then view from the road.

Lisa                

I just one V, all right.

George                

It’s a plan of Words RV but the V is part of view.

Lisa                

We Get it.

George                

RViewfromtheroad. Come see me.

Lisa                

That’s right. Thanks, my friends and you guys have a great day.

George

Bye!

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