El Puro - My Cuban father
Posted: 17 June 2007 08:12 AM   [ Ignore ]
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The Pure One
My father, El Puro, isn’t an intellectual or an academic. He’s not a doctor or lawyer. Doesnt do people’s taxes or invest their monies. He won’t find a cure for cancer or be elected to any office. He cant explain E=mc(2) or calculate the arc of a baseball. He’s not a famous actor or athlete.

Children have never asked for his autograph.

He’s also not a rich man, my father. He never gave me a million toys for Christmas. I never dressed in designer clothes as a child and he never physically handed me the keys to a brand new Porshe or Mercedes.

Yet my old man, el Puro, being your average blue collar guy, a welder still at the age of 75, provided for me the most bountiful of gifts any father could give his son.

My old man left the only country he’d ever known, the only culture he’d ever lived in, for me. He left his mother behind. He left his brother behind. And he left his sister behind whom he never got to see again. All for me.

That spectacular gift he gave his three year old son didnt come in a box with fancy wrapping. It wasnt given me with much fanfare or along with candle-laden cakes. The gift itself cannot been seen by the human eye yet every waking breath I take is full of it.

My old man gave up everything he’d ever known because he knew that without that sacrifice his son, and daughter, would never be afforded that gift.

Half way through his life, my old man, awash in determination and having an understanding of human nature that most people believe is reserved for those intellectuals mentioned above, brought his wife, his daughter and this son to this country. On his back were the only clothes he owned and the burden of his decision.

From nothing but sacrifice my old man gave me the greatest gift any father could give a son: freedom.

So today, this Father’s Day, I give my old man, el Puro, the greatest gift any son can give a father: my everlasting gratitude and my unyielding respect.

Gracias, Papi, for all the sacrifices, for all the sweat, and for always putting my life and my needs ahead of yours. And thank you, most of all for this greatest gift of all: the freedom to grow to be a free man.

Happy Father’s Day! And to all those fellow American fathers out there, thank you for your sacrifices for this great country. And thank you for so graciously accepting my old man, el Puro, among your ranks.

Posted by Val Prieto Babalu blog

Cubans call their father “el puro” The Pure one.

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Posted: 17 June 2007 08:25 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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Wajiro,

Thanks for posting this. I’ll go over and congratulate Val on his good post.

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Posted: 18 June 2007 01:45 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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Hi Wajiro

I just read your post, it’s heart felt and special…you must be enormously proud of your father and rightly so.

I have asked my wife what she thinks of Mr Castro…she is cuban and lives here with me in England, her response is unequivocal, “he’s ruined my life and that of my family”...my wife’s father left the island when she was not even one year of age. They haven’t heard from him since…


My mother - in - law, such a dignified and upstanding woman lives in what I would describe as impoverished conditions in Havana. She is relatively young, in her fifties I send her money each month and I have plans to help her further and as soon as I am financially able. My mother - in - law has her two sons and another daughter with her in Cuba. This situation is not unusual as I know many others that have been estranged as a result of political policy, the common element in most of these situations is the undying human spirit, from my experience the cuban people have this in abundance. Your post reminds us all that whatever the obstacles put before us, the strength and belief we can draw from our spirit and heart is what keeps us strong. We believe in right, not wrong…

After reading your post I went downstairs onto the production floor of our printing firm and this song was playing on the works stereo..

Labi Siffre - Something Inside So Strong (c/o Leo’s Lyrics)

The higher you build your barriers
The taller I become
The further you take my rights away
The faster I will run
You can deny me, you can decide
To turn your face away
No matter ‘cause there’s

Something inside so strong
I know that I can make it
Though you’re doing me wrong, so wrong
You thought that my pride was gone, oh no
There’s something inside so strong
Oh oh-oh-oh-oh-oh, something inside so strong

The more you refuse to hear my voice (ooh-weh ooh-weh ooh-weh ooh-weh)
The louder I will sing
You hide behind walls of Jericho (ooh-weh ooh-weh ooh-weh ooh-weh)
Your lies will come tumbling
Deny my place in time, you squander wealth that’s mine
My light will shine so brightly it will blind you
Because there’s

Something inside so strong
I know that I can make it
Though you’re doing me wrong, so wrong
You thought that my pride was gone, oh no
There’s something inside so strong
Oh oh-oh-oh-oh-oh, something inside so strong

Brothers and sisters, when they insist we’re just not good enough
Well we know better, just look him in his eyes and say
We’re gonna do it anyway, we’re gonna do it anyway
We’re gonna do it anyway, we’re gonna do it anyway
Because there’s

Something inside so strong
I know that I can make it
Though you’re doing me wrong, so wrong
You thought that my pride was gone, oh no, oh no
There’s something inside so strong

Something inside so strong
I know that I can make it
Though you’re doing me wrong, so wrong
You thought that my pride was gone, oh no, oh no
There’s something inside so strong
Oh oh-oh-oh-oh-oh, something inside so strong
(Oh oh oh) oh oh-oh-oh-oh-oh, something inside so strong
Oh oh-oh-oh-oh, something inside so strong

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Posted: 12 November 2008 10:36 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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Beautifully said Bravo!! Here is to all things pure.

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My Cuba books are found here Havana: My Kind of Town and Nature’s Ancient Religion

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