A MATTER OF DAYS Some people believe that animals have an intrinsic right to liberty and, therefore they conclude all zoos are inherently wrong. In the early 1960's, parents sent over 14, 000 Cuban children to the United States unaccompanied - dubbed by the press Operation Pedro Pan (Gannon 133). The children who fled the country left due to oppression and the communistic ideals of their leader Fidel Castro. This has been described as the largest child refugee movement in the recorded history of the Western Hemisphere. Marco Antonio Barrera, a. k.
a. "The Baby Face Assassin" is the two-time WBO World Junior Featherweight Champion. It is October 1962, where the world almost came to an end. It was a struggle between two of the world's greatest powers, the Soviet Union and the United States. The battle for supremacy was on. Nuclear weapons controlled the world.
The urgency to use the weapons was at an all time high. They battled each other in what was called the nuclear arms race. It was a period of the cold war that would never be forgotten. Animals in zoos are used for show and are exploited for profit. The Pedro Pan Operation had dramatic impacts on the children who were sent to the United States and on their parents and other family members who remained in Cuba. The Operation was like a mother doe that runs off her child when they become old enough or endangered by the older buck of the herd.
At age 27, Barrera is a professional veteran nearly 11 years of experience and tremendous punching power, and exceptional skills that wear down his opponents with relentless pressure. A chess game. President John Fitzgerald Kennedy and Premier Nikita Khrushchev would play everyday at the same table with a glass of red wine. The flames burning from the fireplace would light the room. An intense battle took place with their eyes closely examining their opponent's move, mentally wearing each other down. Khrushchev would attack quickly while Kennedy would defend on Khrushchev's every move.
It was the most important chess game in the history of mankind. The future of the world would be decided within a matter of days. Thirteen days. Living in a zoo diminishes an animals' quality of life, and that captive breeding is of limited value, or that entertainment is not a sufficient justification for keeping animals in captivity. While the majority of the Cuban children were Catholic, several hundred were Protestant, and Jewish. Very few were from wealthy backgrounds.
Most were of the middle class or lower middle class and included children of different racial background, such as Black and Chinese. Barrera is a tough, confident fighter with good stamina and a solid chin. Sometimes he neglects his own defense to land his devastating power shot. I was intrigued by the events that took place in October of 1962.
I still found it odd that the world almost came to an end and nobody really regards it as anything important that took place in history. Most history classes will talk about the both World Wars, but you never hear much about the Cuban Missile Crisis. Yes of course the World Wars were very important pieces in history, but what about the Cuban Missile Crisis? Why do people forget so much about this crisis or choose to ignore it? There must be some logical answer to this. Was it something that people wanted to forget because the human existence almost came to a sudden silent dark halt? For some people, those days were too harsh to remember. The primary benefits zoos provide to society are education and conservation of species and habitats. Endangered animals are protected, and sick animals are usually cured.
Every effort was made during the entire Operation Pedro Pan to avoid publicity, and to avoid any effort to use it for political propaganda. The agency that created it was often criticized for this by some elements in the exile community in Miami who wished to use the image of the children. The agency maintained minimum contacts with Cuba other than with the parents whose children were under its care. April 7, 2001. Barrera is fighting for the WBO's Super World Championship Title. He fights the "Prince" Na seem Hamed.
He un crowns the "Prince" and becomes "King" of the featherweight division and is now regarded as a hero in his homeland of Mexico. Fifteen years into the cold war, Kennedy and Khrushchev meet in Vienna to discuss the east-west confrontation, in particular, the situation in Berlin. Nothing was resolved in that meeting. Both leaders left with more disregard for the other.
When placed in a new habitat such as a zoo, some animals will adapt to the different lifestyle and others will not. Those animals that do not adapt to zoos usually die within a short period. I had to search vastly among the books in my fathers bookshelves. He was directly affected from the crisis, so surely there would be a resource that would answer my questions. My father had a book that contained thousand of stories of the Cuban Missile Crisis. The book was as old and as big as the Bible.
I found the compelling account of one girl's journey. Her name was Cecilia Bohorques. Russia and the United States continued to increase their military strength. The Soviets felt threatened because the U. S. still had more missiles.
More importantly, some of those missiles were based in Turkey, just 150 miles from the U. S. S. R.
These increasing tensions would inevitably lead to a showdown, somewhere, sometime. Cecilia's father was divorced with four kids, Cecilia being the youngest. At age ten her father sent her to boarding school in Cuba because he wanted her to get an education and never wanted her to "be a slave to a man." Most women in Cuba that were educated had jobs and wouldn't have to rely on their husbands. He would soon have to make the most important decision of his life by freeing her and escaping the evil of communism that will soon devour her homeland.
My father has had a difficult life. His father was a taxi driver and his mother a housewife. They were both very strict with him. They lived a poor life.
There was never any money. He would never see his father, who always be working very late. Cuba. Ninety miles away. The Soviets had installed nuclear missiles in Cuba, just 90 miles off the coast of the United States. Nobody in their right minds would expect this dangerous tactic by the Soviets.
If the Soviets get caught, then the result could lead to automatic war. Millions of lives gone in seconds. March 14, 1962. Journey begins. Cecilia is sent to the United States. She arrives that same day to Miami International airport at age 14, praying that she would see her dad again.
Why am I being sent away? You wouldn't understand Cecilia. I am going to miss you dad, will I see you again? March 13, 1962. My father is sent to Rome, New York along with thousands of little Cuban kids. He left his family, including his sister that was still in his mother's womb. His mother was the one who had taken care of him for the minute portion of the life that he lived in Cuba. She would always treat him like if he was a man and say words that were harsh to say to a young child.
You must go. This is not the place for you. Go out and be a man. I don't care that you " re twelve years old.
I made this decision now live with it. January 1, 1959. Fidel Castro leads his rebel army to victory as he defeats Flugencio Batista's army. He takes over the government and later imposes communist ideals with the help of the Soviets. Cecilia was separated from the passengers who had family waiting.
The men from immigration were nice and gave her more and more gum until up to a point she wanted to throw them the gum back at their faces. What am I doing here? It must be for a new school or something. Who am I going to live with? My father's trip was not as pleasant as Cecilia. You can say her story is a Cinderella story compared to what my father went through. He arrived in Rome only knowing how to speak Spanish. When he got to the camp his only briefcase was stolen.
He was forced to wear the same clothes for a week. Why would somebody treat him like this? They had no choice when they got there. I thought that the Cubans would help each other, right? It was every man for himself. When Castro came to power, the U.
S. stopped buying Cuban sugar and supplying oil. Castro then seeks help. The Soviets rushed to aid Castro, seeing an opportunity to make their presence felt closer to the United States. Khrushchev treats Castro like a comrade by offering to trade with Cuba. Some old man drove Cecilia along with other the young Cubans to the different camps.
Florida City. A place that she would be forced to call home for a long time. She finds her boyfriend in the camp. Someone at last that I know. Instead of her boyfriend approaching her with open arms, he treated her like an outcast, like someone he never has seen in his life. He was not the same person.
He seemed to have gone insane and was living in a different world. He was giving her all sorts of advice to survive at the camp that made her afraid and confused. Eventually my father found a foster family. They actually treated him like a human being rather than the dirt on the floor. He missed his real family. He would look at the stars every night praying to God that he would actually see them again.
God I just want to see my family and my sister. I wonder what she looks like. Please God, just make sure that nothing happens to them so that I can see them one day. The nuns in Cecilia's orphanage were neurotic and cruel, and although they pretended to be good, they were not. She saw how the nuns mistreated the girls, who only ate bread, water, and vegetables. The younger girls were only allowed to take a shower only once a week.
The older girls were only permitted to take a shower every day, except on Sunday. Some of the girls died because of diseases they developed at the camps from awful hygiene. They only were allowed to go outside three times a week for an hour a day. It felt like a maximum security prison. My father is transferred from foster home to foster home. He became like a tourist in the state of New York.
Being moved around like an animal in a cage. Beating would occur in the foster home which eventually made him sleep with his eyes open. Tortured like an animal. He ended up in this foster home where his life changed forever. The owner of the house tried to rape him and my father stabbed him in his side.
He knew at this point that nobody could be trusted. He was on his own. After that ugly situation, he was transferred again to another foster home. Perseverance. It is the pursuit of total triumph and the uphill battle to become a better person. It only comes to mind when there is difficulty ahead.
I think of it when I have struggles in my life because it reminds me of all the times my father kept fighting with adversity in front of him. August 28, 1968. My father has become a man who has faced everything and anything. He survived the temptation of joining a gang. He lived without his parents. His life at this point is out of that hellish world that he was accustomed to.
He is now living with caring foster parents that are sending him to Syracuse University to earn a degree. People can take away everything from a man but his mind and his education. April 14, 1970. The Vietnam War is in full gear while hundred of thousands of young men were being sent to fight a war that we had no business being in. The United States is divided between the hawks and doves. Young men dying.
My father's name is called to go to war. If my father's life ends in Vietnam, then my very existence would have never occurred. His parents escaped the height of the Castro regime and prevent my father's trip to Vietnam. My father pleaded with the American government to allow him to stay because of his family's arrival to the United States.
April 15, 1970. My father flies down to Miami, Florida to be with his parents. He hasn't seen them in over 9 years at this point and is grateful for the opportunity that God gave him to be able to see them. He finally meets his little sister when she is still a young girl.
He leaves college after one year to support them. He starts works in a broom factory to provide food on the table for them. After years of working for someone else he decides to start his own dry wall company with a bunch of poor friends of his to put his sister through school. For the rest of his life he is the Good Samaritan that is always giving more than he receives.
Because of his life he has always been searching for someone, just someone to trust and care for him as a friend. Searching.