Cuba is the only communist country the United States has ever barred its citizens from visiting. The country has been under communist rule for as long as Luis Castellanos can remember. 6-months ago, Luis came to Mobile seeking political asylum. News 5 used a translator to tell his story.
Luis said, “Before I left Cuba it was very complicated because in my latter days I was involved in an opposition campaign against the regime.”
In Cuba, he says, going against the Castro regime brings grave consequences, “Fear is always something you feel when opposing the Cuban dictator– not only fear for myself but, also fear for my family.”
Life in a communist country is a life without the simple freedoms we enjoy here in the United States every single day.
Luis said, “We don’t have the freedom of expression because of our government, we don’t have freedom to establish meetings and groups. We don’t have the ability to choose the democratic government the way we want to- we don’t have the choice in the present or future to decide what kind of government we want.”
However, he does believe the prospect of American trade and travel could a step towards change in Cuba.
Luis left behind a law career, a wife and two little girls who he misses very much but, he says his move here is about their future, “I don’t want my children to suffer the same consequences I did and I want them to develop and grow up in a system of freedom.”
Luis is proud to be in America and he says he’s working hard to learn English so that one day he can enjoy all this country has to offer.
He hopes his wife and two daughters will be able to join him soon.