Questions | Buffalo | Latino Communities
Cubans in America: Push and Pull Factors of Immigration
Defected: Deserted one's country.
Dissident: One who is in open disagreement with their government.
Impeded: Blocked, stopped.
Revenues: Incomes, earnings, profits.
S. Hrg. 106-992
CUBA'S OPPRESSIVE GOVERNMENT AND THE STRUGGLE FOR JUSTICE
HEARING before the COMMITTEE ON THE JUDICIARY
UNITED STATES SENATE
ONE HUNDRED SIXTH CONGRESS
MARCH 1, 2000
Serial No. J-106-67
Excerpts of Prepared Statement of Juan Carlos Formell
My name is Juan-Carlos Formell. I am a singer/songwriter from Cuba living in New York since 1993. Recently I was honored with a Grammy nomination for my first record, but it is an even greater honor to be here today and address this committee. I speak as a refugee and a product of the Castro regime; I was born in it and it was all I knew until I defected six years ago. ...
… Parents in Cuba have no rights because rights such as this do not exist. I am the son of the most famous celebrity in Cuba, a bandleader who has maintained his popularity in Cuba for over thirty years--The Rolling Stones, might be a good comparison. Not only is he the most famous person in Cuba, he is also known throughout the world as the most important figure in contemporary Cuba. Yet when I found that I could not offer mindless obedience to the system--I regret to say that I was not even close to being outspoken or a dissident, I simply wanted to practice yoga and play Cuban music in my own way--I was punished and my father, despite his popularity, was unable to help me. The government threatened not only me, but let me know that my meditation and pursuit of individualism could affect him. State Security developed a file on me that made it impossible for me to get an exit visa from my own country, which meant that my life as a musician was impeded because without permission to travel you cannot enter any musical band, whose revenues depend on touring. And without government authorization you cannot start your own band. My future was taken away from me but worse things have happened …
Document 6: Excerpt, Juan Carlos Formell Testimony, 106 Senate Hearings [From the U.S. Government Printing Office via GPO Access] [DOCID: f:72703.wais].
Document 6 Short-Answer Questions
- When did Mr. Formell immigrate to the U.S. from Cuba? Where has he lived since then?
- In Cuba, what two things did Mr. Formell do to cause him to be “punished” by the Communist government?
- What prevented Mr. Formell from being able to tour with his music while he lived in Cuba?