Although millions of Cubans have made similar or even longer and narrower crossings, the details are that Caridad is 74 years old, suffers from high blood pressure and has a bumpy walk. She doesn’t use a cane, but she limps, the pain in one leg almost as much as the pain of leaving her older sister in Cuba. But – he told Diario Las Americas – he had to visit his daughter, a human rights activist for whom “life was made impossible” on the island.
It was precisely that daughter—Maria—who followed Caridad’s journey from Las Vegas step by step. From Havana to Mexico, passing through the Dominican Republic, Jamaica and Nicaragua, in the hands of coyotes or guides who charged thousands of dollars to promote the old woman’s advance to the United States.
“I didn’t know, I came from Cuba alone, I went out to the airport in Regla—a town around the Bay of Havana. My granddaughter’s stepmother took me. Until I went through immigration. And about an hour or two later they put me on a plane going to Nicaragua,” Carridad recounted and remarked: “I was 74 years old, lonely and strong because I wasn’t even afraid of planes and that was a long Time was there time. They stayed in Nicaragua for about two days. “I was at a really nice hotel in Nicaragua and he (Coyote) hired an Uber that took us to different places. They took me to a restaurant to eat, then we went to the Presidential Palace where Ortega spoke the day before and it was all there with chairs and things that were still being picked up and I looked there, they gave me Showed ‘look, that’s the presidential palace’, I went to see the volcanoes, they took me to see them, they waited for me. They even took me to a river, all very beautiful. And then from there the next day they took me to the airport to continue,” he said.
Little by little, Caridad drew lines on a verbal map where she was tracing her route. The planes were the least of it, he insisted. He considers his journey to be “smooth” compared to the others, but only up to a limit point. “Charity, Run!” She remembers coyotes—whose identities she cannot reveal—yelling at her from Mexico. “Come on, don’t wait!” She didn’t look back, she kept going to America.
Mexico to USA
“Where I was in Mexico, they took me alone to cross the border, they dropped me in a river. I got on a plane to Matamoros and, when I arrived, a couple picked me up, they took me to their house, I ate rice and steak and a short while there, two guys I don’t know picked me up , I got into a car and they took me to a river which is bravo but it is not so dangerous at that point. My feet got stuck in the mud under the water, which touched my breasts, and I jumped in there. He told me to go ahead, go ahead, my feet sank but I pulled on till I reached the other side. Then I climbed a hill, holding on to some sticks until I reached the top. When I looked that way I said ‘if I fall from here they will not find anything about me’. There I jumped in, it was like a small potpourri and they yelled at me from the Mexican side ‘go ahead, you’re already in US territory’. I walked there about 20 blocks and I looked and I didn’t see anybody, lonely in that mountain, little grass but, wow, nobody. Look at the clothes of the people over there, it seems that the clothes were changed and left there; Animals like goats, pigeons were also dead there.
—You came alone, you jumped into that river alone, no one brought you here? the officer asked.
“No, no one, until I got here, I jumped over there myself, but I’m going to tell you one thing, if you’re going to do anything to me, I want you to Kill me right.” Here,” Caridad replied nervously. At the unexpected reaction, she understood the astonishment of the officers. “You’re going to a place where they’re going to take care of you,” they told her. Perhaps, she herself doesn’t believe that she had crossed the border at the age of 74, the most attractive and sought-after immigration destination in the world since 1970. People who cross gave me food and water and besides; when they saw I was very worried, they called the doctor. And then the doctor came in time, he called me: Caridad Trueba, and he said to me ‘come with me, what are you suffering from’ and I told him: I am suffering from pressure. He First took my blood pressure. The discharge was at 210, I was very nervous and he told me ‘madam, calm down’. The only old man there was me. He took me to a place and gave me some clothes, black lycra and given a blue blouse which he, the doctor, wears to work there. After a while he insisted that I eat but I don’t The food didn’t go down until I finally ate spaghetti and drank a bottle of juice,” he said.
He told this newspaper, “When they took me there I had no complaints against anyone, they took my fingerprints, then they talked to me, they asked me many kinds of questions, then they took me there, where there were many young girls.” The next day, Jo Caridad, realizing that he was the head of all the men in uniform there, announced that he would send him away with his family. “He was sitting at a table watching me. They took me there when I woke up early, they tested me for COVID and I immediately got on a plane to Las Vegas.
Once in Las Vegas, Caridad was able to visit her daughter, granddaughter, and great-grandson. “I even collapsed due to the effects of nerves, but later I had to live here with my daughter and my granddaughter. And thank God I’m here with them and I sympathize with all the people who go to places where they could lose their lives: they lost their mothers, they lost their children, I lost my I thank my family who used their savings to bring me here. “Tension.” No one can imagine how great that reunion was for me because I was alone in Cuba with a sick sister of 92 and another sick sister of 88. Here is my daughter and my granddaughter who had to come (to the rescue) for human rights, I had to come meet them.”
Until now, the White House had not banned a stampede of Cubans, Nicaraguans and Haitians who entered hundreds of thousands irregularly through the country’s southern border.
On Thursday, January 5, the administration of President Joe Biden announced it would immediately begin turning away these migrants, expanding an order originally issued only to Venezuelans.