Growing Up American: A Novel

In 1959, the Cold War was getting warmer. Cuba was the revolutionary fuel that made it hot. When Fidel Castro took power, he promised free elections, but instead, he became the country's new dictator, and a communist one at that. Marco's family did not support the Castro regime and was subjected to insults and mockery from former “friends.”

As the country dug deeper and deeper into Marxism, Marco's parents decided it was time to talk to their nine-year-old boy. They proposed a tough decision—either go live in the United States with his aunt, or stay with them in Cuba. He chose to go. He knew that was what his parents wanted.

Marco lived with his aunt and uncle for a short and difficult time. About eight months later, his family was reunited. Like all immigrants before them, they struggled to make a living, but with hard work, discipline, and belief in God, they managed to thrive in a relative short time.

What follows is a story much like any story from millions of immigrants willing to work, assimilate, and become another ingredient in the great melting pot that is the United States of America.

--Rafael Polo

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