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Freedom Collection

Interviews with Berta Soler

Interviewed July 16, 2024

The Cuban government would enter into agreements to release and deport the men who decided to leave the country with their families, since they were not the only ones who suffered. They had many children with psychological problems who were greatly affected.

We had very affected mothers, wives, and children who were fired from their jobs. Our men’s brothers were also fired from their jobs. And so, many said, “It’s better to leave Cuba than be in captivity.” They were deported, because they were taken from the Central Hospital or from the prison in Havana straight to the airport. They met with their families who were leaving Cuba by plane. That is why I say those men were deported.

My husband and I respect everyone that chose exile since it is their right, because they are human rights activists who are attacked by the Cuban government and were imprisoned. They have a right to emigrate to the country of their choice.

Wherever they are, if they wish to fight for Cuba’s liberty, that support is valid. But my husband always said he would stay in Cuba because he had made a promise to the people of Cuba: freedom. He said he would seek freedom and democracy within Cuba with the support of all of his brothers in exile.

So he decided to stay in Cuba, along with 12 others who chose to stay and 4 others who remained under house arrest. I say it does not matter where he is. A Cuban giving a grain of sand for liberty and democracy is acceptable.

In my husband’s case, he chose to fight from Cuba with the support of the other exiled Cubans. I respect that because I also did not want to leave Cuba. I am a family person, with brothers and a mother who is older. If I leave Cuba I leave family and I cannot leave them. Besides, I have to stay by my husband to fight peacefully in Cuba with the support of all the brothers in exile and the people with good intentions to yield a new Cuba and to change our history.