Front Door to Cuba Front Door to Cuban History

Los Marielitos

by Jerry A. Sierra

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I didn't have all the answers...

As I ventured deeper into the complex, wearing the press pass on my shirt and several cameras around my neck, I sensed an atmosphere charged with tension and despair.

There was a strong sense of community, as the refugees were forced to share all facilities, but there was also a level of disappointment, coupled with boredom and mixed with nervous energy.building the tents in Tent City Several men complained that they had offered to help build the large tents, but were not allowed to handle tools. They found it difficult to stand around all day, with nothing to do but walk around the camp and watch the Air Force soldiers build the tents, of which there was a serious shortage. Some of the men had been there for nearly two weeks, with no idea where they would end up, and hopelessly apprehensive about the rumors beginning to circulate about them in the media.

building the tents in Tent City

Soon it began to get dark, and I suddenly feared that someone might want to walk out of the camp in my place. Who would know?