A Cuban history
This is the autobiography of Claudio Ramos Iraola, a man whose life was blessed by the existence of a woman, Margarita Díaz Luaces (Margo), his eternally smiling companion. In this book, My Life with Margo (Neo Club Ediciones), the author seamlessly takes us through numerous countries and situations as he describes, in intimate detail, the story of his triumphant exile: against wind and sea, and even without mastering the language of his new host nation, the United States, he managed to break through and forge his own future for himself and his descendents.
Today, all of Margo and Claudio’s children have graduated from university, and most of them have earned master’s degrees, as well, and their professional careers constitute one success story after another. And four of his nine grandchildren have graduated from college, too; two of them are currently in their second year at university and the other three are successful high school students. So the future is in their hands, and it has all been made possible by the entrepreneurial spirit and rock-steady example of this exceptional couple. So this autobiography constitutes not just one family’s legacy, in the sense that he reminds his children and grandchildren “where they come from and what their roots are,” but it’s also a guide for self-improvement for anyone coming to the United States in search of liberty and opportunities. “The worst thing that Castro did was to rob the Cuban people of that culture or progress, of looking to the future with a desire to do something about it, which is indispensable to the development of any country,” Claudio reflects in this book, and that culture of self-improvement through hard work is exactly what he and his wife passed on to their children, and now the author is also passing it on to his readers. “Margo and I always hoped that our children would inculcate their children with the values of work, study, and self-improvement,” Claudio points out. His dream has become reality.
Anything is possible in America for those who work hard and put forth the effort, the author reminds us. Today, when the anti-immigrant sentiment is coming back into vogue in certain political circles in America as we approach the 2016 elections, it’s worthwhile to remember, for example, that Fidel Ramos, son of Claudio and Margo, arrived in the United States at the age of seven, and was able to found the company Ranger Automation, which manufactures robots that are in high demand in the plastics industry, contributing significantly to the national economy. These robots, which prior to Fidi —as his father affectionately calls him— setting up his factory, were imported from Japan and Germany, now bear the seal, “Made in USA,” which is something that Fidi’s customers really like. This is a success story that reflects favorably on the history of Latinos in the United States, and all of us immigrants in search of achieving the American dream should feel proud of it.
I’m extremely grateful for having had the opportunity to read and edit this autobiography. Getting to know the author and learning from him has been an unforgettable, endearing experience. Claudio and Margo represent the best of Cuba, or perhaps it would be more accurate to say that they are the perfect embodiment of Cuba: after all, a country or nation is nothing more than an expression of its best and most authentic sons and daughters.