Telemundo’s Jose Diaz-Balart schools those who think Marco Rubio embellished his family’s path from Cuba to the United States:
My answer to those that couldn’t understand the diifference between immigrant and exile
Dear Ana: thanks for writing. Let me try to explain a few things: I dont support or oppose anyone based on their place of birth (or their parents). I dont know what you base your thesis on.. I dont judge people based on their country of birth, color of their skin, accent, or family ties.
Your political positions are just that: personal opinions. I dont share or interject my opinions on politics or anything else; I feel certain that what I believe is of no importance to anyone, nor should it be.
My point on MSNBC was to explain that their is a significant difference between an immigrant and an exile, and that often an immigrant can also later be an exile.
For example, in 1931, tens of thousands of Spaniards emigrated for strictly economic reasons: the Second Spanish Republic was going through a devastating economic crisis, a hopeless panorama. Many of these immigrants LATER became exiles when the Republic fell and, in 1939, the fascist and ruthless Franco dictatorship took power. For those Spaniards –and generations of their descendants– they became from that moment on EXILES not immigrants, regardless of the fact that they had first left Spain as immigrants. When they were immigrants, if they prospered economically they could return to their homeland at any time, resuming a life they had left. As exiles, they not only physically lost everything, they were forced to emotionally lose an important part of their identity, they had to start a new life in another country, never returning to where they were born, knowing they would die far away from the land of their ancestors.
It seems clear to me that many people cannot fathom that reality and therefore assume superficial, trivial reactions. There is nothing more I can do to change that ignorance, an ignorance based, I’m certain, on the privilege of never having to suffer the pain of a country lost. That ignorance makes you believe you have the explanation to what you can never understand. I am sorry you are unwilling to even try to entertain what that must be like, but rather choose to strike out because you can’t understand. Thank you for your comments.