For Rene, Miami has been a lonely place since his wife died eight years ago.
Although the 78-year-old from Guantánamo, Cuba, lives with his daughter and granddaughter, he’s alone most of his time. So in July, he asked for Cuban government permission to return.
“The loneliness kills me,” said Rene. “The end of the road for old people here is an institution because the family cannot take care of us,” he said. “And that would be the worst that can happen to me.”
Rene came to Miami in 2004 as a political refugee. He is now a U.S. citizen but wants to reunite with his two sons, four brothers and several grandchildren and great-grandchildren in Guantánamo.
“I don't regret coming here. If I say that, I would be ungrateful,” said Rene, who spent five years as a political prisoner in Cuba. “But in Cuba, life is different. You move around and you talk to people. Here, you can spend a month and not see your neighbor.”
Read more at our news partner, the Miami Herald.