DAY MINUS ONE I left the house, said goodbye to my wife and headed to La Guardia for the American Airlines p.m. The CSG is a not-for-profit organization comprised of Cuban American businessmen and women who believe that engagement, dialogue and the development of civil society is the most effective way to promote democratic change in Cuba.Travel, commerce and relaxing the economic embargo are also key to helping the 11 million real victims of a failed totalitarian experiment seek a better future for themselves.

All this was left behind and confiscated by the Castro government, and my father poured all of his savings abroad into his Argentine venture, which fortunately proved successful.

When we left, my two older siblings and I had already enrolled in boarding schools in the U. but after slaving away for four years as an associate at a large New York firm, I stumbled into investment banking, which I am still engaged in and which I have to thank for having afforded me a privileged life style. K.- born wife of 40 years all speak Spanish to varying degrees, with the oldest child, who lives in Mexico and is married to a Mexican, having shed any trace of an American accent (but substituted it for a strong Mexican intonation). cousins, and some of that has permeated their sense of identity. A nearby directory made no mention of the airport hotel.

The first thought that came to mind was one that I will never forget.

Cuba was no longer just a memory or an idea, something that you talked or argued about but couldn’t really relate to.

ABC Charters – someone said ABC stands for “A Better Chance” – had made all our travel arrangements and their representative at the counter was clearly displeased with our “late” arrival at a.m. The flight was operated by American Airlines and the boarding gate sign saying Flight 1926, a.m., Havana, Cuba seemed disorientingly routine.

Consuelo was clearly a “notable” and anyone traveling with her is automatically upgraded to business class.

Television and radio were my family’s principal but not only business in Cuba.

My father and his two brothers were also engaged in food and beverage production, construction and auto retailing, as well as drug wholesaling and distribution, a business they inherited from my paternal grandfather.

And I also hope to inspire some Cubans who have been reluctant to return to reconsider. and Argentina – and one light blue – a Cuban passport with a special stamp that says “autorizado para entrar y salir de Cuba” -- authorized to enter and exit Cuba. DAY ONE After a vigorous, pre-dawn, in room workout based on the Canadian Royal Air Force routine I used to follow 35 years ago in our first New York City apartment (and as a result of which I was sore for the next three days), I met my fellow travelers in the hotel lobby promptly at a.m.