My parents were so impressed with US highways
During our early months in the U.S., my parents were so impressed with just about everything about the new country — most of all the new freedom and opportunity that the U.S. had given us.
My father would always remind us of all of the benefits of being here.
For example, he'd say someone with my big mouth would be sitting in a political prison in Cuba for insurrection.
Also, he'd say Castro would have sent my brother and me to Angola if we had stayed behind. In fact, many young Cuban men did serve in those wars in Africa. Many died or came back with AIDS, as we used to read in press reports in the late 1980s.
Something else my parents would often talk about was U.S. highways. Cuba had a developed road and train infrastructure but nothing like those huge super-highways that connect U.S. cities. I can remember my mother admiring the roads on Sunday afternoons when we'd go on a picnic.
How many times did I hear our Cuban friends compliment those clean and well paved U.S. roads? A lot! It was a topic that many Cubans would actually talk about in those small Cuban gatherings where our parents were in the living room and the young listening to The Rolling Stones.
Americans can indeed take these marvelous roads for granted. For example, you can drive from Atlanta to L.A. on I-10, from Minneapolis to San Antonio on I-35, from Maine to Miami on I-95, and from San Diego to Seattle on I-5.
It is really a great transportation system and something that Americans should be very proud of!
It started when the U.S. Senate approved the U.S. Federal Highway Act this week in 1956. The U.S. House approved it on a voice vote the next day. I guess everyone was "on board" to start building those highways that connected the country from coast to coast and Mexico to Canada.
Looking back, this is how the federal government should work. You propose an idea, discuss it openly and pay for it by raising taxes. Overall, a good idea that benefited the country.