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Singer Gloria Estefan Opens Up about Fleeing Her Home Country

Gaone Pule
Oct 12, 2021
06:00 A.M.

Cuban native Gloria Estefan and her family spoke frankly about the harrowing experiences in their home country as the communist government is brutally abusing people.

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In Thursday’s episode of “Red Table Talk: The Estefan,” Gloria Estefan and co-hosts, daughter Emily Estefan and sister-in-law Lili Estefan got candid about the current hostility in their homeland Cuba.

“Just one hour by plane from here, where we're sitting right now, 90 miles of the coast of Florida, horrific atrocities are happening to people we love where we're from," Gloria revealed.

Gloria Estefan on stage during the 2019 NYWIFT Muse Awards at the New York Hilton Midtown on December 10, 2019 in New York City | Photo: Getty Images

Gloria Estefan on stage during the 2019 NYWIFT Muse Awards at the New York Hilton Midtown on December 10, 2019 in New York City | Photo: Getty Images

VERSION OF EVENTS

Clips of the brutality played out with Cubans chanting for change while out on the streets in masses. The 64-year-old explained that for 62 years, people of Cuba had been denied fundamental human rights, adding:

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“Just three months ago, on July 11th, Cubans reached their breaking point, and thousands took to the streets to demand freedom.”

Gloria Estefan speaks during the PBS segment of the 2019 Winter Television Critics Association Press Tour at The Langham Huntington, Pasadena on February 01, 2019 in Pasadena, California | Photo: Getty Images

Gloria Estefan speaks during the PBS segment of the 2019 Winter Television Critics Association Press Tour at The Langham Huntington, Pasadena on February 01, 2019 in Pasadena, California | Photo: Getty Images

Gloria shared that in response, Cuban authorities reacted swiftly and violently to the unprecedented uprising, beating and jailing peaceful protestors and ripping citizens from their homes.

The songwriter revealed hundreds of demonstrators remain imprisoned today, while others have gone missing as distraught loved ones are desperate for answers.

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FLEEING HOME

Gloria divulged she fled her home country when she was two and half years old. She was brought to the US in May 1960 because her father was a police officer for the Cuban government.

The evening the coup, Fidel Castro, took over the country, Gloria shared her dad came home that night and told her mom they were in trouble as the president fled the country.

The actress disclosed her mother told her father not to go back as she feared he would be arrested, but he told her he had to as he was responsible for protecting citizens.

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Her mother’s fear came to pass as her father and grandfather (a commander in the army) were jailed like many other protestors who stood up to the government.

Gloria said it was during that period that they knew they had to flee their homeland. Her dad was released three to four months later and told her mother he had to get them out of the country, fearing the worst.

The businesswoman was born in 1957, a few years before Fidel Castro's assumption of power in Cuba. Castro passed away in 2016.

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SEXUAL ABUSE

In addition to her traumatic experience, Gloria suffered sexual abuse at the hands of a family member when she was just nine years old.

She recently spoke up about the ordeal and said she was scared to speak up about it at the time because she feared the “insane” man would kill her mother as he threatened to.

Gloria said her abuser was in a position of power as she attended his music school. He managed to persuade her mother that she needed special attention claiming she was talented.

However, she eventually told her mom, and they contacted the police, who advised her against pressing charges, telling them she would suffer worse trauma by having to testify.

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