Andres Tremols

Tremols_ Andres.jpg

My grandfather, Joaquin E. Meyer, who was from the Republic of Cuba, enjoyed a career as a diplomat stationed in Washington DC during the late 1950’s, and up to the beginning of the Cuban Revolution lead by Fidel Castro. During the years before the revolution, my grandfather represented the Cuban sugarcane industry to the United States, which at the time was the largest in the world. During his diplomatic career, he opened many doors for the Republic of Cuba in Europe, and within the United States, leveraging enormous financial engagements for countless businesses on the island. After the Cuban Revolution, Fidel Castro started to reveal his true colors where his socialist views turned into a communist dictatorship. Just about every Cuban exiled in countries all around the world didn’t think Castro would last more than a year. Everyone was proven wrong… Castro outlasted most everyone. Once it became apparent to my grandparents that they were not going to return to Cuba, that their entire family had been uprooted (with some family members and friends held as political prisoners, or shot to death in front of Castro’s firing squads), and with all their belongings confiscated by the communist regime, they decided to become permanent citizens of the United States of America. They were first to do so in our family. As a consequence, I am the first of my generation born in this country - and I can’t thank this nation enough for opening it’s arms to not just my family, but to so many other Cuban families. The “key” in this painting represents my grandfather, and all the doors he opened during his career as a diplomat. The key also represents the island of Cuba on the horizon of the Caribbean Sea – always at a distance to all who were torn from that land. The palm trees represent the Royal Palm… national tree of Cuba… and a symbol of freedom. However, the palm trees in this painting double as a sort of prison bars… separating us from the island on the horizon… or perhaps it’s the opposite view… looking from the island out to what is the freedom that is “over there”…