Cuba on His Mind
The smell of Little Neck Bay reminded George Merino of Cuba. He lived in Bayside, Queens, but the town of Matanzas, east of Havana, on the Straits of Florida, was his real home.
Mr. Merino fled his homeland in 1968, and he came to New York City with his family to begin a new life. He was a securities analyst for Fiduciary Trust in 2 World Trade Center and would have been 40 on Dec. 18.
As he approached his 40th birthday, his mind had started to turn once more toward Cuba, said Olga, his wife. "He was thinking of getting into politics," she said. "He always kept abreast of the Castro regime and wanted nothing more than a free Cuba and to go back."
Ms. Merino, too, is Cuban. She's a city-slicker from Havana. She came to America in 1970, two years after her husband came. They met at a party in New York when she was 19 and he was 20. They were married for 15 years.
Mr. Merino used to teach their daughter, Tania, 11, all about their island country, reading her Spanish news articles he found on the Internet. They also went biking together at the Bayside Marina, where the salt air reminded him of a homeland he would never see again.
Profile published in THE NEW YORK TIMES on December 27, 2001.