For those who do not know, Nicolas was the son of a successful business executive and Director of Sales for the Caribbean Market for Canada Dry. His parents relocated from Canada to Cuba where Nicolas was born in 1960. He grew up and lived in Havana through Castro’s Cuba and following high school was sent to Moscow to study Engineering. Nicolas became a structural engineer but while studying in the then Soviet Union, Nicolas was recruited by the Russians to join their Olympic team. His identity was changed and he was put on as a member of the Russian Olympic swim team.
Back in Cuba, he worked as a structural engineer. Through his work as an engineer on a large saltwater aquarium in Havana, Cuba, Nicolas crafted his opportunity to flee the communist regime to reach the US. Nicolas had designed a structural solution for the massive aquarium that allowed the repair work to take place without having to drain the aquarium and relocate the marine life. In fact, his solution was so ingenious that the Cuban Government was eager to boast about their accomplishments and sent him to a teaching symposium in Mexico City as the guest speaker. Nicolas shared his sense of humor and claimed that there is still a diplomat holding a sign and waiting for him at the airport in Mexico City; and there, is a very lucky Mexican taxi driver who received a giant tip for driving him across the US border to his Freedom. Meanwhile, his family had to keep up the charade that Nicolas had abandoned them so they would not be punished for his embarrassing departure.
Here in the US, Nicolas worked hard as a laborer, then as concrete plant inspector and finally as an engineering field inspector for the sole purpose of reuniting his family. This year his dream came true as the last of his family arrived. Finally he succeeded to brining his daughter-in-law and his seven-year-old granddaughter who he met for the first time.
Nicolas displayed relentless courage and humility throughout his life in the face of great adversity. If you were as moved by his spirit, resolve and presence as I have been, then you will surely find it in your heart to help Nicolas finish what he started. Please offer what you can to ease the burden left behind by his absence. Collectively we can make a difference and help his family through this time of great need.
- Alba Vivar
- James Kanter
- Marlene Cassola
- T.Y. Lin International
- Ilya Liberman
Organizer and beneficiary
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