America has welcomed most of the more than 100,000 Cubans who fled their homeland last year with an "open door and open arms" policy, as stated by Jimmy Carter. "Liberty Gate: A Cuban Family in Wisconsin" (PBS, Saturday, 7:30-8 p.m. , check local listings) is the story of one family caught in the exodus.
The journey of the Hernandez family started in Mariel, Cuba, then went on to Key West, Fla., and the Fort McCoy Resettlement Center in Wisconsin. Finally, the family reached their new home in Milwaukee, where the church group that sponsored them welcomed the family with "open doors and open arms."
"Liberty Gate," written, produced, and directed by Max Herbach for Wisconsin Educational Television Network, tells a moving story of displacement. The oldest son had been left behind, since the escape occurred while he was visiting his grandparents. The parents were forced to make a heartbreaking choice -- they saved four children and sacrificed one.
The family tells of the physical hunger in Cuba as well as the hunger for freedom. They were under constant surveillance by the block committee of their own street.
As this family passes through the exit gate at Fort McCoy which is named "Puerta de la Libertad," the viewer is forced to remember the plight of dissidents all over the world -- and also to remember that there are still a few thousand Cuban re fugees waiting for sponsors.