In lieu of foreclosure, the house was lost in a short sale. It was on that day, she said, that she received a surprise call from one of her father's assistants. She took out a mortgage on her house and couldn't make the payments, leading to foreclosure proceedings. She said she always wanted to have children, so at age 53, she adopted Ana as a newborn. While still safe in New York, she said her father, who amassed a great fortune and exiled to Portugal, called Carmela and asked her where she wanted to live.
They've started a fund on YouCaring. I can't possibly help her out. It's a hard lesson, but you learn it. Carmela's mother, Marina Estevez, had a romance with the married Cuban leader in Carmela defended her father's legacy and said that, as a young woman, she paid little attention as Fidel Castro fomented a revolution against Batista until Dec. It was on that day, she said, that she received a surprise call from one of her father's assistants. The very next day, New Year's, she learned the real reason for the trip: For two years, mother, daughter and cat have been homeless, at times living out vehicles, occasional motel stays when they have a little money and for months they lived on bus benches along Oakland Park Boulevard before settling in at Stranahan Park a few months ago. Broward Sheriff's Office skips honors for police dog killed off duty Her story is undeniably longer than most. They couldn't afford to pay the water bill on the house, leading to a lien from the city of Fort Lauderdale. The revolution led to celebrations in the street and the destruction of all things linked to Batista. Carmela said she was told that she and Batista's eight other children from two marriages narrowly escaped death. She said she always wanted to have children, so at age 53, she adopted Ana as a newborn. When she was born in , he had already successfully staged a military coup in the island nation and in , when she was five, he was elected president. When reached at his New York City residence, Roberto Batista, one of Carmela's brothers, said he had heard she had come upon tough times but didn't know that she was homeless. It's when talking about sleeping on concrete that Carmela's voice breaks. Would you like to see it? Clues to her life's extraordinary twists and turns comes when she pulls out her picture book, which includes photos of her from decades ago, one next to a photo of Fulgencio Batista, the former leader of Cuba. Her 82nd birthday is coming next month. They now sleep in a covered doorway by the Broward County library. She said she was excused from class whenever Batista was discussed. On the back of the photo, the one-time dictator wrote the word "besos," meaning kisses in Spanish. The family has hopes of soon leaving the park -- and homelessness -- for good. Her father's government had been toppled by Castro and he, too, was forced to flee. She purchased a home in the upscale Coral Ridge neighborhood, a condominium on Galt Ocean Mile and had a short marriage before she divorced her husband.
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