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Alexander Zapata interview, February 15, 2020: transcript






Interviewed by Nathalie Martinez and Barbara Tabach. Alexander Zapata is a Venezuelan Emmy winning journalist committed to building trust with the community he reports to. He talks about growing up in Caracas and the political climate of Venezuela, including the persecution he faced as a journalist reporting during the under Nicolas Maduro regime. He shares his migration story, experience learning English and journalism work in Las Vegas with El Mundo, ESPN Deportes, Telemundo and Univision.

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Zapata, Alexander Interview, 2020 February 15. OH-03667. [Transcript]. Oral History Research Center, Special Collections and Archives, University Libraries, University of Nevada, Las Vegas. Las Vegas, Nevada.


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i AN INTERVIEW WITH ALEXANDER ZAPATA An Oral History Conducted by Nathalie Martinez Latinx Voices of Southern Nevada Oral History Project Oral History Research Center at UNLV University Libraries University of Nevada Las Vegas ii ©Latinx Voices of Southern Nevada University of Nevada Las Vegas, 2018 Produced by: The Oral History Research Center at UNLV – University Libraries Director: Claytee D. White Project Manager: Barbara Tabach Transcribers: Kristin Hicks, Maribel Estrada Calderón, Nathalie Martinez, Rodrigo Vazquez, Elsa Lopez Editors and Project Assistants: Laurents Bañuelos-Benitez, Maribel Estrada Calderón, Monserrath Hernández, Elsa Lopez, Nathalie Martinez, Marcela Rodriquez-Campo, Rodrigo Vazquez, Raul Gonzalez iii The recorded interview and transcript have been made possible through the generosity of a National Endowment for Humanities (NEH) Grant. The Oral History Research Center enables students and staff to work together with community members to generate this selection of first-person narratives. The participants in this project thank University of Nevada Las Vegas for the support given that allowed an idea the opportunity to flourish. The transcript received minimal editing that includes the elimination of fragments, false starts, and repetitions in order to enhance the reader’s understanding of the material. All measures have been taken to preserve the style and language of the narrator. In several cases photographic sources accompany the individual interviews with permission of the narrator. The following interview is part of a series of interviews conducted under the auspices of the Latinx Voices of Southern Nevada. Claytee D. White Director, Oral History Research Center University Libraries University of Nevada Las Vegas iv PREFACE Alexander Zapata covering the 2020 Democratic Debate in Las Vegas. Alexander Zapata is as comfortable making his children traditional Venezuelan arepas as he is in front of a microphone being a trusted news reporter to Univision viewers. He is an Emmy award winning journalist with his wife Johali Carmona for a special report on DACA. In 2020, Alexander has been nominated for Emmys for reporting for Las Vegas Univision. In 1982, he was born in Caracas, Venezuela in the town of Caricuao where his parents were educators. His full name is Doninyer Alexander Zapata Uribe. In this oral history, he reflects on the Venezuelan traditions that united his family every Sunday morning and the juxtaposing descriptions of a nation divided by class under the communist power of President Hugo Chavez from 1999 to 2013. His memories touch a range of experiences from playing baseball with his friends to becoming a news reporter during the political tensions under President Nicolas Maduro. His journalistic work revealed the corruption of the government in Venezuela and his desire to be true to his core values of integrity and justice. In addition, Alexander is a gifted voiceover actor. Alexander earned a journalism degree in Venezuela and, in 2003, he launched his career at a radio station. He then moved to a news agency and followed that as an anchor with a national TV station—a position that would mark the beginning of his relationship with his future v wife and a future move to the United States after a Twitter post associated him with a group of “enemies” of the national station and government. He describes the dangerous risks that came with being a reporter and the threats to his family that would ultimately lead him and his family to the United States in 2014. Although he immigrated with the hopes of returning to his home country, he decided to apply for political asylum when his four-year-old daughter expressed her joy to be in a place where “nobody wants to kill you here.” After a year of supporting his family making food deliveries on the streets of Miami while taking English classes on the side, they moved to Las Vegas in 2015. His first job was at Drai’s and his second job as an Uber driver where he developed his English skills. His early impressions of Las Vegas include the dramatic weather patterns, and the support given him by the Las Vegas community, people such as a fellow reporter at Telemundo named Antonio Rodriguez. Alexander has taken incremental career building steps with positions at Telemundo, Univision, and El Mundo Newspaper. In the face of adversity, Alexander Zapata represents hope and integrity as a journalist, father, and immigrant. As a journalist, he focuses on being his audience’s greatest ally and sees his job as like that of a bank which holds the funds of the public. He cherishes making his daughter and son their favorite arepas at least once a day and continues to support his family in Venezuela. He describes himself as an immigrant who believes that “people just don’t care about where you come from”; instead, “it’s about what you want to do, what you want to become, how you’re going to succeed in life here.” Alexander Zapata with Nathalie Martinez, Latinx Voices undergraduate student researcher (2020). vi TABLE OF CONTENTS Interview with Alexander Zapata February 15, 2020 in Las Vegas, Nevada Conducted by Nathalie Martinez Preface…………………………………………………………………………………………..iv Talks about his growing up in Caracas, Venezuela; the political climate under Hugo Chávez; Venezuelan family traditions; learning English in the United States and the differences between life in Miami, Florida and Las Vegas, Nevada ............................................................................1-7 Reflects on his first jobs in Las Vegas and practicing his English; making arepas and other traditional Venezuelan dishes; and gives his take on sports in Las Vegas ................................ 7-11 Discusses his path to journalism; the dangers of being a reporter in Venezuela; the process of requesting political asylum and residency in the United States; and the cultural transition from Miami to Las Vegas ................................................................................................................ 11-18 Describes the Venezuelan community of Las Vegas; his first impressions of Las Vegas; starting his journalism career in Las Vegas; the mentorship he has had and being recognized as an Emmy-winning reporter ...................................................................................................................... 19-25 Gives his take on politics in the United States and the Latinx community; the responsibility of journalism and mass media; the support of the Latinx community in Las Vegas; the political situation in Venezuela involving Juan Guaidó and Nicolas Maduro ...................................... 25-33 Talks about the future of his career and the role of journalism in the community; his career doing voiceovers; the diversity of regional Spanish accents; and the importance of family in Latinx cultural values..........................................................................................................................34-43 Appendix of photos from Zapata’s personal collection..…………………………………..…44-48 vii 1 The day is February 15th, 2020. We’re here in the Oral History Research Center. My name is Nathalie Martinez, and in the room with me are… Barbara Tabach. And… Alexander Zapata. May you spell your name, please? A-L-E-X-A-N-D-E-R. Zapata is Z, as in zebra, A-P-A-T-A. Perfect. Thank you. I’d like to start with asking you, how do you identify? Oh wow. Big question there. Yes. Hispanic, immigrant, hard-worker. I like that. That’s great. I love that. That’s great. We haven’t seen a response like that before. I like that. Why do you choose Hispanic? Why? Because I identify myself as a Hispanic person. I’m really proud of that. It’s also something that I try to teach to my kids. You’re growing up in a different country, but at the end you’re Hispanic and you have to keep that in mind always. That’s why all the time I identify myself as a Hispanic person. Is there a reason why you prefer Hispanic over Latino or…? Oh, no, no, no. They’re interchangeable? Yes. We can use Latino. How long have you been in the United States? We came here in 2014, April 29, so almost six years. 2 It shows here you arrived in Vegas 2015. Yes. We spent one year in Miami. That was our first stop, and then we moved from Miami to Vegas. Where were you born? Caracas, Venezuela. I used to live in a little town; the name is Caricuao. I can spell that for you. It’s C-A-R-I-C-U-A-O, Caricuao. It’s a little outside from the downtown of the city. But basically I lived there for almost thirty-one years. Where are your parents from? Same place, same city, same little town; Caracas, Venezuela. Describe what Caricuao was like? What was it like there? I spent thirty-one years there, so for me it’s a beautiful place, a really green place, friendly people, a lot of people from the middle class—teachers, workers. I have really good memories there. I went to the school there, middle school, high school, and even when I went to the university in Caracas, I used to live in the same place. I moved from my parents’ house to another apartment in the same area because I really like it. I have a lot of friends there—well, not a lot anymore because of what is happening in the country. I think that was a great place to live. You say your friends aren’t there anymore. Where have your friends gone? Some of them are there, but many other people just went to other countries, like us, because the political situation is really complicated in Venezuela right now for the people. Some people live in Chile, Argentina, Spain, you name it, United States; it’s around the world. What were your parents working in when you were growing up? My mother and my dad are both teachers. My mom was an elementary school teacher, but my dad was a professor in…I think it’s one of the biggest universities in my country; the name is 3 Universidad Central de Venezuela. It’s something like the Central University of Venezuela. It’s in Caracas, also. But basically they are both teachers. What did he teach? It’s like research. The name in Spanish is Metodología de la investigación. I don’t know if it’s right what I am going to say. It’s like investigative research. The methodology. Yes, methodology, yes. Sometimes I try to say the right words, but I’m not sure the naming in Spanish, so…But he used to teach in the School of Medicine over there. He usually helped students with projects, how to present a project, how to write it. Excellent. Are they still there? No. Actually my parents are living right now in McAllen with my sister who also lives here. Texas. Yes. All my family basically came to the United States. When did they come? Mom and Dad, last year—no—actually, 2018, December 2018. They became legal residents in 2019. My sister is also a journalist. She works for Univision in McAllen. She’s by herself with her son, and they said, “You know what? We’re going to move there to help her a little bit.” That’s why they moved. They used to live with us here in Las Vegas. And then they moved to McAllen? To McAllen, yes. What was the process for them to get from Venezuela to the U.S.? It wasn’t that bad for them because my sister who came here and got married with a good friend, a Cuban guy, she became a U.S. citizen, so for them it wasn’t that hard. But for my brother and 4 for me, it was kind of hard. My brother and I, we requested political asylum in the United States; first was my brother and then it was me and my family with my two kids. Camila was, I think, four years and Diego just six months when we came here and started worrying. We’ll talk more about that later. But going back to Caricuao, what was your childhood like? What are some of your fond memories that you have there, growing up? Always playing outside, soccer, baseball, basketball, you name it. We love sports. But usually we used to play baseball. It’s the most famous sport in Venezuela. Every day was like that: Going to school, going home, do the homework, and then let’s go down with gloves, bats, the ball, and just keep playing until seven p.m., and then go back and repeat the same thing every day. We love it, actually. Being honest, we don’t have a lot of money in that moment, but I remember that it was extremely happy. No cell phones, no video games, so it’s just playing outside. My childhood was really, really, really fun. Great. I know that Chávez came into power in ’99. What was the political climate as you were growing up? It’s hard to explain because Venezuela was living in a complicated situation. We have a lot of inequalities. Just a small group of people have a lot of money and the other maybe 80, 85 percent was in poverty. I think that was what people said maybe we can give the opportunity to another person, a different person who is saying that he is going to work for us. That was the momentum that he…How can I say that? That was the thing that he saw in that moment and say this is an opportunity to get into the power, so that was happening in that moment in my country. I guess that was what was happening in that moment and that’s why Hugo Chávez ended up becoming the president of Venezuela in 1999. With your family, how many siblings were you? 5 Three. What were their names? It’s kind of hard. My sister is the easy one. It’s Oriana. Same last name. My brother is Leminyer, so that is the hard one. It’s L-E-M-I-N-Y-E-R, Leminyer Zapata. That is my brother and my sister. What can you tell me about traditions you had in your home with them? I think the most important is we used to say that no matter what happens, someday it’s always to get the breakfast together, and something that I miss a lot. Definitely we do it here. No matter what happened with the kids, every Sunday in the morning we have to sit together in the table and get the breakfast, to talk and say, “Hey, what happened this week?” Because sometimes you don’t have the opportunity to do it jumping from work, activities, and you don’t have the time to sit together and talk. That’s something that I think is important and we did it in the past with my family and now I’m trying to keep that tradition with my family. What would you have on the table for breakfast typically? The name is arepas. I think you’re familiar with that. We have two restaurants here that sell arepas. Viva las Arepas is the famous one, but we have another one on East Flamingo; the name is Rika Arepas Express. It’s really good, too. If you like it…You can try it. It’s a good friend, the person over there. Oh, you know the owner? Yes, yes. Her name is Migdalia. How did you meet her? 6 I can’t remember. Honestly, I think it was through another friend; the name is Fabio Jimenez. He’s a Realtor® here in Las Vegas. He has a radio show. One day we were there and, “Hey, she’s from Venezuela.” “Oh, nice to meet you.” Then we became friends. I’ve only known arepas to be for lunch or dinner. I didn’t know you can have them for breakfast. Actually, it’s the breakfast for us. My daughter loves arepas. Every day in the morning, at night, she eats one arepa. Not Diego. Diego is more like, hmm. I understand. He came here at six months. You already see a difference in traditions with the ages. Yes, yes. That’s interesting. Yes, a lot. The same with the language. Camila is able to speak Spanish fluent. Diego, oh my gosh, it’s hard. It’s like me and English. I understand that it’s so hard for him. Between them they speak English, but Camila usually speaks with us in Spanish. It’s kind of hard, but it’s another battle that we have at home, like, hey, we have to speak Spanish at home. Keep it, tradition for Hispanic. That’s the part that was at the beginning. It’s important. I understand how hard it could be for him because when I came here to the States, I didn’t say a word in English. It’s hard when you have to start over again in a different country with a different language and you’re not able to communicate with other people, so it’s extremely hard. Let’s stay with the language part. Did you speak any English when you landed here? No. A few words, actually, a few words. That was a mess. But what I did was I started studying online because I don’t have time to go to a place because at that moment I was the only person 7 working at home. We lived in Miami. During the morning, like early, early morning, I wake up and just go to the computer and spend one hour, hour and a half studying English, and then I just grab a little scooter and spend the whole day doing deliveries in downtown Miami. Deliveries? Yes, deliveries, food deliveries for one year. It was kind of hard in that moment because, of course, it wasn’t a lot of money doing deliveries. But at some point we decide that if we stay in Miami, it will be hard to learn English because everybody speaks Spanish and nobody wants to speak English. It’s an expensive city. We hear about an opportunity here in Las Vegas and we say, you know what? Let’s move to Vegas and let’s try over there. My brother-in-law lived here, so we moved and here we are. Your skill with English improved though— Here in Las Vegas. Oh, here. For sure. It’s something that I always tell and it’s really funny. When we arrived here I was supposed to get a job at the Wynn hotel because my brother-in-law works there and he told me, “Oh, it’s fine. You’re ready.” That day when I went to the interview, the person that is supposed to interview me was sick and they put another person, and at the end I didn’t get the job. I was like, oh my gosh, now I’m here and I don’t have a job. We were sleeping in one room and actually asking for help in the church for food. I say, “Wow. What am I going to do?” Good luck for us, my wife [Joahli Carmona] came here in 2008 to get English classes and she met a guy who is the general manager in a nightclub; the name is Drai’s at the Cromwell. She used to babysit his son. Basically, we were like with nothing and she called him. “Hey, you know what? We have this problem.” He became like a little angel for us and he said, “You know what? Tell 8 him to go to the nightclub. He is going to get a job.” And that happened. But at that moment my English was worse than now. There was noise and that’s the point, the noise, and we have something in the ear just to communicate with other people, and people used to tell me what to do, but I never get what they say. I usually go to another guy who was Hispanic and say, “What did they say?” It was funny because the other bosses in the restaurant, they usually say something and they go to me, “Hey, did you get what I said?” And I was like, “No, but I did it.” They used to laugh, like, “How you did it?” I never said I have a friend that is Hispanic and he speaks Spanish and explained to me. But during that process I was getting into the English. The other thing that I did and I always say is that when Uber started in Las Vegas in 2015, actually, I think it was the last city in the country, I said, “It’s a good opportunity to make extra money and talk with people from other cities in the States that are coming to Vegas asking for places and directions and what to do.” I was making extra money, practicing my English, plus my classes. I think that’s the point I just made it to… That’s amazing. Yes. It’s organic, but also…Where were you taking the classes? It’s online classes; the name is Open English. It’s really extremely popular in Latin America. Everything is online, everything. You don’t have to go. You can be wherever you are and you can take the classes online with a professor. You can practice. They have several things to do online. I think it’s really good. I’m still trying to do it, but now it’s kind of hard because with work, kids, activities, there’s more things to do. Sometimes I try to wake up really early in the morning and, “Let’s do it today.” I think you’re doing amazing. This is great. What is your favorite kind of arepa? 9 The good thing about arepas is that you can put whatever you want to put inside. You can put eggs, ham, cheese, chicken. I don’t have a favorite one, but actually I love it. It’s something that I just love it. I try to eat it every day in the morning, just in the morning because if you eat a lot of arepas, you’re going to be in trouble with your weight. Just one in the morning and that’s good. Do you make them? Yes. Actually, I’m really proud of my arepas, yes. How did you learn? At home. It’s just like a tradition. I don’t know. My daughter always says, “Mom, did you make these arepas?” And she says, “Yes, yes.” Because it’s different than dad ones. Yes, I’m really proud of my arepas. They’re really good. Every time that I know another person, I just tell them if they want to try arepas, “Come home and we can make some for you.” I want to learn to make arepas. It’s not hard, I promise you. Did you learn that from your mom? Your grandma? Yes, I think it was from my mom, or my dad, also. It’s something that in Venezuela everybody makes arepas. Everyone makes arepas, yes. I’ve only heard about arepas for Venezuelan cuisine. Is there anything else that is traditionally found in Venezuela? We have in the holiday season in December we make something that we call hallacas. I can spell that for you. It’s H-A-L-L-A-C-A-S. I know that the sound in English will be like hallacas, but for Spanish the H has no sound, so the name is hallacas. It’s pretty similar to a tamale basically. But I’m not good doing that. That’s a lot of work to be honest with you. 10 Is it wrapped with a plantain leaf? Yes. Is it similar to the Colombian? Yes, there you go, yes. Explain your background. My mom is from Colombia. My dad is from El Salvador. That’s cool. My grandfather is from Cúcuta—or was from Cúcuta. He passed away a few years ago. You had Venezuelan and Colombian roots. There you go. Did you ever see any Colombian traditions? No. I went to Santa Marta one time. It’s beautiful. It’s a beautiful place. I haven’t been. Colombia is a beautiful country. It’s a beautiful country to be honest with you. One of my biggest friend in the university was a person from Colombia that he’s living right now in Colombia. He’s working for Caracol Noticias. Oh, that’s great. Caracol is really good. Where else have you been to in Latin America now that we’re talking about that? Actually, it’s something that I hope I can do someday because I went just to Colombia and Mexico a few times. I went to Sonora and the other time it was to Cancun. But I really hope that I can go to Argentina, Chile, Uruguay. I want to go there just because…I don’t know…for a few things. Writers, like Neruda, Cortázar, Benedetti. The soccer. I’m passionate about soccer. What are your favorite teams? 11 My favorite team in my country, the city team is Caracas Futbol Club. But if you ask me around, I will say Argentina is Boca Juniors. I think Spain, usually people say Barcelona o Real Madrid, but I used to like Atlético Madrid. It’s the team for the immigrants in Madrid. Usually the team for the people who are working—I don’t know how to say that. I am so sorry. I’m trying to find the words in my mind. Go ahead and do it in Spanish. Como obreros. The workers? The workers, yes. It’s the Atlético Madrid. On the team are people from the city, like the fancy team is Real Madrid. I identify myself more with Atlético Madrid than the fancy one. Now that we’re talking about sports real quick, as a journalist how do you perceive Las Vegas becoming a sports town? Great. When I came here the first time we used to go to the Marlins Park to watch baseball. We came here and realized we only had the 51s. We said, “Oh man, that’s so sad.” Yes, it is sad—or was sad, yes. Yes. Now we have the Golden Knights. We have the Lights. We have the Aviators with a new stadium. Soon we have the Raiders. I think it’s important for the city not just because we love sports. It’s just that it shows that the city is growing faster than maybe we can think about it. I think it’s really good for the city. We’re creating jobs. More people are coming. I think it’s great for the city. Going back to Venezuela, you said your university studies were there. What were you studying? The first thing that I studied was accounting. Then it was administración. 12 Business administration? Business administration. Thank you so much. Those were like associate degrees. Then I started studying economics. At some point my mom told me, “You know what? You have a beautiful voice. Why you don’t go to do voiceover, whatever?” I’m like, “Mom, really?”—“Let’s do it.”— “Okay.” I went, I finished the classes, and I realized that I love it. At that point I was working at a financial institution, and I say, you know what? I want to do this for life. I really changed my mind and I started studying journalism. I quit my job. I became…I can’t say that word. I can’t find it in my mind now. Pasante, when you’re studying and you’re working for a company, but you never see the money. Internship? Internship. Thank you so much. Never see money, oh. Interns should be paid. Actually, they paid me, but a little bit. But I was so happy because I was doing something that I was passionate about. Then I got to the university and I started studying journalism. In five years I became a journalist and started working in Venezuela. I started working in the radio; I think it was in 2003. Then I moved to a news agency and then a national TV station. I became a main anchor in the national TV station, and that was when the problems started with the government and all what happened with us. That last job that I was an anchor in a national TV station, I met my wife. We worked together at that station. What was that experience like with the political challenges and everything that was going on? It was hard because the country was in a complicated situation, not that bad like now, but it was complicated. What happened was that basically I went to the public hospital and I realized people that say, “You know what? I have this. I’m going to die if I don’t receive the treatment.” 13 And they say, “Come back in eight months.” In eight months that person is going to be dead. People are crying, people are begging for help. I used my personal Twitter account and I say, “Something is wrong with this. Why are we having this and we’re saying that everything is fine? It’s not. We have to be honest.” As a journalist that’s our job. I say, “This is bad.” From there they just fired me the next day. They fired you. Yes. Because of that? Yes. Because of your Twitter account. Yes. It’s complicated to explain. Please try. Because I worry about journalists in our country right now. They say that as a journalist when you work for the government, you have to be with the government. You have to protect the government. That’s not your job as a journalist. It’s free speech, not— Yes. No, no. After they fired me—the worst part is that happened ten days before Diego was born. We’re supposed to have protection from the government as the parents that the company can’t fire you if you’re expecting a baby. They were the government. They were breaking the law. They fired me. After that I started working with another company by myself on the streets. We have a lot of projects in that year, 2014. Basically we became the enemy for them. We started trying to say what was happening. I was detained some time. I was hit some other times. We started moving around. We moved from our apartment in Caricuao because it was not safe anymore for us. We moved to my mom’s house and then to another place, another place. Then 14 we realized that it was not safe anymore. That was when my brother-in-law told me, “You know what? You can come here, stay here for a while, maybe four or three months, see what happens, and then if you want you can come back.” Did you fear for your life? Yes, of course. Describe that. How did you know that your life was in danger? Because in my country the government can do just whatever they want. They control everything. It’s not like here that you have several powers and each one works. If you’re a congresswoman and you have a case in immigration, you cannot just jump in and say, “You have to do this because this is my friend.” In Venezuela it’s like that. Right now we have an example. Juan Guaidó was coming back to the country, and they got his brother and put him in jail. And they say, “You know why we put him in jail? Because he was planning to do a terrorist attack.” And that’s not true and people know that it’s not true, but they can do it because they control the judges. They control everything. They say, “I need that guy in jail for twenty years,” and the judge just says, “Yes, that’s perfect.” When you have that and you realize that you start receiving threats, like people calling to your house and saying, “We know your daughter is studying in this place and you go to this play and your wife is pregnant,” you start thinking, okay, is this worth it? I have a family to protect. I love journalism, but my family is always first. That’s why we came here. After being here three or four months that was the hard part for me to understand that I was not able to come back. Camila was only four years. I remember we were walking in Miami to get the mail. She was only four years and told me, “You know what, Don?” She called me Don. It’s my wife’s daughter. When I met my wife, she has a daughter only two years. She told 15 me, “You know what, Don? I like here more than Venezuela.” I asked her, “Why, baby?” “Because nobody wants to kill you.” Oh my gosh. That makes me want to cry. That’s just frightening to hear from a child, oh my gosh. Wow. When you arrived here how did you get safe passage? How were you able? Did you come as a family unit, all four of you together? Yes. When we came here we didn’t think that we were going to stay here, actually. We never thought we were going to the States to stay there and request political asylum, no. But when that happened I sat with my wife and I told her, “We need to do something.” She is only four years old and she’s talking about that another person is going to kill me. That’s insane for a kid. We talked with my brother who asked for political asylum at the beginning in 2012. He requested political asylum. He told me, “You can request political asylum, brother, because you have a case.” He told me, “You have a case and you can go with a lawyer.” We went to a church, actually, in Miami and they help us a lot. We requested political asylum. I think it was in June 2014. But after that we have to wait for almost four years and a half for the interview. I keep trying to remember the dates, but I think it was in December 2017. We finally received the answer one year later that they grant the asylum for us. In the meantime you have a temporary residency? Yes. Of course, you always have in mind that you have a work authorization card that you can work, actually. You have Social Security. But you know that at some point they can say no. You always fear that that could happen. Those four years were like, okay, we’re here; we’re safe, but we always told Camila, “You know what?” Because it was the biggest one. “Camila, you have to understand that you live here, but it’s like you’re renting a house. This is not your home. I want you to understand that.” Some people told me that was true. But after we pass in the last year, I 16 prefer to be honest with her because if at some point they say, no, you have to go, we’re not sure where we can go, but we will do it. I wanted her to understand that that was an option and if that happened we have to move and see what we could do. I don’t know. It’s kind of hard to talk about this. I remember in the asylum interview it was extremely hard for me because you have to go over the details about what happened. It’s something that you want to forget. You don’t want to talk about that. It’s horrible. It’s sad. After you’re living here four years you understand how bad that is because when you live there you think that that’s normal; that the police can do some things because they have the authority to do it. But when you live in a country with laws and a country where people respect the law, you understand that what happened in your country was extremely bad. Sometimes it’s hard to explain that to the people when you say they can put you in jail because you say something that they don’t like. Usually people ask, why? You don’t have the freedom of speech, whatever