Narrators

A

Thomas J. Aglio–Born in Boston, 1931. He is the retired executive director of Catholic Charities of Central Florida. In 1962 he managed a church-run camp for Cuban boys brought to the US without their parents in Operation Pedro Pan. He resides in Winter Park, Florida.
Silvia Morell Alderman–Born in Havana, 1952. Came to the US, 1960. She is a lawyer, specializing in environmental law. She resides in Tallahassee, Florida.
Arelis Duran Alvarez–Born in Holguín in eastern Cuba, 1951. Came to the US in Operation Pedro Pan, 1962. She is a retired claims agent for the Teamsters Union insurance and pension funds. She resides with her husband Luis in North Haledon, New Jersey.
Carlos Alvarez–Born in Havana, 1950. Came to the US, 1960. He was an All-American wide receiver for the University of Florida Gators from 1969 to 1971, and in 2011 was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame. A lawyer and mediator, he resides in Tallahassee, Florida.
Luis M. Alvarez–Born in Havana, 1950. Came to the US in Operation Pedro Pan, 1962. He is an accountant and resides with his wife Arelis in North Haledon, New Jersey.

C

Cesar E. Calvet–Born in Havana, 1945. Came to the US unaccompanied, 1961, and was taken into Operation Pedro Pan. He is a retired banker and resides in Orlando, Florida
Margarita Fernández Cano–Born in Havana, 1932. Came to the US, 1962. A retired librarian, she began the lending arts program for the Miami Public Library, and in 2009 received the Lifetime Achievement Award of the Cintas Foundation. She resides in Miami, Florida.
Alberto R. “Al” Cardenas–Born in Havana, 1948. Came to the US, 1960. He is a lawyer, political commentator, and former chairman of the Florida Republican Party and the American Conservative Union. He resides in Coral Gables, Florida.
Mario Cartaya–Born in Havana, 1951. Came to the US, 1960. He is an architect with his own firm and a board member of the Cuba Study Group, a nonpartisan organization that advocates an end to US travel and trade restrictions on Cuba and dialogue as a means to achieve reconciliation among all Cubans. He resides in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.
Angel Castillo Jr.–Born in Havana, 1946. Came to the US, 1960. He is a lawyer, specializing in employment law, and before that was a newspaper reporter and editor. He resides in Miami, Florida.
Gabriel Castillo (aka Gaby Gabriel)–Born in Niquero in eastern Cuba, 1952. Came to the US on a Freedom Flight chartered by the US government, 1966. He is a musician and entertainer at South Florida resorts and nightspots. He resides in Miami, Florida.
Justo Luis Cepero–Born in Matanzas in western Cuba, 1962. Came to the US on a Freedom Flight, 1969. He is a founder of a family-owned food-processing business specializing in Cuban delicacies. He resides in Tampa, Florida.
Mercedes Fernandez Collazo–Born in Havana, 1954. Came to the US on a Freedom Flight, 1967. She is a homemaker and retired bank clerk. She and her husband Mike reside in Tampa, Florida.
Miguel “Mike” Collazo–Born in Havana, 1953. Came to the US on a Freedom Flight, 1967. He is a retired sod-layer and laborer. He and his wife Mercedes reside in Tampa, Florida.
Luis Cruz Azaceta–Born in Havana, 1942. Came to the US, 1960. An artist in multiple media, he is represented in museums and private collections around the world, including the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Museum of Modern Art, and the American Museum of the Cuban Diaspora. He resides in New Orleans, Louisiana.
Emilio Cueto–Born in Havana, 1944. Came to the US in Operation Pedro Pan, 1961. A retired lawyer, he owns one of the world’s largest private collections of Cuban cultural artifacts. He resides in Washington, DC.

D

Andrés M. Duany–Born in New York, New York, 1949, and raised in Santiago de Cuba in eastern Cuba. Returned to the US, 1960. An architect, he is a founder of the new urbanism school of town planning. He resides in Miami, Florida.
Jorge Duany–Born in Havana, 1957. Emigrated to Panama in 1960 then lived in Puerto Rico until coming to the US mainland. He is director of the Cuban Research Institute and a professor of anthropology at Florida International University. He resides in Doral, Florida.

E

Eloísa M. Echazábal–Born in Havana, 1948. Came to the US in Operation Pedro Pan, 1961. She is a certified interpreter for the federal government and a retired administrator at Miami Dade College. She resides in Miami, Florida.

F

Rafael E. “Ralph” Fernandez–Born in Havana, 1952. Came to the US, 1960. He is a lawyer, specializing in litigation. He resides in Tampa, Florida.
Ricardo “Rick” Fernandez–Born in Guantánamo in eastern Cuba, 1954. Came to the US as an unaccompanied minor by way of Spain, 1966. An accountant, he is a former city administrator in Dallas, Texas, and Tallahassee, Florida. He resides in Tallahassee, Florida.
Isaac M. “Ike” Flores–Born in Deming, New Mexico, 1932. He is a retired reporter for the Associated Press and served as its resident correspondent in Havana from 1965 to 1967. He resides in Winter Park, Florida.
Pedro A. Freyre–Born in Havana, 1949. Came to the US, 1960. He is a lawyer, specializing in trade with Cuba and Spain. He resides in Miami, Florida.

G

Tere Castellanos Garcia–Born in Havana, 1951. Came to the US in Operation Pedro Pan, 1961, was raised in Puerto Rico, and later came to the US mainland. A planner, she is a senior executive with an engineering firm. She resides in Miami, Florida.
Paulina García-Orta (aka Paulina Rodriguez-Muro)–Born in Colón in western Cuba, 1944. Came to the US on the short-lived Camarioca Boatlift, 1965. She resides in Miami, Florida.
Paul S. George–Born in Miami, 1942. He is the resident historian at HistoryMiami Museum and a retired professor at Miami Dade College. He resides in Miami, Florida.
Romualdo “Romi” González–Born in Havana, 1947. Came to the US, 1961. He is a lawyer and was active in efforts to reunite the Episcopal Church of Cuba with the American church, which was achieved in 2020. He resides in New Orleans, Louisiana.
Bob Graham–Born in Coral Gables, Florida, 1936. A Democrat, he served as a Florida state legislator from 1966 to 1978, as governor from 1979 to 1987, and as a US senator from 1987 to 2005. He resides in Gainesville, Florida.

H

Maribel Pérez Henley–Born in Mariel in western Cuba, 1964. Came to the US on a Freedom Flight, 1970. She is a paralegal in the real estate practice of a major Florida law firm. She resides in Miami, Florida.
Adolfo Henriques–Born in Havana, 1953. Emigrated to Jamaica, 1961. Came to the US, 1973. A banker, he is vice-chairman of South Florida’s largest development company. He resides in Key Biscayne, Florida.
Ana Cowley Hodges–Born in Havana, 1949. Came to the US, 1960. She is a retired journalism teacher in the public schools of suburban Katy, Texas. She resides in Houston, Texas.
Isis Rivero Hoffman–Born in Havana, 1938. Came to the US, 1961. She is a retired hospital architect and administrator of Columbia University in New York. She resides in Key Biscayne, Florida.

J

Julian C. Juergensmeyer–Born in Paintsville, Kentucky, 1938. A retired law professor, he directed the University of Florida’s Cuban American Lawyers Program from 1973 to 1976. He resides in Atlanta, Georgia.

L

Hector Laurencio (née Hector García)–Born in rural Camagüey province in central Cuba, 1945. Came to the US as an unaccompanied minor, 1961, and was taken into Operation Pedro Pan. He is a retired ophthalmologist. He and his wife Maria reside in Coral Gables, Florida.
Maria Galatas Laurencio–Born in Artemisa in western Cuba, 1950. Came to the US, 1961. She is a retired anesthesiologist. She and her husband Hector reside in Coral Gables, Florida.

M

Guillermo G. “Gil” Mármol–Born in Havana, 1953. Came to the US, 1961. A retired corporate executive and management consultant, he serves on the board of the Center for a Free Cuba, which advocates the continuation of US travel and trade restrictions on Cuba unless there is a peaceful transition to democracy there. He resides in Dallas, Texas.
Myriam Márquez–Born in Santiago de las Vegas in western Cuba, 1954. Came to the US, 1959. She is executive director of the News Leaders Association and a former executive editor of Miami’s El Nuevo Herald. She resides in Miami Beach, Florida.
Henry Martell (née Enrique Martell)– Born in Havana, 1947. Came to the US, 1962, and lived in Puerto Rico until coming to the mainland. A retired automobile dealer, he resided in Coral Gables, Florida, until his death in 2020.
Marijean Collado Miyar–Born in Brooklyn, New York, 1947. Moved to Havana, 1952. Returned to the US, 1961. She is a retired lecturer in art history and ancient architecture at Miami area schools, universities, and museums. She resides in Coral Gables, Florida.
Ricardo “Dick” Morales Jr.–Born in Havana, 1938. Came to the US, 1960. He is founder and board chairman of a group of construction and development companies. He resides in Jacksonville, Florida.
Gary R. Mormino–Born in Alton, Illinois, 1947. He is scholar in residence at the Florida Humanities Council and a retired history professor at the University of South Florida, St. Petersburg, specializing in immigration and Florida. He resides in St. Petersburg, Florida.
Luis C. Morse–Born in Havana, 1940. Came to the US, 1960. A veteran of the Bay of Pigs invasion, he served as a Florida state legislator from 1986 to 1998 including a term as speaker pro tempore of the Florida House of Representatives. He resides in Miami, Florida.

P

Eduardo J. Padrón–Born in Santiago de Cuba in eastern Cuba, 1944. Came to the US as an unaccompanied minor, 1961. An economist, he served as president of Miami Dade College from 1995 to 2019, and in 2016 received the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation’s highest civilian honor. He resides in Miami, Florida.
Edmundo Pérez-de Cobos–Born in Havana, 1946. Came to the US in Operation Pedro Pan, 1960. He is a retired executive of American Express in England, Hong Kong, Spain, Argentina, and Mexico. He resides in Coral Gables, Florida.

R

Nestor A. Rodriguez–Born in Havana, 1958. Emigrated to Spain, 1969. Came to the US, 1971. He has held management roles in various not-for-profits in South Florida. He resides in Miami, Florida.
Carmen Leiva Roiz–Born in Havana, 1936. Came to the US, 1960. After living in the New York metropolitan area and South America, she worked as a secretary, newspaper columnist, magazine editor, and television producer in Miami. She resides in Miami, Florida.

S

Diana Sawaya-Crane–Born in Havana, 1951. Emigrated to Venezuela, 1959. Came to the US, 1968. She is a retired senior advisor to a Florida governor and two attorneys general. She resides in Tallahassee, Florida.

T

Hilda Molina Tabernilla–Born in Havana, 1937. Came to the US, 1959. Her late husband was private secretary to President Fulgencio Batista, and the family left Cuba with Batista in 1959. She is a retired seamstress and retail saleswoman. She resides in Palm Beach, Florida.

V

Jose E. Valiente–Born in Bejucal in western Cuba, 1950. Came to the US, 1962. He is retired from his own accounting firm and resides in Tampa, Florida.
Julieta Navarrete Valls–Born in Havana, 1942. Came to the US, 1960. She is a retired international development consultant. She resides in South Miami, Florida.
Jose A. Villalobos–Born in Guanabacoa in western Cuba, 1938. Came to the US, 1960. He is a lawyer, specializing in government relations. He resides in Miami, Florida.
Marielena Alejo Villamil–Born in Havana, 1947. Came to the US, 1959. She is president of an economics consulting firm. She resides in Coral Gables, Florida.

W

Mercedes Wangüemert-Peña–Born in Havana, 1950. Came to the US, 1960. Returned to live in Cuba with her two sons, 1979, then returned to the US, 1980. She works at a shelter for homeless refugees and resides in Austin, Texas.

Z

Victoria Montoro Zamorano–Born in Havana, 1949. Came to the US, 1961. She is a real estate agent and photographer. She resides in South Miami, Florida.
Complete interview transcripts, specifying the date and place of each interview, are available at the University of Miami’s Cuban Heritage Collection.
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