December 17, 1966

Christina Acosta Sutter


Dear Ms Yanez,

My heartfelt thanks to you and the Miami Herald for you article and posting of the Freedom Flights database. Coincidentally, today is the 42nd anniversary of my family’s arrival from Cuba on the Freedom Flights. I remembered first thing this morning and was pleasantly surprised to see your article on the front page of the Miami Herald. Several years ago I heard mention of this database but had never been able to access it. I was thrilled to find it this morning on your paper’s website.

Unfortunately I could not find any trace of my family’s entrance on December 17, 1966 in the database; perhaps our names have been transposed as the database suggests has occurred with other names. Four of us left that morning from Varadero on a Panamerican flight headed to Miami. My mother’s elderly aunt, Teresa Casanova de Arechavaleta, my mother, Pura Arechavaleta de Acosta, my father, Humberto Acosta Vazquez and myself, a 5 month old infant, Cristina Acosta Arechavaleta. Our family unit represented both the oldest and the youngest persons aboard.

While I obviously could have no personal recollection of this event I have lived it many times through the eyes of my parents. Each year we quietly celebrate with an emphatic “thank you God.” When that plane took off many people aboard started crying, others chanted “Viva Cuba Libre.” My parents have often wondered about the fate of others aboard that flight; hopefully they have fared as well as us. This country and our own hard work have rewarded us. My parents today enjoy their retirement in good health, having raised two daughters (my sister came along three years later).

May God continue to bless the U.S.A y que viva una Cuba Libre.

Again, many thanks and Kudos to you!

Christina Acosta Sutter

Read more Freedom Flight Memories stories from the Miami Herald

  • JUNE 7th, 1967

    Ana De Los Reyes

    First of all, I would like to thank you for your great efforts in compiling the Freedom Flights date base information. It was with great emotion that I looked up my father's arrival to freedom information.

  • JULY 24 1968

    Miriam Rodriguez

    We arrive on July 24 1968, I remember as soon we were in the plane we heard a welcome from Pres. Johnson, as we arrive in Miami there were a priest & minister to welcome as I will never will forget that day.

  • NOVEMBER 27, 1967

    Ana María Florin

    It was November 27, 1967 when my mother ( now 83 years old), my father (now deceased) and I came to the United states via the Freedom Flight. We planned to come earlier, but the Bay of Pigs invasion delayed our plans since all flights were put on halt.

Miami Herald

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