Services will be held Thursday for Humberto Medrano, an award-winning journalist, attorney and activist who in 1984 was appointed by President Ronald Reagan as the first deputy director of Radio Martí in Washington, D.C.
Medrano died in his sleep Monday. He was 96.
A Mass will be celebrated Thursday at 11 a.m. at St. Hugh Catholic Church, 3460 Royal Rd. in Coconut Grove. Burial will follow at Flagler Memorial, 5300 W. Flagler St.
Medrano had been a well-known journalist in Cuba who opposed the regimes of Fulgencio Batista and later Fidel Castro.
His career on the island ended in May 16, 1960, when members of Castro’s militia stormed in and confiscated the newsroom of Prensa Libre newspaper, where Medrano had been one of two executive editors for 20 years.
Medrano escaped into the Panamanian Embassy, where he sought asylum. Four days later, he began his life in exile in Miami.
He worked as a taxi driver, car salesman, radio commentator and columnist for the Spanish-language Diario Las America and wrote about abuses on the island.
In the 1970s, he became an active champion for the plight of Cuba’s political prisoners and spoke out against Castro’s human rights violations via Amnesty International and by speaking in front of the General Assembly in Geneva, Switzerland.
In 1984, Regan appointed Medrano deputy director of Radio Martí, a job that made him responsible for the establishment of the initial radio station that aims to transmit uncensored news into the island. He returned to Miami six years later to be a senior advisor for Radio and TV Martí in Miami-Dade.
Medrano is survived by his wife, Mignon, daughter and son-in-law Patricia and Jose Suarez, son Ignacio Medrano-Carbo, five grandchildren and three great-grandchildren.