Cuban immigrants share precious family heirlooms to show history of Cuban exiles by Janey Fugate jfugate@elnuevoherald.com Julia Adán Pelegrín, 71, opened a black suitcase full of faded elegant shirts. Those shirts, she explained, belonged to her father, Emilio Adán Silva, when he was a Supreme Court justice in Cuba, and they represented his life before he and 12 other justices signed a letter denouncing Fidel Castro’s government. Eight years later, his family moved to Miami. Those shirts, Pelegrín says, represent the sacrifice her father made for his family and express the pride she feels. “These are not only memories but items of everyday use when Cuba existed as a nation,” Adán said. “[These shirts] were on the streets of Havana. They lived there.” Such feelings of pride and nostalgia prevailed Saturday in the lobby of the Freedom Tower, when dozens of Cubans gathered to donate or lend objects of historic interest that document their exile experience. More than 300 items — passports, documents, photos, clothes — will be part of an exhibit that will open at the tower in September. The inauguration of the exhibit is a key step in the preservation of Cuban history, said Alina Interián, host of the event and executive director of Miami Dade College cultural affairs. “We want to pay tribute to the people to whom this tower means so much,” said Interián, who also was processed at the Freedom Tower when she arrived from Cuba. Between 1962 and 1974, Cuban refugees were processed at the tower, known as “The Refuge.” It was added to the United States National Register of Historic Places in 1979 and designated a National Historic Landmark in 2008. The exhibit, titled “The Exile Experience: Journey to Freedom,” is a collaboration between Miami Dade College and the Miami Herald Media Company. Its objective is to document, preserve and share the history of the difficulties the exiled Cuban community went through since Fidel Castro’s rise to power. The facility has deserved a project like this for some time, said Luisa Meruelo, 93, who worked for the tower’s immigration service for nine years. “I was always wondering why no one had done something about the refugees here,” Meruelo said. “This is a long story, a beautiful story.” The exhibit is a way to thank the nation that gave them refuge during that turbulent time, she said. “We have to thank the people of the United States for being so generous to us at a very difficult time,” she said. Now, the museum can show items like the first coins earned in this country, the tie that an immigrant was wearing when he arrived, a wedding gown and the tiny dress of a 3-year-old. To the people who wore them, these items are intimately associated with the difficult experience of having to abandon their native country. One of those people was Mercy Advocat, who arrived in 1962 with her brother in the Pedro Pan Operation. That exodus took place between 1960 and 1962 and brought more than 14,000 unaccompanied Cuban children to the United States. “The last thing our parents told us before leaving was that my brother and I should never be separated,” Advocat said. “We then boarded the plane and, when we landed, the first thing they did was separate us — the girls from the boys.” Advocat and her brother eventually were sent to the same foster home in Albuquerque, N.M., and they ended doing what their parents had told them. After two years, they were reunited with their mother in New York. The black-and-white photos Advocat brought to the tower show her mother’s tears when she reunited with her children. She is lending those photos and a doll brought from Cuba — some of her most precious keepsakes — to the museum. She is not ready to part with them yet. “I’m not so old to have to donate them,” she said. © 2014 Miami Herald Media Company. All Rights Reserved. http://www.miamiherald.com Read more here: http://www.miamiherald.com/2014/07/26/v-print/4257131/cuban-immigrants-share-precious.html#storylink=cpy

José Antonio Amaro Reyes

General Information
Current Name
Jose Antonio Amaro Reyes
Current Location
United States of America
Name on Arrival
José Antonio Amaro Reyes
Age on Arrival
13
Date of Arrival
Tuesday, August 14, 1962
Relocated To
CWB Matecumbe

José Antonio's Story

Remarks:An English translation is provided below for non-Spanish speaking relatives and friends.

Nací en el antiguo municipio de Holguín de la antigua provincia de Oriente en el año 1948. Fui bauti...

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Hoy nos debemos quitarnos el sobrero antes el esposo de La Santa ya que se la comio con su relaton de War and Peace. Very very moving y bien contado.

Message by Susy Rodriguez | Sep 17th 2009

Me contaron por ahi que sufrio algunos dolores de alguna paliza que otra por ahi. Deseando que se encuentre mejor hoy. Saludos

Message by Susy Rodriguez | Sep 17th 2009

This is a public apology for the aforementioned, please accept my apologies. I've overdone it today, verbally and pysically. In pain so I need to go to bed. Tomorrow, if I come back, I'll wear my good heart and behave. PROMISE!

Message by Susy Rodriguez | Sep 16th 2009

“Deny, deny, deny” and the identical twin brother defense has worked really well in the past but they are running kind of thin. I like the idea of turning the tables on her and putting her holiness on trial. This is a brilliant defense that can be useful not only in this case but in many future circumstances. I think that this may totally get me off the hook. You however might need Susy’s services when la santica finds out that the advice came from you. I promise to keep it a secret but tu sabes como son las malas lenguas. Guillermo

Message by Guillermo R Paz Vazquez | Sep 16th 2009

I'll be fine..you are better off wishing Guille good luck...he's going to need it!

Message by Susy Rodriguez | Sep 16th 2009

Jose Antonio: As you can see I was unjustly accused of “andar con dos jovencitas rubias en Hooters” by Mr. PI. I feel assured that Exhibit “A” will exonerate me of those charges and I hope that Exhibit “B” will overshadow exhibit “A”. If that doesn’t work I can claim temporary insanity or total amnesia. As a last resort I can always use the tried and true; deny, deny, and deny. Any advice will be appreciated. Your soon ex-Pedro Pan brother, Guillermo

Message by Guillermo R Paz Vazquez | Sep 16th 2009

goofing big on spelling ...hard to typq 1 handed....sorry

Message by Susy Rodriguez | Sep 16th 2009

Absolutely, Guillermo is a smart man! Especially after all his antics of the past week. Please keep it confidential. We are trying to keep los secretos del papito! I trust you don't deceive him . It's hard to trust again people who were once trusted and he/she turned out to be Benedit Arnold!

Message by Susy Rodriguez | Sep 16th 2009

Entonces sordo mas sordo que Beethoven Aunque a lo mejor te perdono el castigo pues tengo temor que despues de sordo, se me acabe las clases de historia de la musica Cubana. Y no soy boba asi que el castigo seria mio.

Message by Susy Rodriguez | Sep 16th 2009

Estima Jose Antonio Amaro Reyes, el flagelo fue abandonado hace muchos años por la iglesia Catolica pero tengo entendido que sigue en practica por los musulmanes. Asi creo que tienes el choice entre unos buenos latigazos a la muslim o el famoso 'jalon de orja. Aunque acuerdate lo que le paso a Beethoven, asi que yo tu me daba los latigazos! Please give me your choice so I can proceed

Message by Susy Rodriguez | Sep 16th 2009

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