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

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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Una idea fantastica. Me imagino que ya hayas visto las fotos de Gabriel Cartas Hernandez y la redaccion de Eddie Fernandez. Juan Diaz de Leyda tambien habla del orfelinato en su redaccion. Asi como lo hace Maria Jsefa Martinez. Ella y sus dos hermanas, Sara y Margarita viven en Boca Raton. Dejame saber si piensas que te puedo ayudar con mas informacion. Raisa

Message by Raisa B Godin Rodriguez | Tue 2pm

Y como te enteraste tu del grupo de St. Francis?

Message by Raisa B Godin Rodriguez | Tue 11am

READ ALL ABOUT IT! READ ALL ABOUT IT! Despite repeated public denials by the C.I.A., the media and many book authors, not to mention the government of Cuba, have accused the C.I.A. of orchestrating Operation Pedro Pan with the purpose of destabilizing Cuba's communist regime. If you want to copy the United States District Court's March 12, 1999 ruling clearing the CIA from allegations that it orchestrated Operation Pedro Pan, copy and paste the following URL or web address on your browser: http://www.leagle.com/decision/199999939FSupp2d960_1906

Message by Jose Antonio Amaro Reyes | Jul 20th 2014

José Antonio says: Our PP Pan brother Antonio S. Batallán passed away on May 9, 2014. Services will be held on May 13 at St. Julian Catholic Church in W. Palm Beach, Fl.

Status update | May 13th 2014

José Antonio: Vi lo que pusiste en el link de Chuchi Prieto con motivo de su falleciento. Yo lo conocía en el colegio de los Escolapios de la Víbora, después en Kendall y después en Lincoln, NE. Chuchi era jodedor pero Buena gente.

Message by Manuel A. Gutiérrez | Mar 7th 2014

ANNOUNCEMENT: Dear Pedro Pan brother/sister: If either one or both of your parents or any of your siblings served prison sentences for political reasons or were executed by firearms or summarily executed by the communist regime or were compelled to seek political asylum in any foreign embassy in the country's capital or escaped the island through extralegal means, please contact me here or at my email jose01010@hotmail.com. I am currently gathering documentation for an article. / ANUNCIO: Estimado hermano/(a) Pedro Pan: Si uno o ambos de sus padres o algún/(a) hermano/(a) cumplieron condena de prisión política o fueron fusilados o ejecutados sumariamente por el régimen comunista o se vieron obligados a pedir asilo político en alguna embajada en la capital o se dieron a la fuga por medios extralegales de la isla, favor de comunicarse conmigo por medio de la misma o al buzón electrónico jose01010@hotmail.com. Recopilo datos para la redacción de un artículo. / Thank you / Muchísimas gracias. José Antonio Amaro Reyes.

Message by Jose Antonio Amaro Reyes | Feb 27th 2014

ANUNCIO: Estimado hermano/(a) Pedro Pan: Si uno o ambos de sus padres o algún/(a) hermano/(a) cumplieron condena de prisión política o fueron fusilados o ejecutados sumariamente por el régimen comunista o se vieron obligados a pedir asilo político en alguna embajada en la capital o se dieron a la fuga por medios extralegales de la isla, favor de comunicarse conmigo por medio de la misma o al buzón electrónico jose01010@hotmail.com. Recopilo datos para la redacción de un artículo. Muchísimas gracias. José Antonio Amaro Reyes.

Message by Jose Antonio Amaro Reyes | Feb 18th 2014

Hello,Jose Antonio- My name is Alvaro B. Lopez, and I Ilived in St. Anthony' Home, 1600 W. 24 th St,Sioux City,Iowa, from May '62-Sept. '63. There were other Pedro pan children- Alberto & Jorge Allegret, Angel Garcia, Armando Guitierrez,Carmen ,Marta,( don't recall their last names), as well as a younger Allegret sister. Our ages ranged from 8-12 ( I was 11). Father Robert O 'Keefe picked us at Homestead Air Force Base.( he allegedly knew the Kennedy's,and delivered letters in our behalf to Jackeline -which resulted in the arrival of all the Sioux City Cuban children's parents-on the same ship,at the same time !). So, Pedro Pan children did indeed live in St. Anthony's Home,along with local orphans,including Native American Sioux

Message by Alvaro b lopez | Feb 8th 2014

Jose Antonio para incluir informacion en el profile de mi hermano, Mauel Evelio Borrego, lo puedo hacer yo o tengo que mandarte la informacion a ti para que tu lo hagas. Ho haye como hacerlo. Dejame saber por favor.

Message by Nelia Monso | Feb 4th 2014

Thanks for your message. I need to go into my profile to write up the whole story. Left a lot of parts out but in the interim, yes, you have my permission to transcribe my comment from the Washington Post to my profile on this website. Thank you and "un fuerte abrazo to you too"!

Message by Nelia Monso | Feb 4th 2014

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