Susana (Susy) Garrandés Gonzalez

General Information
Current Name
Susy Rodriguez
Current Location
United States of America
Name on Arrival
Susana (Susy) Garrandés Gonzalez
Age on Arrival
Date of Arrival
Friday, March 23, 1962
Relocated To
St. Vincent's Orphanage, Vincennes, Indiana
Stayed With
Velasco family-Florida City
Haiti Pedro Pan
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Susana (Susy)'s Story

Truly blessed for having been raised in the USA!

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Susy como estas? perdona que no te haya escrito pero dejame decirte que lo que me paso fue que se me olvido tu nombre y tube que llamar a CARMEN VALDIVIA y preguntarle el nombre de aquella BOCONA que hablaba tanto en la reunion del año pasado y ella enseguida me dijo esa es SUSY!!!!!!!!! pero no te preocupes puse un letrero en la puerta de mi oficina donde esta escrito en letras muy grande I GOT A BIG MOUTH [ SUSY GARRANDES ] para que mas nunca se me olvide ok.

Message by Fernando L Collado Gonzalez | Jun 24th 2010

Susana (Susy) says: SATURDAY, JUNE 26- PP IN DC AREA-THE RED UMBRELLA-book signing at 2pm - Alexandria, VA-Hooray for Books-Meet PP daughter & author Christina D Gonzalez

Status update | Jun 24th 2010

Cuban Kids of the 60s Exodus Open Letter to CNBC**** June 19, 2010 James Jacoby - Writer and Producer Christie Gripenburg – Producer Re: The Documentary ”Escape from Havana” As a whole, the documentary “Escape from Havana” was disappointing. When contacted requesting information about Operation Pedro Pan, the stated purpose of the documentary was to highlight the upcoming 50th anniversary of Operation Pedro Pan and inform the American public regarding the virtually unknown largest humanitarian effort of the 20th Century. Giving credit where it’s due, the documentary did a very good job depicting the atrocities of the Castro regime, and the daily deterioration of freedom and human rights which continue to this day. These were the events which forced our parents to send us unaccompanied to a foreign land. As the Pedro Pan mother clearly states in the documentary, “I feel guilty because of what they suffered and the separation was terrible, but at least they have freedom… and if I had to do it again I do it again!” Unfortunately, after a superior opening, the documentary deviated from the Operation Pedro Pan narrative. A huge disservice-- to the Pedro Pan community at large and to the courageous parents who made sacrifices--, was performed in the choosing of two very controversial Pedro Pan whose personal and political philosophies do not accurately represent the overwhelming majority of Pedro Pan. The allegation of CIA involvement has been around for well over a decade and never been substantiated. Under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), attempts have been made to obtain government documents linking the CIA and Pedro Pan. In 1998 two separate newspaper articles --“Professor Plans to Sue CIA Over Cuba Airlift Papers” (Miami Herald) and “Cubans Face Past as Stranded Youths in U.S.” (New York Times)--document the efforts to obtain records detailing CIA responsibility and control of Pedro Pan. None were found. Years later, an article titled Operation Pedro Pan published in Oye Magazine states, “We identified several documents that made mention of the unaccompanied children leaving Cuba, but it made it very clear there was no CIA activity with these children.” In the article CIA spokesperson Anya Guilsher further states, “By the context of those documents, it was clear that there was no CIA activity or involvement in that exodus.” Guilsher then added, “We have uncovered no information to suggest that any unintended or intended purpose… was to induce parents to send their children unaccompanied to Florida.’“ The obligatory claims of CIA stonewalling and using national security as a reason for not releasing the documents fail the smell test. There has been a general declassification and release of documentation by the US government under the FOIA pertaining to: The Bay of Pigs Invasion, The October Missile Crisis, and other historical events of that era. To date, there is no documentation anywhere detailing CIA involvement in Operation Pedro Pan. The narrator portrays "The Lost Apple" as a film made under the auspices of a JFK created top secret organization involving the state department and the CIA--“The Special Group Augmented”--and shown throughout Latin America as a scare tactic. It is obvious the narrator did not take the time to view the film or research the intended use of the film. In fact “The Lost Apple” is a documentary funded by the United States Information Agency, produced by David Susskind and completed in 1963. The film lasts approximately 25 minutes and follows the journey of Roberto, a six year-old Cuban as he acclimates to the Florida City camp. At the time the film was made, the Florida camps were overflowing with kids. The intent of the film was to show it at various dioceses through the U. S. in the hopes either organizations or foster parents could be found to house the kids and relieve the overcrowding in the camps. By the time it was completed, the film was overcome by events. As a result of the October Missile Crisis, flights between the two countries were discontinued. The daily flow of Pedro Pan kids stopped and soon the overcrowded condition at the camps eased. According to Monsignor Walsh the film was never distributed and was archived. Occasionally it was shown at Pedro Pan gatherings or when out of town Pedro Pan would visit him. The documentary introduces the Founder and Executive Director of Puentes Cubanos as having devoted her life to ending the embargo… the result of an epiphany which occurred in 1994 when visiting family in Cuba. While everyone is entitled to his/her own opinion, the narrator exclaims she is far from the only Pedro Pan pushing for a change… a disingenuous statement insinuating a majority or large number of Pedro Pan agrees with or supports this effort… which is not true. Closer examination reveals Puentes Cubanos, a non profit incorporated in 1999 and dissolved in June of 2009, paid its Founder and Executive Director a monthly salary. The Founder and Executive Director of Puentes Cubanos was also compensated by other sponsoring organizations for escorting travel groups to Cuba. In the same time frame, Puentes Cubanos hired Carlos Alvarez, a self confessed and convicted unregistered agent of the Cuban Government, as a facilitator who traveled four times to Cuba on trips organized by Puentes Cubanos. Further inspection reveals the founder of the now defunct Puentes Cubanos is an officer and one of the incorporators of Cuba Puentes, a for profit corporation incorporated in May of 2009. Counting on legislation now in Congress to open unrestricted travel, Cuba Puentes would charge a fee to escort groups and individuals traveling to Cuba. It is regrettable these clarifications and assertion of facts have to be performed to correct the misstatements and misrepresentations of the documentary. As proud Pedro Pan we consider it a matter of honor to present an accurate historical perspective of our exodus. In diverging from the Pedro Pan story, the documentary failed to develop many of the relevant persons and stories which are an integral part of Operation Pedro Pan. Monsignor Walsh, George Guarch, and the Florida camps were given short shrift. No mention is made of the people in Cuba who risked their lives and freedom securing visa waivers and safe passage to the U.S. for children they did not know. The daily routine of camp life, the process of relocation and adjusting to new environs, the essence of our journey in a new land were also sadly left out. The documentary is saved by the last sequence with Carlos Eire. Excoriating the Castro regime in uncompromising language and powerfully declaring he would never go back and patronize the Castro regime, Carlos closes the documentary in masterful fashion. Carlos Eire -- A Pedro Pan brother we support and embrace with great pride!! Hopefully this is the enduring image which the viewer will remember! Until we meet again! Oscar B. Pichardo Arturo Bueno Estela Bueno Berta Freire For The Cuban Kids Working Group

Message by Susy Rodriguez | Jun 20th 2010

Susana (Susy) says: TODAY, SATURDAY, JUNE 19! MEET CHRISTINA DIAZ GONZALEZ, AUTHOR ** THE RED UMBRELLA** @ 1pm @ Ft. Myers Barnes & Noble -daughter of Pedro Pans

Status update | Jun 19th 2010

Go to and post your comments-This is an open letter from OPPG to CNBC June 15, 2010 Open Letter to CNBC: We, the undersigned former children of Operation Pedro Pan, would like to register our disapproval with the coverage of the Operation Pedro Pan Program in the CNBC documentary entitled: Escape from Havana: An American Story. Our objection to the documentary’s content rests on two discernable elements: First, the manipulation of the history of Operation Pedro Pan, resulting from the producers’ heavy reliance on Professor María de los Angeles Torres’ revisionist and antagonistic views towards the Operation. Second, the manipulation of the Operation Pedro Pan story, by means of Silvia Wilhelm’s open advocacy, in order to advance the Cuban Government’s agenda regarding the unconditional lifting of the U.S. embargo and travel restrictions to Cuba. The CNBC documentary misleads the public into believing that the exodus called “Operation Pedro Pan” was initially conceived, organized, and managed by the CIA “in order to push parents over the edge” by propagating the notion that the Cuban government intended to abolish Patria Potestad (tr. parental rights). Ironically, this is the exact version trumped up and disseminated by the Cuban Intelligence Services’ State Security Center for Historical Research at the Ministry of Interior. And yet nothing could be further from the truth. Had the documentary writers delved themselves into the history of Operation Pedro Pan, they would have found an article entitled “Cuban Refugee Children,” published by Msgr. Bryan O. Walsh in the July/October 1971 edition of the Journal of Inter-American and World Affairs. The article describes, in great detail, how both the Catholic Welfare Bureau’s Cuban Children’s Program and Operation Pedro Pan came about independently of each other, and the fortuitous circumstances under which Mr. James Baker, Headmaster of the American Ruston Academy in Havana, and Father Walsh (appointed Monsignor several years later) met for the first time in mid-November 1960 to organize the exodus of 200 students whose parents were involved in the clandestine struggle against the imposition of communism on the island. From November 26, 1960 to October 22, 1962 over 14,000 children came to the United States under this program. Over time, the children’s exodus would come to be known as Operation Pedro Pan. Parenthetically, contrary to the Cuban government’s persistent claim that the Operation was originally named “Operación Peter Pan” by Polita Grau, the name “Operation Pedro Pan” was coined by Ralph Renick, anchor of Miami’s Wometco Channel 4 News and popularized by Miami Herald’s writer Gene Miller, in a series of articles about the children. Early on during the documentary the producers mischaracterize the program’s origins by inaccurately stating that Mr. Baker went to Washington, D. C. to make arrangements. It is a matter of public record that it was Father Walsh who traveled to the nation’s capital to meet with officials of the Departments of State and Justice, shortly after the break in diplomatic relations in January 3, 1961, in order to examine alternatives for those students who missed out on having their I-20 visas processed by embassy officials. In the year 2000, during the Elián González affair, the Cuban government launched a vicious disinformation campaign aimed at disparaging Operation Pedro Pan by linking the alleged CIA-fabricated “Patria Potestad” lie to its founding. Aware of the regime’s distortion, Msgr. Walsh, speaking at the Pedro Pan 40th anniversary convocation, held at Barry University in 2001, warned that: “[….] …These facts are important because some revisionist historians and commentators both in the U.S., the U.K. and Cuba have engaged O P E R A T I O N P E D R O P A N G R O U P, INC. 161 Madeira Avenue, Suite 61, Coral Gables, Florida 33134 (305) 554-7196 in an ongoing campaign [to] portray Operation Pedro Pan (not Peter Pan) as a dirty tricks campaign conceived by the CIA to mislead Cuban families and panic them into sending their children abroad.” As recent as 2009, Fidel Castro, in one of his “Reflexiones,“ devoted to the subject of Operation Pedro Pan, continued the assault on the exodus by comparing it to Nazi Germany’s propaganda campaigns and stating: “María de los Angeles Torres, an associate professor of Political Sciences at the DePaul University in Chicago was a Pedro Pan child. Although she is not a revolutionary, she called for the CIA to declassify close to 1,500 documents about Operation Pedro Pan. The CIA has refused to declassify them on the pretext of national security.” Fidel Castro went on to make one of the more disingenuous statements made to date about us: “Each of the 14,000 children involved in that tragedy followed their own traumatic path. They were mostly from middle class families. They were not the children of landowners or the wealthy bourgeois; there was no reason why they had to be dragged into that tragedy… None of them required to be saved.” Conveniently, he neglected to mention that his regime closed down the parochial schools they attended, stormed and ransacked many of their houses of worship, outlawed their clubs and organizations, and chastised them for having religious beliefs and middle class values. Self-servingly, he also omitted mentioning the systematic harassment and incarceration of their parents and relatives, the confiscation of their savings, businesses and properties, and the government takeover of their places of employment. Regrettably, the documentary’s best effort to depict graphically the many atrocities carried out by the regime during its first three years in power and which prompted the exodus in the first place was obfuscated by the CIA connection hammered by the CNBC producers. The accurate retelling of the story of the children’s exodus should have included a brief account of the many significant political events that unfolded during the twenty two months that it lasted. In the short term, the regime sought to move quickly to exercise absolute control by the ruthless elimination of any actual or potential opposition. For the long term, it set out to create a new political culture, one in which children were to be assigned a critical role. Marxist-Leninist indoctrination of the young generation was deemed crucial for the Revolution to survive well into the future. Five decades of Communist dictatorship, repression, and dramatic escapes by thousands of young Cubans, continue to attest both to the implementation of this strategy and its abject failure. Carlos Franqui, a close Castro collaborator and known as his minister of propaganda from 1957 until his departure from Cuba in 1968 admitted that there had indeed existed plans to abolish the existing Patria Potestad Law and replace it with one that would give the state physical as well as mental control over the children. In a December 26, 1999, article published by El Nuevo Herald and entitled "In Cuba there is no Patria Potestad," Mr. Franqui, after scrutinizing the 1976 Cuban Constitution's statutes governing parental rights and obligations and the State's relationship to children, concluded that "... In Cuba the Patria Potestad belongs to the State and not to the parents. Enforcement is actually more perverse than the law. Children are separated from their parents and the Castro-dominated state has absolute control over them, beginning from early on with the Children's Circles and all the way through primary education, far-away-from-home boarding schools, youth work centers and compulsory military service, and university enrollment. No one in his right mind would argue that in communist Cuba a parent can exercise the right to educate his own children at his own discretion." It is readily apparent from Mr. Franqui’s observations that the rumored government’s abolition of Patria Potestad and Pedro Pan parents' concern over it proved to be right after all; even if it took the government 16 years to codify it into law. Finally, with respect to Mrs. Wilhelm’s views about lifting the U.S. economic embargo and travel restrictions to Cuba, we feel that she is constitutionally entitled to freedom of expression. However, the documentary creates the false impression that she speaks for the Pedro Pan community. In fact, we have always chosen to abstain from any public political discourse as a group, despite the political origins of our exodus Preparations are being made to commemorate the 50th anniversary of Operation Pedro Pan, an occasion we want to use to express our deepest gratitude to our parents for the sacrifice they made and the pain they endured in order to save us from the claws of communism, Monsignor Bryan Walsh and the courageous men and women who made our exodus possible and the American people for their unparalleled humanitarianism in our hour of need. We, the men and women who were the children of the exodus, find it ironic that CNBC should voice Silvia Wilhelm’s assertion that we were used as pawns in the Cold War, when it is CNBC that is misusing us.

Message by Susy Rodriguez | Jun 18th 2010

Susana (Susy) says: TOMORROW, SATURDAY, JUNE 19! MEET CHRISTINA DIAZ GONZALEZ, AUTHOR ** THE RED UMBRELLA** @ 1pm @ Ft. Myers Barnes & Noble -daughter of Pedro Pans

Status update | Jun 18th 2010

THANK YOU, Susy, for your help promoting The Red Umbrella. Melvin Noriega is 100% correct saying you are "tremenda promotora". Not only we owe you at least 2 croquetas but they have to be "croquetas preparadas con jamon y queso" accompanied with "un cortadito con leche evaporada" del Versailles. Last night at the book signing in Bal Harbour we met and had delightful conversations with several wonderful Pedro Panes. We are encouraging all the Pedro Panes we meet at the book signings to register in the PPN and to attend some of the PP events (breakfasts, gala, dinner dances, picnic, etc). I hope I used my handkerchief last night often and properly and those Pedro Panes attending the book signing did not see "la baba coming out of my mouth" during Christina's presentation. Once again, Susy, THANK YOU! Cariños, Delfin y Esperanza

Message by Delfin Diaz | Jun 17th 2010


Status update | Jun 17th 2010

*******THE RED UMBRELLA******* TODAY-June 16 at 7:30pm Bal Harbor, FL (Books & Books)*** meet the author-Christina Diaz Gonzalez- Christina is the daughter of Delfin and Esperanza Diaz, our PP brother & sister. This book, although fiction, was written by her using as base stories from her parents as well as her mother-in-law, also a PP. A must read!

Message by Susy Rodriguez | Jun 16th 2010

Susana,yo estoy al tanto de su funcion como "promotora", y tengo que cofesarle que usted es muy buena en este "FIELD". En mi industria disquera la promocion es nuestra primera herramienta. Yo he distribuido los C.D.s de nuestro querido Guillermo Alvarez Guedes por muchos anos y es mas ,soy el Contador de la compañia que lo representa.Algun tiempo atraz yo vendia este producto utilizando el nombre "ÑOOOOOO!!! que cuentos !!!!. Miles de personas lo compraban con este nombre y nunca se quejaron. Entonces porque "ÑOOOO! le molesta a usted?. Espero que con esto sea suficiente.. Afectuosamente...MELVIN

Message by Melvin F Noriega Plasencia | Jun 15th 2010

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