Cuban immigrants share precious family heirlooms to show history of Cuban exiles by Janey Fugate 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. Read more here:

Marcos Fernando Pinedo Beraza

General Information
Current Name
Marcos F. Pinedo
Current Location
United States of America
Name on Arrival
Marcos Fernando Pinedo Beraza
Age on Arrival
Date of Arrival
Thursday, April 6, 1961
Relocated To
Waynesville, North Carolina
Stayed With

Marcos Fernando's Story


Click here to read the full story

Marcos Fernando's News Feed

Leave a public message for Marcos Fernando.

<< Prev Page 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 Next >>

Marcos Fernando says: Julio 8, 2010. Otro dia mas, otro dia menos para la dictadura de los Castro. Su hora ya viene llegando.

Status update | Jul 8th 2010

Marcos Fernando says: A quien le corresponda, el odio, la envidia, e ignorancia, hace a un ser humano nunca salir del reino animal. Marcos F Pinedo

Status update | Jul 7th 2010

Marcos Fernando says: Julio 7, 2010. Otro dia mas, otro dia menos para la dictadura castrista. Su hora ya viene llegando.

Status update | Jul 7th 2010

Marcos Fernando says: Ay Patriotismo! Cuantos intereses se arropan con tu nombre, y cuanta demagogia se desafora en tu interpretacion. O.Bosch

Status update | Jul 6th 2010

Dicen las malas lenguas que me visto de BLANCO, pero que por dentro posiblemente soy ROJO. Tengo que confesar que tiene razon, el BLANCO es mi pureza de ser Cubano, el ROJO que llevo por dentro es mi sangre ROJA Cubana, falto el AZUL, que es el CIELO CUBANO, LA BANDERA CUBANA, pero tambien son los colores de la bandera que significa DEMOCRACIA Y LIBERTAD de los EU.

Message by Marcos F. Pinedo | Jul 6th 2010

Por favor, Pedro Pan Administrator, do not erase the anonimo.

Message by Marcos F. Pinedo | Jul 6th 2010

Anonimo, pudiera borrarte con solo apretar una tecla, pero te voy a dejar en mi pagina para que veas lo que es vivir en una Democracia. Me gusta saber que te molestan mis escritos. Viva Cuba Libre, abajo Fidel.

Message by Marcos F. Pinedo | Jul 6th 2010

Marcos Fernando says: Julio 6, 2010 Otro dia mas, otro dia menos para la dictadura castrista. Next year in a Free Cuba.

Status update | Jul 6th 2010

Marcos Fernando says: Julio 5, 2010. Otro dia mas, otro dia menos para la dictadura de los castros. Su hora viene llegando. Next year in a Free Cuba.

Status update | Jul 5th 2010

Julio 4, 2010 Dia de la Independencia de los Estados Unidos, pais de libertades y valentia. God Bless America. Viva Cuba Libre. Next year in a Free Cuba.

Message by Marcos F. Pinedo | Jul 4th 2010

<< Prev Page 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 Next >>

Leave a message for Marcos Fernando

Your message
Your name
Your e-mail