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

Justo Alejandro Martinez Monzon

General Information
Current Name
Justo Alejandro Martinez Monzon
Current Location
United States of America
Name on Arrival
Justo Alejandro Martinez Monzon
Age on Arrival
15
Date of Arrival
Monday, July 31, 1961
Relocated To
Kendall

Justo Alejandro's Story

SIXTY-FIVE YEARS, IN SIXTY-FIVE SECONDS.

-----JULY 9,1946 THRU JANUARY 1,1959------- "HAPPY CUBAN CHILD"

Hijo de un Oficial Militar de Carrera y una Madre que era una SANTA.

Naci...

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Justo,I know you like music so I thought to give you a heads up. PBS is airing a program this week, titled LATIN MUSIC USA(bridges) THE SALSA REVOLUTION. It traces the history of Latin Music and it's influence on JAZZ, COUNTRY,ROCK and RB, it focuses on the rise of LATIN JAZZ, MAMBO , cha cha cha and all the influential Cuban musicians dating back to the 1930`s who made it all happen. it is fascinating to see how it all comes together and how much of an influence it all had , even on The Beatles, Rolling Stones and Carlos Santana. If you miss the TV presentation go to PBS. ORG and see it there. Take Care. GOD BLESS. POLO

Message by Marcia Caridad Ramos Gonzalez | Oct 13th 2009

Justo: Muy buena historia y tu manera de contarla mejor todavía. Cuando estuvimos juntos en Matecumbe en la cabaña de Sergio tu litera estaba frente a la mia y una noche me ahogaba - no sé por qué - y tu me prestaste el inhalador de asma tuyo y se me quitó el ahogado. Sabiendo que el inhalador asmático es una cosa muy personal aprecio muchísimo tu gesto y nunca se me ha olvidado. Te vi en el 2000 en un desayuno de OPPG y me acordé de ti. Tengo una sección de In Memoriam en el website para pedropanes www.campmatecumbeveterans.com donde escribí mi homenaje personal a José Luis Prendes, no sé si lo has visto. Sería magnífico si me enviaras un escrito tuyo sobre él para añadirlo. Gracias.

Message by Manuel Gutierrez Fernandez de Castro | Oct 7th 2009

I think about you all the time my friend. Here is one from the past, circa 1958. My Mom is calling me from the terrace Polo, Polo, Your dad driving in front of our house stops in the middle of the street {black and white ,1958 chevy, remenber? } and says Laura , are you looking for Polito?, well you are going to call a little louder because I just saw him and the rest of the gang riding their bikes by the Malecon about 20 minutes ago. When I got home, Mom asked , what have you been doing? Oh nothing , just playing ball with Justo , Pepito and Tony. Deadpan , she responds well did you hit a Homerun over the Malecon wall into the Ocean?.Mi Hermano, She would always recall that episode whenever I talked about your Dad. LOVE YOU .Polo

Message by Marcia Caridad Ramos Gonzalez | Oct 7th 2009

Good Morning Justo, I just read your story and I had to click on "I loved this story", because I really did love it. I always pray for Wisdom, bacause unlike intelligence which is received through no merit of one's own, and can be used for good or bad; Wisdom comes from God only to those that deserve it and always leads to the right path. I can see that you have it and I am proud to be your Pedro Pan Sister, Carmen

Message by Carmen Valdivia | Oct 6th 2009

Hola Justo, el gusto de poder conocerte personalmente será nuestro. Guillermo, te diré que, siempre esta dispuesto a un buen juego de golf. En las Teresianas si trataron de educarme muy bien, el libro de “Urbanidad y Buenas Maneras” de Manuel Antonio Carreño era casi una biblia para nosotras. Lamentablemente el mío no logre sacarlo de Cuba así que si Guillermo tiene algo desfavorable que decirte de mi, la culpa es de los Castro ya que en Cuba eso nunca me hubiera pasado. Saludos, Carmen

Message by Carmen Valdivia | Oct 6th 2009

Justo, muy linda tu historia. Otra hermanita de PP. Silvia Budejen

Message by Silvia Budejen Trujillo | Oct 6th 2009

Justo: Thank you for the 'ammunition'. I will surely be 'loading my guns' and 'shooting' with it. MUM is the word! I hope you will be tuned in and enjoy the brawl! I will wait for the right time. Thanks again. The CFPPs are the best!

Message by Susy Rodriguez | Oct 5th 2009

Querido amigo: No se si te acuerdas de aquella maestra de ingles tan dulce y buena que tuvimos en primaria, que se llamaba Elena Monzon. A lo mejor era pariente tuya. Un abrazo.

Message by Ivonne Martin | Oct 5th 2009

Justo, mi hermano Pedro Pan y co-Lucista: Ya estoy tan atrasada que no puedo seguirle el paso a los bellacos éstos que parece no tienen otra cosa que hacer sino pasearse por los boulevards, tomar champolas y andar de quateque en guateque. Y éso que dicen que trabajan y se rien de tu semana de sábados. Yo no sé, pero de un tiempo acá mi semana parece que se ha vuelto toda de lunes. ¡Qué mala onda, caballero! Ahora no me acuerdo qué otra cosa me decías, pero no quería dejar de saludarte por haber tenido la atención de escribirme unas líneas de solidaridad.--En serio ahora: tengo solamente unos ratos de vez en cuando para venir a ver como están las cosas por aquí. Pero al entrar en el internet, tambien me encuentro e-mails y tengo que contestarlas. ¡¡¡Se me han aparecido una pila de parientes por parte de chivo (y otras yerbas aromáticas que los chivos no comen) que no los brinca un chivo!!!! Así que me voy a chivar a otro lado. -No dejes de escribirme, siempre me da alegría. ~yoli

Message by Yolanda Cardenas Ganong | Oct 5th 2009

Mr. Martinez, mi casi primo. No te pongas celoso de que Leopoldo me escriba a mi y no a ti. Seguro que el estaba esperando que no fuera sabado para escribirte y eso no es facil por el centro de la Florida donde tu resides. Saludos, Carmen

Message by Carmen Valdivia | Oct 5th 2009

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