Pedro Pan

In early 1960, just after the Cuban revolution that brought Fidel Castro to power, rumors spread throughout Cuba that the newly installed communist government would take children away from their parents and ship them off to work camps in the Soviet Union. Frightened parents started sending their children alone to Miami under a little known program run by a Catholic priest and financed in part by the U.S. government. Over the next two years, more than 14,000 unaccompanied Cuban children arrived in the U.S. under what became known as operation Peter Pan, or Pedro Pan. The parents assumed they would join their children but following the Cuban missile crisis, children remained separated from the families for decades. Maria de los Torres was six years old, when she landed in Miami as part of this massive airlift. Now a professor of Political Science, at Chicago's DePaul University, she has spent the past 7 years researching a book on Operation Peter Pan, or Pedro Pan. She narrates this radio documentary that tells the story of the origins of the program, the U.S. involvement and the impact on some of those children.



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