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Exiles in America: Cuban Pedro Pans and Balseros

Names:
Castro, Fidel, 1926-2016  Search this
Extent:
6.4 Gigabytes
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Gigabytes
Oral histories (document genres)
Place:
Cuba
Date:
2014-2015
Summary:
Exiles in America: Cuban Pedro Pans and Balseros was an oral history project designed to research and document the journeys and experiences of two distinct immigration/migration experiences of the Cuban diaspora. Steve Valesquez of the National Museum of American History Division of Home and Community Life conducted twelve oral history interviews 2014-2015. The project was funded by the Consortium for the American Experience.
Scope and Contents:
Exiles in America: Cuban Pedro Pans and Balseros consists of eleven born digital oral history interviews about the journeys and experiences of Cubans who came to the United States as unaccompanied children via Operation Pedro Pan in the early 1960s, and of those who fled the island as balseros—rafters—beginning in the mid-1990s. There is also supporting documentation in the form of interview transcripts and summaries.
Arrangement:
The collection is arranged in two series.

Series 1: Oral History Interviews, 2014-2015

Series 2: Supporting Documentation, 2014
Biographical / Historical:
Exiles in America: Memory and the Lived Experiences of Cuban Pedro Pans and Balseros was a collecting initiative that looks at the journeys and experiences of Cubans who came to the United States as unaccompanied children via Operation Pedro Pan in the early 1960s, and of those who fled the island as balseros—rafters—beginning in the mid-1990s. Building on relationships already established with former Pedro Pan children, universities, archives, and museums in Miami, the project conducted research, recorded oral histories, and acquired collections to document the legacy of Cuban migration to the United States. This project was funded by the Consortium for the American Experience in 2014 and was part of the Smithsonian-wide Immigration Initiative and the National Museum of American History exhibit project, Many Voices, One Nation.

Following the Cuban Revolution of 1959, many Cubans became wary of their country's new leader, Fidel Castro, and his Communist regime. Those who opposed the revolution sought ways to keep their family together and "save" their children from Communist indoctrination. This growing sentiment prompted underground forces in Cuba and the Catholic Church in Miami—with later assistance from the State Department—to establish Operation Pedro Pan, an underground exodus of approximately 14,000 unaccompanied Cuban children to the United States, beginning in 1960 and ending in 1962. By 1961, the U.S. government waived all visa requirements for Cuban children and set aside federal money for their care. Under the auspices of Catholic Charities and the Catholic Welfare Bureau, the Miami diocese processed the Cuban children and placed them in shelters (foster care, orphanages, or with family) in forty-seven dioceses in thirty states. In 1962, the Missile Crisis severed all ties between the U.S. and Cuba, halting Operation Pedro Pan; some children waited years to reunite with their parents, others never saw their parents again.

In addition to the State Department's endorsement of Operation Pedro Pan, the federal government enacted policies such as the Cuban Adjustment Act of 1966 that provided federal aid and resources to help Cubans resettle in the United States and become permanent residents. Many scholars, such as Lillian Guerra, argue that these anti-Communist/Cold War policies ultimately influenced Cubans to embrace "Cuban exceptionality" as fundamental to their identities in the U.S.

In the summer of 2014 the project set out to collect stories and objects, via "collecting days" in collaboration with HistoryMiami. The project invited the community members to participate, record their stories, and collect objects (material culture) related to Operation Pedro Pan and balseros, respectively.

The goal was to research and document the journeys and experiences of Pedro Pans and balseros to understand how two distinct immigration/migration experiences of the Cuban diaspora have shaped the larger American and U.S. Latino experiences, affected the identity-formation of Cuban Americans, and how Latinos have shaped the nation.

Three interviews were collected prior to the collecting days (see Family of Voices (AC1365)) in Miami. Three were recorded in Miami. Four were collected in Washington D.C. and two over the phone. Collected by Steve Velasquez, Division of Home and Community Life.

Steve Velasquez
Separated Materials:
The Division of Home and Community Life, National Museum of American History, Smithsonian Institution holds artifacts related to this collection.
Provenance:
Made by Steve Velasquez, curator, for the National Museum of American History, Smithsonian Institution in 2014-2015.
Restrictions:
Collection is open for research. Interviews and supporting documentation available only in the Smithsonian Institution Digital Asset Management System (DAMS).
Rights:
Collection items available for reproduction, but the Archives Center makes no guarantees concerning copyright restrictions. Other intellectual property rights may apply. Archives Center cost-recovery and use fees may apply when requesting reproductions.
Topic:
Anti-communist movements  Search this
Children  Search this
Catholic Charities USA  Search this
Cuban Americans  Search this
Latinos in American society and culture  Search this
Emigration and immigration  Search this
Operation Pedro Pan  Search this
boat people  Search this
Genre/Form:
Oral histories (document genres)
Citation:
Exiles in America: Cuban Pedro Pans and Balseros, Archives Center, National Museum of American History, Smithsonian Institution.
Identifier:
NMAH.AC.1377
See more items in:
Exiles in America: Cuban Pedro Pans and Balseros
Archival Repository:
Archives Center, National Museum of American History
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-nmah-ac-1377

Canción Protesta: Protest Songs of Latin America [sound recording]

Performer:
Puebla, Carlos 1917-1989  Search this
Castro, Fidel 1926-2016  Search this
Santa Cruz, Nicomedes 1925-  Search this
Alarcón, Rolando  Search this
Parra, Ángel 1943-2017  Search this
Parra, Isabel  Search this
Viglietti, Daniel 1939-2017  Search this
Zitarrosa, Alfredo  Search this
Molina, Carlos  Search this
Cabrera, Quintin  Search this
Matus, Oscar  Search this
Ayala, Ramón  Search this
Milanés, Pablo  Search this
Nicola, Noel  Search this
Rodríguez, Silvio 1946-  Search this
Olimareños  Search this
Producer:
Dane, Barbara  Search this
Composer:
Parra, Violeta 1917-1967  Search this
Palacios, Yamandú  Search this
Designer:
Clyne, Ronald 1925-2006  Search this
Physical description:
1 phonograph record : analog, 33 1/3 rpm ; 12 in
Culture:
Cubans  Search this
Peruvians  Search this
Chileans  Search this
Uruguayans  Search this
Argentines  Search this
Type:
Phonograph records
Place:
Cuba
Latin America
Date:
1970
Topic:
Speeches, addresses, etc  Search this
Protest songs  Search this
World music  Search this
Popular music  Search this
Political ballads and songs  Search this
Local number:
Paredon 1001
Restrictions & Rights:
Access by appointment
See more items in:
Paredon Records audiorecordings 1969-2007 [Paredon Records]
Data Source:
Ralph Rinzler Folklife Archives and Collections
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_arc_231609

Historic Second Declaration of Havana, The: Feb. 4, 1962 [sound recording]

Creator:
Castro, Fidel 1926-2016  Search this
Physical description:
3 phonograph records : analog, 33 1/3 rpm ; 12 in
Culture:
Cubans  Search this
Type:
Phonograph records
Date:
1973
Topic:
History  Search this
Speeches, addresses, etc  Search this
Local number:
Paredon 1013
Restrictions & Rights:
Restrictions on access
See more items in:
Paredon Records Collection
Data Source:
Ralph Rinzler Folklife Archives and Collections
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_arc_231613

How far we slaves have come! : South Africa and Cuba in today's world / Nelson Mandela, Fidel Castro

Author:
Mandela, Nelson 1918-2013-  Search this
Castro, Fidel 1926-2016-  Search this
Physical description:
83 p., [8] p. of plates : ill. ; 21 cm
Type:
Books
Place:
South Africa
Cuba
Date:
1991
Topic:
Foreign relations  Search this
Data Source:
Smithsonian Libraries
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_sil_787819

Fidel Castro / John J. Vail ; [introductory essay on leadership, Arthur M. Schlesinger, Jr.]

Title:
Castro
Author:
Vail, John J  Search this
Subject:
Castro, Fidel 1926-2016-  Search this
Castro, Fidel 1926-  Search this
Physical description:
116 p. : ill. ; 25 cm
Type:
Biography
Juvenile literature
Place:
Cuba
Date:
1988
C1988
Topic:
Heads of state  Search this
Data Source:
Smithsonian Libraries
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_sil_1013908

The brilliant disaster : JFK, Castro, and America's doomed invasion of Cuba's Bay of Pigs / Jim Rasenberger

Title:
JFK, Castro, and America's doomed invasion of Cuba's Bay of Pigs
Author:
Rasenberger, Jim  Search this
Subject:
Kennedy, John F (John Fitzgerald) 1917-1963  Search this
Castro, Fidel 1926-2016-  Search this
Physical description:
xviii, 460 p., [8] p. of plates : ill., maps ; 24 cm
Type:
Books
Place:
Cuba
United States
Date:
2011
Invasion, 1961
1953-1961
Topic:
History  Search this
Foreign relations  Search this
Data Source:
Smithsonian Libraries
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_sil_974035

Red heat : conspiracy, murder, and the Cold War in the Caribbean / Alex von Tunzelmann

Author:
Von Tunzelmann, Alex 1977-  Search this
Subject:
Castro, Fidel 1926-2016-  Search this
Castro Ruz, Raúl 1930-  Search this
Guevara, Che 1928-1967  Search this
Trujillo Molina, Rafael Leónidas 1891-1961  Search this
Duvalier, François 1907-1971  Search this
Physical description:
xiv, 512 p., [16] p. of plates : ill. ; 21 cm
Type:
Books
Place:
Caribbean Area
Dominican Republic
Cuba
Haiti
United States
Date:
2012
1945-
1930-1961
1959-1990
1934-1986
Topic:
History  Search this
Foreign relations  Search this
Data Source:
Smithsonian Libraries
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_sil_989998

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