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Luis J. Botifoll Oral History Project
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Pichardo, Ernesto

Co-founder of the Church of Lukumí Babalú Aye in Hialeah, Florida and Santeria priest and advocate. In 1992, his church won the U.S. Supreme Court case against the City of Hialeah over a city ordinance barring the sacrifice of animals during Sante...

Piña, Alicio

Cuban exile who arrived in Miami alone at the age of 16 and went on to be the first Mariel refugee to receive a law degree from the University of Miami. After serving as chief deputy of Miami-Dade County Courts, he started his own real estate comp...

Portela, Leonor

Cuban exile widowed in 1961s Bay of Pigs invasion, Portela was motivated by a religious experience in the 1980s to sell her Miami home and move to Guatemala where she founded Misioneros del Camino (Missioners of the Road), an orphanage that curren...

Rivera, Agapito

Known as “El Guajiro Rivera,” a living legend among the anti-Castro guerrilla forces of the 1960s. Captured by Castro’s army with so many bullet wounds that he was left to die, he survived and spent many years in prison.

Rodriguez de Aragon, Roberto

Former member of the House of Representatives of Cuba pre-Castro. Because of his close relationship with the Batista family and government, he was among the first Cubans exiled in Miami in 1959 and has served as president of Municipios de Cuba en ...

Rodriguez, Felix Ismael

Former Central Intelligence Agency operative best known for leading the interrogation and execution of Ernesto "Che" Guevara in Bolivia in 1967. Rodríguez also participated in the Bay of Pigs invasion, and became president of the Brigade...

Romani, Salvador

Journalist and political leader of the Cuban exile community in Venezuela for over 35 years, with extensive knowledge of that community's development and political influence. Romaní is now a twice-exiled Cuban in Miami.

Salvat, Juan Manuel

Cuban activist and dissident who co-founded the anti-Castro organization Directorio Revolucionario Estudiantil (DRE). Salvat actively worked against the Castro government in Cuba, and continued his dissident activities after his exile in 1960. He ...

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