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Luis J. Botifoll Oral History Project
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Benes, Bernardo

Leader of the Cuban Jewish community who played a pivotal role in the “diálogo” with the Castro government in the late 1970s during  Jimmy Carter's presidency

Bichachi, Israel

Havana-born, Sephardic Jewish activist who joined a group of Cuban Jews to fight for Israel's independence. Upon returning to Cuba, he left as an exile in 1961, living in Israel and New York before settling in Miami and opening the clothing s...

Castillo, Siro del

A human rights advocate and community leader on immigrant issues, del Castillo worked as an architectural designer for Cuba's National Institute of Tourism and left the island in 1972. During the Mariel boatlift, del Castillo assumed a variet...

Diaz-Balart, Lincoln

Retired Republican U.S. Congressman from Florida who served in the Florida State House of Representatives from 1987 to 1989, the Florida Senate from 1989 to 1992, and the U.S. House of Representatives from 1993 to 2011.

Gutiérrez, Carlos

Cuban-American businessman and political figure. Gutiérrez served as CEO of Kellogg’s corporation from 1999-2004, and is attributed as saving the company from bankruptcy. He left his post to join George W. Bush’s administration in 2004, as the 35t...

Luna, Laura

Cuban post-modernist visual artist who is part of the "80s Golden Generation." Luna and her family obtained political asylum in the US during the Mariel Boatlift of 1980, after which she established a studio in Miami in 1994.

Pais, Agustin

Brother of Frank País, who is regarded by many as the one revolutionary leader who could rival Fidel Castro in the struggle against Batista. Frank was killed in the Santiago de Cuba´s uprising that was planned to unfold at the time that Castro was...

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...

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