Nov. 18, 2011
Miami Beach

Armando Valladares: A Cuban prisoner of conscience for 22 years, author of many books including his first “Desde Mi Silla de Ruedas” (From My Wheelchair), which he smuggled out of his Cuban prison cell, who served under the Reagan administration as U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Commission on Human Rights. He told the now grown Pedro Pan children that what their parents did was “a test of love and self-sacrifice” and were it not for that, “many of you would have ended up in jail. Many others would have been executed.”

The children, now grown, of Operation Pedro Pan, took part in a conference Nov. 18-20 marking the halfway point of the 50th anniversary of the 1960-1962 exodus from Cuba. They were spirited out of the island using visa waivers signed by a Miami priest, Msgr. Bryan O. Walsh, and cared for at Catholic Charities facilities throughout Miami and the U.S. until they could be reunited with their parents.

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