On this day in 1965, the Castro regime announced that Cubans were free to leave the island. It happened about a year after our family, and many others, had left Cuba via Mexico or Spain. And so started what we called “The Freedom Flights.” Between 1965 and 1975, ten flights a week brought approximately 300,000 Cubans to the US.
Why did Castro do it? Some say that Castro got rid of many opponents and that’s true. More importantly, it was a “brain drain” and many hard working and talented people left Cuba.
Last but not least, it changed Miami from a sleepy winter resort to a vibrant city that became the capital of Latin America.