Before discussing contemporary Cuban and Floridian history, it must be remembered that Cuba and Florida has enjoyed a special relationship since the Spanish under Ponce de Leon left Cuba and colonized Florida. Ponce De Leon founded the first city in North America called St Augustine one hundred years before the English founded Jamestown.
For those who say that the British were in North America in 1587 before Jamestown, the Spanish were able to establish a presence in North America and in Florida before the British came. The classical history of Florida and Cuba were intertwined with refugees from both sides. When Cuba exploded, many people went to Florida. When Florida had problems especially when the United States of America invaded Florida, many people left for Cuba.
During the struggle for Cuban Independence from Spain, Jose Marti used to stop in Tampa and Key West for the cause against the colonial masters of Spain in Cuba. Even US President Grant visited Cuba before his death in 1885.
Miami was a tourist destination for Cubans during the era of the Republic and the now defunct airline Pan Am used to fly people from Cuba to Miami and vice versa. People even went on cruise boats from La Habana to Key West or Miami and vice versa. The same applied to Tampa.
The present history of Cuba and Miami started in 1959 when Castro took over in Cuba. While many people can attest to his popular support, there were people who saw through him. There was also documentation which shows Russia [USSR] and the USA were involved in planning the events in Cuba. Russia wanted a colony, Castro wanted power, and the United States of America wanted cheap professional labour to replace the African Americans who wanted to be free to determine their own destiny.
Everybody got what they wanted and Castro was able to establish a Communist Regime in the heart of the Americas. The people of Cuba who could not stand Castro or wanted to wait for him to fall went to Miami Florida. While waiting for next year in Cuba, they worked in menial jobs such as being waiters, bakers, dishwashers, and eveb janitors while they tried to study their careers again.
The 1960’s were difficult but the Cubans moved on and started to become part of the American Dream as they started working in their professions after passing their examinations. Others went into business after raising money. The march towards prosperity was ongoing. The 1970’s were the times of a big presence of Cubans. People started to visit Miami Florida and the city started to grow. It was the age of Disco and it appeared that the party would not cease.
The year 1980 was a pivotal year with the Mariel Boatlift and the arrival of more refugees. Mariel was caused by the same dictator Castro who saw increasing discontent while Carter saw more labour. Castro sent refugees with people from prisons while Carter opened the doors. It appeared that Miami was destroyed for good.
Many people wandered if Miami would regain its luster. In Miami Florida, the programme Miami Vice and one of the guest star actress in the show from Cuba called Marilyn Romero proved that this was not to be the case. Miami Florida continued to grow until it has become the international city that it is today.
In the entertainment field, Miami has Cuban American Artists such as Maria Lourdes and Nil Lara who continue to entertain the people. The city of Miami Florida also had artists such as Miami Sound Machine, Gloria Estefan, Lili Estefan, Maria Laria, Lourdes Ruiz Toledo, Hansel and Raul, Rolando Barral, Paquito D Rivera, Rolando Lasserie, Willy Chirino, Carlos Oliva, and Albita who have given so much to the culture of their city. Another example has been the poet Pedro Pablo Perez Santiesteban.
The City of Miami Florida has also been witness to other artists from Cuba such as Marilyn Romero, Ana Carballosa, Iliana Gonzalez, Alvarez Guedes, Blanca Rosa Gil, Emiliano Diez, Steve Bauer, Ana Margo, Susy Leman, Yamilet Machin, Iliana Garcia, Tito Hernandez, Severino Puente, and Armando Roblan.
More Cuban artists such Alberto Gonzalez, Maribel Gonzalez, Ernesto Morejon, Alina Internian, Natacha Amador, Tres Patines, Gustavo Laborie, Larry Villanueva, and Jorge Ovies who have delighted people in theater. Marta Perez, Olga Guillot, and Adita Linares have been other Cubans who have contributed to the enrichment of Miami Culture with Classical Cuban Zarzuelas and Music.
Who cannot forget stores and restaurants such as Farmacia Cardenas, Sentir Cubano, Lily’s Records, Versailles, Casa Yglesias, La Tacita, Maxiloly, Casa Panza, and El Pub? Who cannot forget the Health Care Profession such as J.Enrique Sueiro, Hugo Rosen, Pedro Meclhor, Florentino Dominguez, Dr. Milanes, Marilyn Reyes-Yera, Vivian Cuevas, Magdalena Limia, Ana Duyos, Cibeles Vidaud, Marilyn San Juan Horvath, Ramon Boza, Camille Gonzalez, Andres Vasquez, Susana Prieto, Jacqueline Junco, Frederick Nin, Federico Nin, Saida Gamez, Marino Lopez-Blanco, and Patricia Rosa? What about a Librarian whose name is Monica Bamio-Aparicio?
Who cannot forget the Administrative People who have contributed to Miami Florida such as Luis Gonzalez and Roberto Pique or the architects and designers such as Gerardo Gonzalez? What about the journalists such as Myrka de Llanos, Ricardo Brown, Nara Roza, Arnaldo Roza, Yossie Galindo, Alejandra Molina, Feliz Guillermo, Carines Moncada, Lisette Mari, Eliot Rodriguez, Maria Elvira Salazar, and Ana Azcuy? All of them live in Miami Florida, contributed to its history, and are Cuban either by birth, blood, and/or soul.
Many of them helped in the construction of a new Miami before the arrival of other countries from Latin America and their work has been marginalized by others such as the minority of the same Latin Americans or other ethnic groups.
What would be of Miami Florida today if all of the Cubans left? It would be the same thing if everyone were to do the same thing.