Questions | Buffalo | Latino Communities
Cubans in America: Push and Pull Factors of Immigration
"From 1960, a year after Castro took over, life in Cuba was becoming difficult. The first ones to leave were my brother Jorge and his family, then my sister Conchita and her husband, after them my brother Enrique and his family and the last ones, my mother and father. When the situation started to look serious, on September 8, 1960 (feast of Our Lady of Charity, patron of Cuba), we sent Mario Enrique (who was only 11 years old) all by himself, to his aunt Gilda Núñez-Whitlock who lived with her family in Portland, Oregon, where her husband was a doctor. He stayed with them two years and then moved with his maternal grandparents Enrique and América. First to Moscow, Idaho where grandpa was a professor at the University and in 1964 moved to Buffalo N.Y., where he finished High School at Bennet High School and my father was teaching at D'Youville College.
In the summer of 1965, during one of his speeches at the Civic Plaza, Castro said anyone who wanted, could leave the country. Then U.S. President Lyndon B. Johnson took him on his word and started the "Air Lift" with two daily planes from La Habana to Miami. To be able to apply, first priority was given to people whose children or parents were already in the United States. We were lucky to qualify for both. The flights started around Christmas 1965 and we left on January 25, 1966."
Document 3: Excerpt from written statement of Carmen Miyares-Núñez, 2002.
Document 3 Short Answer Questions
- When and why did the family of Carmen Miyares-Núñez immigrate to the U.S.?
- Using your own thinking, why do you think Mrs. Núñez sent her eleven year-old son to live in the U.S., away from his parents?
- What events made it possible for Mr. and Mrs. Núñez to come to the United States?