Operation Pedro Pan

Operation Pedro Pan

The Migration of Unaccompanied Children from Castro's Cuba

John A Gronbeck-Tedesco

John A. Gronbeck-Tedesco tells the history of the Unaccompanied Cuban Children's Program, known as Operation Pedro Pan, which brought more than fourteen thousand children from Castro's Cuba to the United States between 1960 and 1962.
Publication date:
October 2022
Publisher :
Potomac Books, Inc.
Format Available     Quantity Price
ISBN : 9781640125216

Dimensions : 229 X 159 mm


• Perhaps the greatest contribution of this book would be the ways it brings the relevance of Pedro Pan and Cuban exile up to the modern day
• Sources disclose new details of the foster and shelter programs and show how Cuban children were surveilled, disciplined, and racialized by childcare agencies and supervisors upon their arrival
• These documents will become public for the first time
• The book plumbs the depths of why Cubans in the United States complicated the traditional Black-white racial divide that had historically defined the nation

At the outset the proposal seemed modest: transfer two hundred unaccompanied Cuban children to Miami to save them from communism. The time apart from their parents would be short, only until Fidel Castro fell from power by the result of U.S. force, Cuban counterrevolutionary tactics, or a combination of both. Families would be reunited in a matter of months. A plan was hatched, and it worked
face=Calibri>- until it ballooned into something so unwieldy that within two years the modest proposal erupted into what at the time was the largest migration of unaccompanied minors to the United States. Operation Pedro Pan explores the undertaking sponsored by the Miami Catholic Diocese, federal and state offices, child welfare agencies, and anti-Castro Cubans to bring more than 14,000 unaccompanied children to the United States during the Cold War. Operation Pedro Pan was the colloquial name for the Unaccompanied Cuban Children's Program, which began under government largesse in February 1961. Children without immediate family support in the United States
face=Calibri>- some 8,300 minors - received group and foster care through the Catholic Welfare Bureau and other religious, governmental, and nongovernmental organizations as young people were dispersed throughout the country.

Using personal interviews and newly unearthed information, Operation Pedro Pan provides a deeper understanding of how and why the program was devised. John A. Gronbeck-Tedesco demonstrates how the seemingly mundane conditions of everyday life can suddenly uproot civilians from their routines of work, church, and school and thrust them into historical prominence. The stories told by Pedro Pans are filled with horror and resilience and contribute to a refugee memory that still shapes Cuban American politics and identity today.