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Operation Pedro Pan: A Tale of Trauma and Remembrance


Engineered by the US Central Intelligence Agency in cooperation with the Catholic Church working in the US and underground in Cuba, Operation Pedro Pan airlifted more than 14,000 Cuban children between 1960 and 1962 from Havana to Miami without their parents, with the purpose of safeguarding their minds from Castro's revolutionary ideology. Cuban American political scientist María de los Angeles Torres (The Lost Apple, 2003) and playwright Melinda López (Sonia Flew, 2004) highlight the emotional traumas children experience when they are made to represent the ideology of nations at the expense of their childhood. They consider the difficulties of remembering and understanding individual traumas when governments and societies are invested in the silencing of that memory for the sake of maintaining widely held political and ideological beliefs. Their works are excellent expressions of human remembrance and reconciliation.

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Mandri, F. Operation Pedro Pan: A Tale of Trauma and Remembrance. Lat Stud 6, 252–268 (2008).

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  • Operation Pedro Pan
  • Cuban exile community
  • trauma
  • memory
  • childhood