The Guerra family in 1961.
It was at an event in Seattle, Washington this summer that Emilio Guerra, a Patriot’s Club member of The Heritage Foundation, ran into Heritage President Jim DeMint in a hotel lobby.
Guerra recognized DeMint and chatted briefly with him. “Jim is a person you immediately connect with because he’s just a good human being,” Guerra said. After they exchanged e-mails, Guerra shared his inspirational story that should make every American proud of our country.
Guerra was born in Cuba to a middle class family. Because of their experiences under dictator Fulgencio Batista, some Cubans were happy when Fidel Castro seized power in 1959. But Guerra’s father, a banker, foresaw the dangers of the Castro dictatorship.
After the unsuccessful Bay of Pigs invasion in April 1961, Castro cracked down. He issued an edict demanding children attend government “reeducation” camps to defend and promote the revolution.
Guerra’s father knew he had to get his children — Emilio and David — out of the country. Armed with the knowledge that the Archdiocese of Miami and other Catholic charities were receiving Cuban children and finding them foster homes, the elder Guerra used a ruse to send his children overseas. (Adults were forbidden to leave the country in a measure intended to combat the country’s “brain drain,” so his parents did not accompany their children at first.)
Here’s how Guerra described what happened next in a letter sent this July to all his co-workers: Continue Reading »