Tonight on CNBC: A Secret Flight to Freedom. A documentary on Operation Pedro Pan

Tonight CNBC will broadcast Escape from Havana: A Secret Flight to Freedom, an original documentary on Operation Pedro Pan, which I wrote about earlier. Under Pedro Pan, between 1960-1962, a little over 14,000 children, were airlifted out of Cuba and sent to the US to “save” them from communism. The Secret Escape to Freedom covers the stories of six Pedro Pan evacuees . I admit I’m not impressed with the show’s description: It was at the height of the Cold War when Fidel Castro came to power in Cuba. It was supposed to be a democratic revolution, but Castro soon turned to communism and dictatorship. Rumors began to spread among the elites and middle class that Castro would take their children away. Throughout the island, parents panicked. Then, the U.S. offered a way out: it would conduct a secret airlift of Cuban children and bring them to America – without their parents. It was an unbearable choice between raising their children in the oppression of Castro’s Cuba, or setting them free to live in the land of freedom, never knowing if they would reunite. which fails to mention that Pedro Pan was a component of Operation Mongoose, a covert CIA Continue Reading →


Please go to my previous entries, Haiti Child Evacuation: A New Operation Pedro Pan (my keystone Haitian entry), Haiti: Misc. Updates on Adoption and Pat Robertson, and Pat Robertson and Adoptee Rights for the context of this entry ****** Last night, Anon Guy posted an article on the new Pedro Pan scheme, now publicly and unembarrassedly dubbed, “Operation Pierre Pan,” in the comments at my “Child Evacuation” entry. It appears that some “reasonable” heads have prevailed temporarily, but only out of expediency, not lack of enthusiasm for a mass childlift to the US. I was going to post the full article published in Friday’s Sun Sentinel, but on second thought, Anon Guy did such a nice job of culling and emphasizing the important parts, I decided to post his vetted version instead. I urge you to read the entire article, though, since it also deals with the anti-immigrant nativists poised to throw a hissy fit over little black kids “sneaking” into the country–which is not in any way, shape or form related to our objections. Organizers say too soon to implement “Operation Pierre Pan” for Haitian orphans Randolph McGrorty admits it’s a little too soon to focus on what some Continue Reading →


Please go to my previous entries, Haiti Child Evacuation: A New Operation Pedro Pan (my keystone Haitian entry) and Pat Robertson and Adoptee Rights for the context of this entry. Juan Cole, in his Informed Consent blog, has written an excellent review of the Haitian slave revolts and the 1804 Revolution, with a rebuttal to Pat Robertson’s racist dullwittery. It was published Wednesday but I found it only today. Here is an excerpt: Pat Robertson’s Racist Blaming of Haitian Victims; Televangelist Misuse of History So Robertson’s account sees the assertion of African religion in 1791 against slaving Christianity as a ‘pact with the devil’ that then led Haiti to be cursed ever after. But even in his own terms, how does he account for the multiple steps by subsequent Haitian states reinstating privileges for Christianity? Even if he does not count Catholicism as Christianity, what about the fact that about a quarter of Haitians are now evangelical Protestants? Didn’t the earthquake hit them? And, why is West Africa where the initial African version of voudoun originated and is still practiced by a minority, among the least earthquake-prone regions in the world? Ultimately, Robertson’s version of Haitian history as cursed replicates Continue Reading →


This is long, but I think it’s important. “Anon guy” was kind enough to post the following article from the Miami Herald as a comment on Haiti’s children to the Pat Robertson entry below this. I am posting it in its entirety: Church, immigrant groups plan to airlift Haitian orphans to South Florida”BY ALFONSO CHARDY AND SERGIO BUSTOS In a move mirroring Operation Pedro Pan in the 1960s, Catholic Charities and other South Florida immigrant rights organizations are planning an ambitious effort to airlift possibly thousands of Haitian children left orphaned in the aftermath of Tuesday’s horrific earthquake. “We will use the model we used 40 years ago with Pedro Pan to bring these orphans to the United States to give them a lifeline, a bright and hopeful future,” Catholic Charities Legal Services executive director Randolph McGrorty said at a news conference in the offices of Rep. Mario Diaz–Balart. “Given the enormity of what happened in Haiti, a priority is to bring these orphaned children to the United States,” he said. Archdiocese of Miami officials and other local organizations have already identified a temporary shelter in Broward County to house the children, McGrorty said. He also said they had been Continue Reading →