History of organization

Hijos del Exilio Cubano "Children of the Exile"

Hijos del Exilio Cubano has existed since August 24, 1993. Two FIU students saddened at the Mexican governments deportation of Cuban asylum seekers and the burning of Mexican flags in front of the Mexican consulate by angered exiles decided their had to be a better way. They organized a candlelight vigil to be presided over by a catholic priest. No flags were to be burned, nor the Mexican people defamed. All people regardless of national origin were invited to defend the cause of human rights. Thousands appeared and the Cuban community peacefully demonstrated their pain. A Mexican national took the podium announcing his solidarity with the Cuban community and went on hunger strike. He was soon joined by Cuban ex-political prisoners and set up their tents in front of the Mexican consulate. Less than two weeks later the refugees were returned to Mexico and later came to Miami. On that evening Hijos del Exilio Cubano was formed by Augusto Monge.

Approximately, two weeks later two groups of Cuban asylum seekers rushed into the Mexican and Brazillian embassies respectively. The Mexicans gave the Cubans safe passage out of Cuba. The Brazillians turned them over to Cuban security who imprisoned them. Hijos del Exilio Cubano gathered over 100 people in front of the Brazilian consulate calling for a boycott of Brazilian products. Augusto Monge, chairman of the organization met with the Brazilian consul and negotiated the successful release of the Cubans who had been imprisoned.

Young Cuban Americans Freedom Foundation

In late November with the help of Martin Tracey , FIU professor of Genetics, YCAFF formed the first University chapter of this organization. The organization is a registered club at Florida International University. Its purpose is to raise awareness on the human rights situation in Cuba throughout the Western Hemisphere. So far, the organization has networked with College newspaper networks in Northern Florida, Texas, Tennessee, and Nebraska raising awareness with articles, poetry, and personal contacts. The formation of Americans for a Free Cuba took place in late December as a result of these contacts.

On Friday October 22, 1993 Young Cuban Americans Freedom Foundation and Hijos del Exilio Cubano, along with other prominent Cuban human rights organizations, were invited by County Commissioner Pedro Reboredo to meet human rights representatives from South Africa. YCAFF members vigorously engaged the representatives on their position with regards to Cuba. Members of the ANC were "shocked" to meet people who had suffered under Castro's dictatorship, and to learn of the reality that the Cuban people are currently living under. We still believe that Nelson Mandela should not have recieved a key to the city.

In late January of 1994 the Free Cuba Foundation was formed out of a union of YCAFF, Hijos del Exilio Cubano, Americans for a Free Cuba, and CubaWatch. CubaWatch created by Albert Dominguez offers up to the minute reports on the human rights situation in Cuba on a Computer network. The network is expected to be up and running by Fall 1994.

Last Updated: Sunday, January 07, 1996