Miró Cardona audio recordings online

José Miró Cardona

Now online: 74 audio recordings from the José Miró Cardona collection including speeches, interviews, and radio broadcasts from the 1960s. The majority of these recordings are speeches and interviews with Miró Cardona and broadcasts of the radio program La voz del Consejo Revolucionario de Cuba. They also include interviews with exile leaders and activists Manuel Antonio Varona, Manuel Ray, and others; radio broadcasts from Cuba; and an interview by Cuban journalists with José Miró Torra, Miró Cardona’s son, who was captured during the Bay of Pigs Invasion.

A lawyer and politician who served as Prime Minister of Cuba for just over one month in early 1959, Miró Cardona (1902-1974) was president of the Consejo Revolucionario Cubano (Cuban Revolutionary Council), or CRC, the Cuban exile organization that worked with the CIA and the administration of US President John F. Kennedy to prepare the Bay of Pigs Invasion of 1961.

These reel-to-reel audio recordings form part of the José Miró Cardona Papers held by the Cuban Heritage Collection.


New digital collection of maps of Cuba pre-1923

 Editor’s Note: A version of this post authored by Lyn MacCorkle, Digital Repositories Librarian, appeared in the University of Miami Libraries Digital Collections Newsletter in December 2014.  

The University of Miami Libraries Digital Collections recently debuted a new online collection of over 100 maps of Cuba dating from the 16th century to 1923. Drawing from the Cuban Heritage Collection’s holdings, the new digital collection includes general maps of the island, provincial maps, city and town maps, tourist maps, and other specialized map formats in a variety of scales, colors, and artistic styles.


The online platform gives researchers enhanced access to the materials, allowing them to browse and search through the collection and zoom in on fine details. Digitizing these resources also helps preserve the maps by reducing the need to handle originals.

Stay tuned for more. Maps still in copyright are also being digitized and will be available for online consultation in the Roberto C. Goizueta Pavilion.





Espantado de todo, me refugio en tí.

Tengo fé en el mejoramiento humano, en la vida

futura, en la utilidad de la virtud, y en tí.”


José Martí (28 de enero de 1853 – 19 de mayo de 1895)


From the first edition of José Martí's Ismaelillo (New York, 1882), a book of poems dedicated to his son.

Página de la primera edición del Ismaelillo de José Martí, su poemario dedicado a su hijo José Francisco. Publicado en Nueva York en 1882.


This Just In: Fragmentos: Revista Mensual

by Mei Mendez, CHC Librarian


Fragmentos: Revista Mensual

Last year, the Cuban Heritage Collection received several volumes of the Cuban Jewish periodical Fragmentos: Revista Mensual through the generosity of Mr. Moisés Pitchón, whose father, Marco Pitchón, was the editor of the magazine.  The Collection’s holdings of this work range from Volume 4 (January 1955) to Volume 11 (July/September 1964).  With permission from Mr. Pitchón, these issues have been digitized and are available in our digital library.  You can find them here.

Marco Pitchón was born in Turkey and migrated from France to Cuba in 1923.  He founded the B’nai Brith Maimonedes chapter in Havana in 1943 and launched its monthly newsletter, Fragmentos: Revista Mensual. Written in Spanish, Fragmentos was published as a short pamphlet, four pages long, and included a supplement. Articles featured on the front page addressed topics ranging from cinematic portrayals of the Second World War to specific world events or even letters received by the editor.  Inside, shorter articles highlighted important dates in the Jewish calendar.  Several of the supplements found inside the magazine contain letters expressing support for the (then) upcoming publication of the book Jose Martí y la comprensión humana, edited by Pitchón and also published by B’nai Brith.  This book has also been digitized and can be found here.

Special thanks to Moreno Habif for facilitating the donation of Fragmentos to the Cuban Heritage Collection.

Repertorio Español Archive Open for Research

By Natalie Baur, CHC Archivist

Selections from the Repertorio Español records

Selections from the Repertorio Español records

The records of the Repertorio Español theater company in New York City held by the Cuban Heritage Collection have been processed, and a detailed finding aid for the collection is now available. Researchers can consult folder-level descriptions of the collection to access the rich history of the ground-breaking Latino theater company. Materials in the collection include administrative records, correspondence, clippings, slides and photographs, audiovisual materials, and ephemera documenting the company’s productions and relationships with emerging Latino theater writers, designers, and actors.

Production photo, "Café Con Leche," Repertorio Español.

Production photo, “Café Con Leche,” Repertorio Español records.

Repertorio Español was founded in 1968 by two Cuban-born theater artists, Producer Gilberto Zaldívar and Artistic Director René Buch, to introduce the best of Latin American, Spanish, and Hispanic-American theater to a broad audience in New York City and across the country. From its earliest days, Repertorio has maintained a dramatic ensemble, attracting many talented veterans and emerging Hispanic actors. Several of these artists are documented in the collection, including Ofelia González, the first actress to win an OBIE Award without having performed in English, and Pilar Rioja, a legend in Spanish dance. Pablo Zinger, Musical Director, initiated a musical ensemble that presented zarzuela, operas, and musical anthologies; and Jorge Alí Triana, of Colombia’s Teatro Popular de Bogotá, began an association with Repertorio and since then has adapted and directed some of the company’s most epic works.

Today, the company continues its tradition of promoting the appreciation of bilingual Latino theater and supporting emerging artists through innovative programming and community engagement.

A Refugee Cookbook

By María R. Estorino Dooling, CHC Chair

Recipes such as this one for croquettes indicated with an (R) the products distributed by the Cuban Refugee Program. Click to enlarge.

Recipes such as this one for croquettes indicated with an (R) the products distributed by the Cuban Refugee Program. Click to enlarge.

The Cuban Refugee Program, established by the U.S. government in 1961 and operated from Miami’s Freedom Tower, trained and employed exiled Cubans as social workers to connect refugees to services such as job training, resettlement, and food distribution. One of those social workers was Evangelina Aristigueta Vidaña, who in Cuba had been a high school physics and chemistry teacher.

As a social worker, Mrs. Vidaña found that many Cuban women were having a hard time cooking with the non-perishable foods distributed by the Cuban Refugee Program, such as powdered eggs, canned meat, and peanut butter. She started compiling and transcribing recipes that her clients were creating using the food received from el refugio (the refuge), as the program became known. With more than thirty recipes, Mrs. Vidaña distributed her “refugee” cookbook to clients and, in so doing, helped hundreds of Cuban families ease into their new lives in the United States.

Pictured is an empty can of chopped meat distributed by el refugio. This item was donated by Carmen Vega. After the can was emptied of its contents, Ms. Vega used it as a hair roller. Click to enlarge.

Pictured is an empty can of chopped meat distributed by el refugio. This item was donated by Carmen Vega. After the can was emptied of its contents, Ms. Vega used it as a hair roller. Click to enlarge.

Mrs. Vidaña worked as a social worker with the Florida Department of Health and Rehabilitative Services for thirty years. Her daughter María Eugenia Vidaña Soler-Baillo donated to the Cuban Heritage Collection a copy of her “Recetas de cocina usando los productos alimenticios donados por el Centro de Distribuición de Víveres del Programa de Asistencia de los Refugiados Cubanos” (“Recipes using the food products donated by the Food Distribution Center of the Cuban Refugee Assistance Program”).

The Cuban Heritage Collection houses the records of the Cuban Refugee Program. A small selection of materials from that collection are available online and were used in the digital exhibition, “In Search of Freedom: Cuban Exiles and the U.S. Cuban Refugee Program.”




This Just In: Grafos Magazine


by Mei Mendez, CHC Librarian

The magazine Grafos began publication in 1933 in Havana, Cuba.  Founded by María Radelat de Fontanills and María Dolores Machín de Upmann, the magazine addressed a variety of topics: women’s issues, society news and fashion, interior design, and history and architecture, among others. In the first issue, the Grafos editors proclaimed that the magazine would be “a publication with a graphic [design] sensibility, without abandoning the literary side, to which we will give all the attention it deserves.”[1] Nicolás Guillén, José Lezama Lima, Gastón Baquero, Lydia Cabrera, and other literary figures of the time contributed to the magazine.

In 1942, Grafos merged with another Cuban revista, and the title of the new magazine became Grafos Havanity. The Cuban diplomat, art critic, and Revista Orígenes founder Guy Pérez-Cisneros took over as editor in chief in 1943. The magazine ceased publication in 1946.

For all its prominence during the 1930s and 1940s, today the magazine is considered extremely rare. Only the Cuban Heritage Collection and the Library of Congress have this periodical in their collections.[2] The Cuban Heritage Collection holds the following editions of Grafos: November 1933, May 1936, March 1937, April 1937, October 1937, and November/December 1937. Find the magazine in our catalog: http://catalog.library.miami.edu/record=b4922503~S11


[1] “Una publicación de carácter gráfico, sin que por ello se relegue la parte literaria, a la que prestaremos toda la atención que merece.” “Diccionario de la Literatura Cubana,” Biblioteca Virtual Miguel de Cervantes, accessed on August 13, 2014, http://bib.cervantesvirtual.com/servlet/SirveObras/02494907545027618976613/254g.htm.

[2] According to a WorldCat search and Roberto Esquenazi-Mayo, A Survey of Cuban Revistas, 1902-1958 (Washington: Library of Congress, 1993), 36-37

Tomás Estrada Palma Rides to Havana to Become Cuba’s First President

Originally Published by María R. Estorino on October 2001

Convoy accompanying Tomás Estrada Palma from Bayamo to Havana. From folder 24 of the Tomás Estrada Palma Collection (CHC0460), Cuban Heritage Collection, University of Miami Libraries, Coral Gables, Florida.

In 1902, Tomás Estrada Palma set foot on the island of Cuba for the first time in almost twenty-five years. José Martí’s successor as head of the Partido Revolucionario Cubano, Estrada Palma was living in exile in Central Valley, New York when he was elected Cuba ‘s first president in 1901. Once elected, he renounced his naturalized American citizenship and traveled to his homeland, landing in Gibara, Oriente on April 20, 1902. Estrada Palma traveled across Cuba for three weeks, getting reacquainted with the island and giving Cubans a chance to see in person the man they had elected as their first repúblican president. He reached Havana on May 11, 1902 and was inaugurated eight days later on May 20, 1902. This photograph depicts Estrada Palma’s caravan as he marched across Cuba. At the head of the group is a rider carrying the flag of Bayamo, Estrada Palma’s hometown and birthplace of Cuba’s struggles for independence. Estrada Palma rides in a black carriage at the center of the photograph. It is part of the Tomás Estrada Palma Collection of the Cuban Heritage Collection (CHC) of the University of Miami Libraries. This collection was donated to the CHC by Estrada Palma’s grandson, Tomás Douglas Estrada Palma, in 1995. Along with this photograph, the collection contains other pictures of Tomás Estrada Palma and his family as well as personal letters and other documents. For more information about this collection, view the finding aid.

Cuban Memories: Commemorating 25 years of the Miami Symphony Orchestra

by Fernando Espino, CHC Web Communications Assistant

This Sunday marks the opening of The Miami Symphony Orchestra’s 25th season. The Cuban Heritage Collection holds the papers of the Orchestra’s founder, Cuban-born conductor Manuel Ochoa (1925-2006).

Maestro Ochoa seemed destined for a musical life. His mother Caridad was a famous opera singer in Cuba, and he showed a strong ability for music from an early age. After studying and working in Cuba, Spain, Vienna, and Rome, he settled in Miami after the Cuban Revolution and set about making music that would resonate with an international audience.

Manuel Ochoa was among the first of Miami’s Cuban exile artists to see the creative opportunities that the city could offer as the gateway to the Americas. In 1969, with María Julia Casanova, Ochoa conceived of the Centro de Artes de América (America’s Center for the Arts), a performing arts center to promote cultural collaboration across the Americas. Ochoa continued to pursue his inter-American ideals throughout the 1970s, co-founding the Sociedad Hispanoamericana de Arte (Hispanic American Society for the Arts), but his vision would finally become a reality in 1989 when he established a truly multicultural arts organization, The Miami Symphony Orchestra.

In June 2000, Maestro Ochoa fulfilled a lifelong dream. He led the Orchestra in a performance at Carnegie Hall in New York City with music by Joaquin Turina, Joaquin Rodrigo, Alberto Ginastera, and Saint Saen’s masterpiece Symphony No. 3. Manuel Ochoa passed away in 2006, but his musical legacy survives in the ongoing work of the Miami Symphony Orchestra, and his everlasting mark on Miami’s cultural fabric.

In 1996, WLRN’s TV program Huellas interviewed Maestro Ochoa.  He spoke in depth about music, his career, and the culture of his adopted city. A copy of this interview can be found online and on DVD in the Manuel Ochoa Papers held by the Cuban Heritage Collection.


With thanks to WLRN-TV Channel 17 for permission to post this interview.