Venerated Cuban Auxiliary Bishop Agustín Román dies at 83

Screenshot of Bishop Roman during a video interview in 2009
“Agustín Román, the beloved emeritus auxiliary bishop of Miami who was considered the spiritual leader of South Florida’s Cuban exile community, died Wednesday night of a heart attack.”

We mourn the loss of Bishop Román and consider ourselves fortunate to have recorded an interview with him in 2009 through our Luis J. Botifoll Oral History Project.

Luis J. Botifoll Oral History Project on front page of The Miami Hurricane

The University of Miami twice-weekly student newspaper The Miami Hurricane features the Luis J. Botifoll Oral History Project on the cover of the February 7 issue.

The Botifoll Oral History Project was launched in April 2008 with the support of the Amigos of the Cuban Heritage Collection. To date, we have recorded 43 interviews with members of the first generation of Cubans exiled since the Cuban Revolution.  Interviewees include political prisoners, artists and musicians, journalists, entrepreneurs, and others.  The Project aims to record and provide access to these testimonies in support of the Cuban Heritage Collection’s efforts to document the Cuban experience on the island and in the diaspora. As interviews are completed, transcriptions and video clips are made available online. Visit the Luis J. Botifoll Oral History Project digital collection »

Pick up a copy of the Miami Hurricane on campus or view the article online.

We’d like to thank Corey Fujikawa and the staff at The Miami Hurricane for dedicating space to this important project, and to all those who have donated to this endeavor for making it possible.  To learn more about the Project and how you can support it, please visit our website.

Now online: Cuban Refugee Program photographs and Tad Sculz interview transcripts

The Tad Szulc Collection of Interview Transcripts contains the typescript transcripts of Tad Szulc’s taped interviews with Fidel Castro, Blas Roca Calderío, Raúl Chibás, Universo Sánchez, Vilma Espín, Max Lesnick and other Cuban government officials and Cuban exiles in Miami, Florida, from 1984 to 1985, in preparation for his book Fidel: A Critical Portrait. All transcripts from this collection are digitized and available online. Visit:

This online selection features selected photographs and newsletters published by the Cuban Refugee Program. This federal program provided education, medical, employment, and relocation services to Cuban refugees. The photographs primarily depict refugee families and the service activities coordinated by the Program during the 1960s and early 1970s. The digital collection is part of the Cuban Refugee Center Records. Visit:

CHC Participates in StoryCorps Historias

StoryCorps bus outside of Miami-Dade College, Wolfson campusIn January 2010, the StoryCorps mobile recording booth traveled to Miami-Dade College’s Wolfson Campus as part of their Historias project, dedicated to honoring and preserving the voices of this country’s Latino/a and Hispanic communities. We were proud to have served as a community partner, promoting the project and coordinating over a dozen interviews focusing on the Cuban experience in Miami. Below are a few photos of two of the interviews we put together.

Look for some of the Miami interviews to be posted on the StoryCorps website or broadcast on National Public Radio’s Morning Edition or Latino USA.

Raul Castellanos and Rafael Ferrer are both students at the University of Miami and came to the U.S. from Cuba as boys.

Alexis Rodríguez-Duarte is a photographer who, with his partner Humberto “Tico” Torres, published the photo essay book Presenting Celia Cruz