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            [NOTE:  Permission to reprint granted April 7, 1998 by Dr. Sicius.  This article has been revised and updated.  The new version appeared in Tequesta* December 1998.  For copies of the new version, contact HASF.]
               *Tequesta is published annually by the Historical Association of Southern Florida.

            By land:  The Historical Museum of Southern Florida,
            101 West Flagler Street,
            Miami, Florida 33130

            Telephone:  305-375-1492

by Francis J. Sicius
Division of Humanities
St. Thomas University Miami, Florida
             Prepared for delivery at the annual meeting of the Florida Historical Society, Miami, Florida,  May 13, 1988.

             Those who have written about Cubans in Miami have always placed the story in the context of the last thirty years.  But this perspective denies geographic and cultural links that can only be measured in centuries not decades.  True, Miami itself has a short history, but that does not believe what preceded Miami nor does it deny a relationship that Miami inherited when a group of optimistic characters chose to call this tented, buildingless train terminus a city in 1896.

             In 1507, when Europeans printed the first map of the new world, they recorded only two major pieces of land that are still recognizable today: South Florida and Cuba.  Even these earliest of explorers saw the indisputable fact of the relationship that these two places had to one another, and in the ensuing years the story of Cuba's relationship to South Florida filled chapters of Spanish American history.

             Most of this history was written long before Miami was founded, but it did not take long after its creation for the city to discover its heritage.  In the 1890's the decade of its founding, Miami was home to less than twenty native born Cubans.  This number hardly serves as a portent for the dramatic transformation that Miami would undergo in sixty short years, but events were already unfolding which would draw Cuba and Miami together.

             When the decade of the nineties began, Cuba was entering into the final phase of its long struggle for independence from Spain.  As this was escalated, Cuban patriots began to look north to the Cuban exile communities of Florida and New York for help.  When the revolutionary leader Jose Marti visited the United States in 1891 he found support and enthusiasm in New York and formed the Cuban revolutionary Junta there, but when he arrived in Tampa, by special invitation, he discovered  a hotbed of revolutionary fervor among the Cubans that far surpassed anything he had seen in any other part of the country.  So inspired was he by the reception he received in Tampa, that during the evenings in his hotel room, he wrote the "Tampa Resolutions" which would become the basis for the Cuban Revolutionary Party.  Key West where thousands of his compatriots lived also heartened Marti and when he returned to Cub frequently referred to Key West and Tampa as the "civilian camps of the revolution."

             Between these two hotbeds of revolutionary fervor lay the newly planned city of Miami.  But in the mid nineties, as the revolution escalated, other events occupied the minds of the citizens of Florida's newest city.  In April of 1896, Henry Flagler's train had reached the city and the plans were already being made for construction of the finest and biggest hotel on the east coast.  Within  a month of the train's arrival came the first newspaper and within two months, the 343 voters in Miami decided overwhelmingly to incorporate  as a city.  There was barely room in the new newspaper for all the events occurring in Dade county much less elsewhere.  The space that was not given to enthusiastic boosterism was taken with advertising for land and construction.  The population soon exploded to almost  a thousand souls, and the town of Miami was alive with the sound of hammers cracking on boards.  Initially Miamians learned of the disturbance to the south of them in Cuba the same way most of America learned about it; through the New York newspapers which arrived in Miami only two days after they were printed.  But their proximity to the revolution could not be denied, and soon Miamians were learning about the was more directly.

             After  a busy day's work of turning campsites into houses and large lots near the river into  a grand hotel, men would retire at night to play billiards or drink beer which they had smuggled into their "Dry" town from places such s Woods and Company just north of the city.  Of course there were always stories to tell and by mid-summer the tales began centering on filibusters in the Caribbean.  Two names that often came up in these stories were Dynamite Johnny O'Brien and Napoleon Bonaparte Broward.  With their coastal running ships these men were providing the final link in  a supply line of ammunition and weapons that stretched from New York to Cuba via South Florida.  News of these exploits came to Miami either through word of mouth, or telegraph dispatches posted outside the Metropolis.  Every day men would run down to the huge board outside the weekly paper's office to hear of the latest filibuster.

             One excursion that received  a considerable amount of attention that summer was the attempt by Broward's boat "The Three Friends" to rendezvous with Captain Tuttle's Miami boat, "The City of Key West". The latter had been making regular runs between Key West and Miami for months, but in early July  a group of Cubans, in an attempt to elude Federal agents patrolling the waters off Key West, hired the boat.   Since everything going South out of Key West was being stopped, these Cubans decided to book passage north to Miami on  a regularly schedule boat.  They planned to meet Broward's boat the "Three Friends" off the coast of Miami and double back to Cuba with arms and ammunition.

             But the plan failed.  Captain Tuttle brought attention to his ship by departing hours ahead of schedule and leaving several passengers, including  a Metropolis reporter, stranded in Key West.  According to observers, the stranded passengers caused such  a stir, and the Cuban passengers became so jubilant on the prospect of escaping customs agents that they drew the attention of  a government ship which then trailed the boat all the way to Miami and finally seized it in Florid Bay.  Once on board, government agents found thirteen Cuban passengers as well "as a very large freight which appear to be ammunition."  The government agents also caught up with Broward who was waiting off the coast with  a load of ammunition he apparently had taken on board at New River.  Particularly nervous and distressed over the capture, reported the Metropolis were A. W. Barrs of Jacksonville and a "swarthy looking Cuban of short stature" who had checked into the Hotel Miami the day before.  The Metropolis pointed out that Barrs had been engaged in numerous filibustering expeditions in the past and probably had something to do with the current one.  Together Captain Broward of "The Three Friends" and Captain Tuttle of "The City of Key West" were towed back to Key West, the site of the District court and the Federal revenue office.  Around the gathering spots of Miami and the watering holes to the north of the city, where the story was told over and over, a consensus on the incident emerged: "If the City of Key West had left at its scheduled hour and the exultant Cubans had been able to restrain themselves, the affair would have succeeded unnoticed."

             It did not take too many of these stories to convince some im Miami of the advantages that their fledgling city had in The business of illegal commerce with Cuban revolutionaries.  Soon, all the dynamite that the new phosphorous plants around Bartow Florida could produce was being shipped to Miami by train and then by boat to Cuban revolutionaries. Following the contraband shipments were government agents, representing not only Washington but also Madrid.  Even the newspaper knew about the shipments and reported them (without names, of course) but the same paper expressed shock and anger when it reported that a ship was seized in South Florida waters by a Pinkerton detective who had been hired by the Spanish government.  Miamians were indignant that international agents in their waters had seized men and munitions that were going to assist "downtrodden Cubans in the fair isle just beyond the range of our vision".  Spain had better leave Florida alone warned the Metropolis, "She does not own her as she used to, and Florida is a very recreant child"  With foreign agents off its coast, illegal goods in its harbor, and arms merchants checking into her hotels, Miami within months of its incorporation was already realizing a part of its destiny.

             Along with much of the rest of the nation, Miamians soon picked up the rhythm of the war  beat resonating from Washington and New York.   But they did so with skepticism. Perhaps they felt that filibustering provided as much a profit as could be extracted from the war, or perhaps they feared the potential competition if the war ended with the annexation of Cuba.  For many reasons, Miamians demure on the subject of war and their misgivings probably emanated a realization of Cuba's proximity.

             Despite the reservations about the war, Miamians did join the call for a "Cuba Libre" and the local paper contributed to the country's collection of yellow journalism.  One story, written for the paper by Walter Scot, could not have had a better audience than the one Miami provided.  The article combined sympathy for the revolution, Victorian values with a Spanish flavor and the ever present (in the nineteenth century) subtle Anglo-Saxon racism.  Only in South Florida could all these ingredients come together so easily.

             Margarita is the central figure in the story.  She is the bicultural daughter of a wealthy Cuban, exiled to Key West for his politics, and a deceased "American girl from the South".  In describing her as rather dark, with features "which in a blond would have been rendered insipid", Scot wrote that her "American characteristics had softened the harsher lines of her Spanish beauty."  Margarita falls in love with Emmanuel Morales, another exile.  The father realizes she is in love and objects.  This young man should be fighting for a "Cuba Libre", he declared, not wasting his life in "idle courting."  He demanded that she tell her lover that "if he were to win her love, "he must do it with rifle and machete--and at once".

             He waited for his daughter to counter assault "with a wild outbreak of feminine expostulation in defense of her lover. . ."  But she didn't, rather she wept in her father arms and sobbed in silent agreement with him.  "God bless your heart girl, the true blood runs in your veins.  You'll love him better for it."  He consoles her.  She convinces poor Emmanuel to go off to the war and of course he dies.  In Key West, Margarita receives word of the tragedy.  Running to the sea she feels the cold night and stars and thinks how cold Emmanuel must be too.  The story takes six full page columns of pathos to tell, and the message is clear.  What is the purpose of all this tragedy?  A Cuba Libre!

             Soon America did go to war against Spain for reasons of honor, and of course, for a Cuba Libre.  Miamians, who had already been making profits on the illegal shipment of arms, began to dream about the windfall that would occur now that the whole operation would be legalized.  The Miami Metropolis printed some of these dreams, and enumerated the advantages that Miami would have as the principle point of embarkation to Cuba.  The newspaper reasoned that since Miami had a safe land locked harbor, a direct rail line to the coal fields of Alabama and was the city closest to the seat of war, that it should be the obvious choice as the military's main point of contact with Cuba.  Despite the newspaper's arguments, Tampa was chosen over Miami.  Perhaps the American military knew what the Spanish Conquistadores had learned four centuries before, that is, the journey by ship between Tampa and Cuba is longer but much less treacherous than the journey between South Florida and Cuba.

             Despite this rejection, war fever did strike the Miamians.  When rumors spread that the great Spanish Armada was on its way across the Atlantic, Miamians were certain that it was headed straight for them, and they began to see their own vital interests connected very directly to American foreign policy.  Although a major Spanish force might not be able to land on the shores of Miami, many feared the damage that a well placed Spanish gun boat might do.  Sitting safely off the coast, it could batter the beautiful new Royal Palm hotel or worse, destroy the great new water tower which was not only a source of civic pride but a promise of the city's potential.  Miamians also feared damage by sorties of Spanish soldiers sneaking into the city at night, raiding houses and stores for supplies.  It was probably an inflated sense of self importance which caused these fears but, the government relented and did authorize the construction of battery works on the bay about a mile and a half south of the river at Brickell Point.  The defense included two eight inch and two ten inch guns.  Judge Ashton organized a calvary of sixty-four men to represent Miami and when he presented himself to the governor he learned that enthusiasm for the war had run rampant throughout Florida.  Governor Bloxham received responses for over twenty companies of men when all he had asked for was the state quota of twelve.

             In June, Miami learned that its wish for troops was being fulfilled and late that month, 7,500 troops arrived.  Despite careful preparations made by the East Coast Railway to provide a comfortable camp, the city was in no way capable of supporting such a large and rapid influx of people.  A sanitation sewer was built but it did not function correctly so the men dug latrines which were placed very closed to shallow water wells.  The artesian well which was begun was never completed, and despite warnings many of the men drank from the shallow water well with dire consequences.  The morale of the troops was also bad.  Miami in July is uncomfortable in the best of circumstances, in 1898 it was unbearable.  The general consensus of the troops was that Miami was nothing more than a wilderness wrapped around a grand hotel.  A month later, when the troops were ordered to pull out under the threat of a typhoid epidemic they were very happy to say good by to the magic city.

             Of course it would have been impossible for 7,500 single men with weapons to remain in a place such a Miami without creating some incidents, and this caused many to question the enthusiasm with which they were initially received.  Julia Tuttle for example, had wanted the troops to come, she had even entertained officers in her house.  But she also became disturbed by the disorderly conduct of the soldiers.  One particularly disturbing night two civilians were shot  by stray rifle bullets as they were sleeping in their tent at 12th Street and Avenue G.  James T. Williams received a deep flesh wound and E.W. Ramage took a shot in the wrist which shattered  the bone and made amputation necessary.  Another day Mrs. Tuttle was shocked to see that a young soldier had the indecency to commit suicide right in her garden.

             When the troops pulled out there must have been a collective sigh of relief in the city, but even the departure did not occur without incident.  As the troops were leaving a violent summer storm drenched the area.  A number of soldiers were getting a cold drink and trying to stay at Fred Rutter's place just south of the terminal when the lightening which had been flashing all around finally found its mark killing two young soldiers.  One of them, Charles Gill, of Louisiana was buried in the city cemetery with military honors.

             Despite the tumultuous experience the Miami Metropolis saw the entire episode as a good thing.  After all, as a result of the Army's presence, one hundred acres of land had been cleared, one mile of railroad side track had been constructed, business had been stimulated, a street was paved and an artesian well had been started.  The paper also pointed out that there were now 7,500 people who knew about the richness and beauty of Miami.  Never was there a word in the paper of the problems the troops had nor was there mention of the threatened typhoid outbreak.  And the Metropolis never suggested that many of those seven thousand troops actually did not leave Miami with fond memories.

             The war ended as abruptly as it had started, completed in fact, within the ending of one tourist season and the beginning of another.  Besides providing some diversion and income during the slow season of summer, the Cuban Revolution and Spanish-American was established the Miami-Cuban connection, and midst the excitement of developing a new city, Miamians discovered much about the relationship with their southern neighbors.  They learned that their proximity made them a natural commercial partner (be it for legal or illegal commerce) and they learned also, because of this proximity, they could not remain indifferent or unaffected by upheavals on the island.  Finally, they realized their strategic significance in foreign relations with Havana, even if it took Washington a few more years to understand it.

             America's defeat of the Spanish in 1898 marked the beginning of a new era of leadership in the Caribbean.  The final termination of four hundred years of history however, did not occur without consequence, and for the first quarter of this century, political and economic convulsions erupted throughout the Caribbean causing the United States to send troops into the area twenty times.  This show of military strength was accompanied by investments of over a billion and a half dollars.  Finally, by the end of the twenties, the Caribbean was relatively peaceful and through an extraordinary display of guns and money the United States had established hegemony over the area.

             Cuba, being so close to the United States, felt this new force most directly.  During their early years of independence, Cuba experienced American military or political intervention on at least five different occasions.  They also received about 18% of the total dollars invested in the region.  As the Cuba patriot and poet Martinez Villena wrote:
                         Nuestra Cuba bien sabe cuan propicia a la caza
                         De Naciones y como soporta la amenaza
                         Permanente del Norte que su ambicion incuba
                         La Florida en una indice que senale hacia Cuba.

                         Our Cuba knows well when the hunt
                         for nations begins.
                         And how the threat which comes from
                         the north continues,
                         Even when ambition lies dormant,
                         Florida is the finger
                   That points to Cuba. (Translation by author)

             The significance of this new area of exploitation was not lost on Miamians.  Immediately following the war a group of Miamians joined other pioneers in an attempt to settle and annex the isle of Pines off the coast of Cuba.  For twenty years this island remained an American settlement until finally in 1926 the Supreme Court decided that it belonged to Cuba.

             Reporting on the increasing investments and the relative stability which seemed to be emerging in the Caribbean, The Miami Herald noted that this news was more significant to Miami than any other city in the country.  The Herald predicted (correctly as it turned out) that when air service was eventually established Miami would become the gateway to the Caribbean and Latin America.  Hence, the Herald concluded, although the peaceful progress of Latin America concerns all the United States, it concerns Miami in particular.  The Herald spoke to Miamians who had already experienced the benefits of the economic boom in the Caribbean.  Ever since 1925, when Geraldo Machado had become president American businessmen had been bullish on Cuban.  When Machado took office he did so on a great wave of good will both at home and abroad.  His promise of judicial, economic and educational reforms along with his denunciation of the Platt amendment gave optimistic Cubans hope that democracy would finally flourish on their island.  The United States was equally enthusiastic over the rise of Machado.  While visiting the United States he promised that after four years of his government, "the capacity of Cubans to govern themselves would be assured".  At a banquet in his honor given by Charles E. Mitchell the president of National City Bank, he promised that in his administration "there will be absolutely guarantees for all businesses".  Thomas Lamont of the house of Morgan said he hoped the Cubans would find a way to keep Machado in power indefinitely.  And after another visit to the United States by Machado, the State Department informed the House of Morgan that they had no objections to a further $9 million loan to Cuba.

             There were large amounts of money being funneled into Cuba in the twenties, and Miamians hoped that much of it would go through and then back to their city.  In January, 1930, Curtiss Wright announced that they were inaugurating flights to Havana and this spurred further economic speculation.  "Cubans are willing and anxious to trade with Miami firms", reported the Herald, and to prove it they cited the success that Miami Airplane and Supply Company had after placing just one ad in a Havana newspaper.

             Carl Fisher and Glen Curtiss also hoped than Havana would provide a ready market for their automobile which they planned to mass produce in Opa Locka.  After sending a prototype to President Machado, they received his endorsement and promise that the car would be well received in Havana.  This was one more example he said of Miami's "very special" relationship with Cuba.

             In 1930 Machado authorized a massive promotion of Cuba in Miami.  The focal point of  this campaign was a weekly five page report on Cuba which appeared in the Miami Herald.  Of course this report contained nothing of the political turmoil which was beginning to brew.  Rather it contained articles on hotels, how to obtain Cuban citizenship, and where to get information on setting up an import business.  It also contained stories which would make Americans in Miami feel comfortable about their neighbors.  For example, they reported the establishment by Machado of English language schools within four Cuban High Schools.  This was done, the article reported because "the government realized the urgent necessity for Cuban youth to learn English."

             This promotion was not without benefits.  During the Machado regime investments in Cuba skyrocketed to over $1.5 Billion or an amount equal to the entire investment in all of South America just after World War 1. 14 Of course this was still during the era of prohibition and illegal trade with the island also flourished, as canals in Coral Gables frequently provided pathways for contraband rum and liquor from Cuba.

             On January 1, 1931 Pan Am launched regular service between Miami and Havana.  Now with Havana only 2 ˝ hours away on a regularly scheduled major airline, the relationship between the cities solidified.  This promise of a flourishing economic alliance with Cuba caused a group of developers in Miami led by real estate magnate, Clifford Reeder to begin promoting the idea that would become known as Interama.  This dream of creating a permanent Caribbean trade fair was never realized, but it remained significant as a Miami symbol from 1929 when it was first conceived by Reeder until the early 70's when the only remains of the idea were a few signs along N.E. 163rd Street.  The failed entrepreneurial dream defined two dominant characteristics of Miami: the incessant boosterism of many of its citizens and also the undeniable influence of its Caribbean roots.  In the thirties it was the burgeoning relationship with Cuba that gave substance to these characteristics.

             In 1933, Miami's economic ties with Cuba drew it into the island's political turmoil.  In the early thirties Cubans were growing increasingly disillusioned by the failure of Machado to fulfill most of his promises, and in 1931 when this man who promised no reelections declared that he was extending his term of office by six years, revolutionary fever broke out.  When two former rivals, Carlos Mendietta and General Menocal joined forces in an unsuccessful coup, it became clear that the days of the Machado regime were numbered.  The question on everybody's mind was when would the U.S. Army arrive.  There was even a revolutionary party in Cuba (ABC) whose avowed purpose was to create chaos so that Americans would be forced to come in to restore order.  But the troops did not arrive.

             U.S. policy on intervention had changed in the 1920's.  An important turning point had occurred when in 1926 American intervention in Nicaragua turned into a full scale guerilla war against the folk hero General Agustino Sandino.  The significance of the event was not lost on the State Department and from then on they determined to develop a policy of influence in Latin America which did not include a first step the direct intervention of American troops.  The opportunity for State Department experimentation with this new policy occurred when Machado lost his mandate to rule in Cuba.

             The new American policy utilized economic and diplomatic pressure along with support for exiled leaders.  It was this latter group that most affected Miami during the Spring and long Summer of 1933 when the Machado regime fell.

             The new American policy utilized economic and diplomatic pressure along with support for exiled leaders.  It was this latter group that most affected Miami during the Spring and long Summer of 1933 when the Machado regime fell.

             There were two groups of exiles settled in Miami during this period.  First, there were those who had followed the multimillionaire ex-president Menocal to Miami Beach.  This group of followers formed a colony on the beach near Menocal's stone mansion with a tiled roof on Collins Avenue at Lincoln.  During the early thirties, reporters kept a vigil outside this estate, noting the arrival and departure of former Cuban ministers and political leaders.  The second exile group in Miami lived at the other end of the economic and political spectrum.  They were radical students headed by Carlos Prio Soccaras.  This group which called itself the DEU (Directory of University Students) fled to Miami in 1932 when their leaders Soccaras, Manuel De Varona Loredo and Rubio Padilla also left. The DEU has been described as the "purest and most cohesive of all the revolutionary groups" in Cuba at that time.  They formed a cell in Miami which had broken away from a similar group in New York over the issue of American intervention.  Dependency on American intervention, the Miami group maintained, was a fatal flaw in the policy of every Cuban leader since independence.  This group of separatists became known in Cuba and throughout the American exile community as the "Miami Cell".  They published a four point program which they circulated both in the United States and Cuba.  The plan condemned intervention and advocated not merely the overthrow of Machado, but the development of a true democracy completely free from American domination.  To accept American mediation, they protested, ‘was to accept the participation of a government that is responsible for oppressing us as a people."

             The radical views of the DEU kept it outside the mainstream exile community.  They were not the recipients of large donations and actually became a burden to the city of Miami, living not as distinguished exiles but rather a poor refugees.  These students arrived in leaky boats and huddled in army camp barracks near the center of town, or cheap apartments like the one at 138 N.E. 11th Terrace.

             There had only been a few hundred Cubans in Miami in 1932, but by the following Spring there were over a thousand poor exiles huddled within a few blocks of downtown Miami, and like the peasants in the French revolution they gave force to the revolutionary leadership.  This group could be depended on to provide hundreds of demonstrations whenever an important Cuban or American leader showed up at Menocal's mansion on Miami Beach, or anytime disturbing news from Cuba reached the city.

             The refugees in downtown Miami were mostly poor, radical and mobbish but they soon became allies with their more gentile neighbors across the Bay.  Despite their differences there was one issue on which the two very disparate groups agreed, they both opposed U.S. intervention in Cuba.  Menocal at one time (specifically when he was president of Cuba and even when he first arrived in Miami) had favored U.S. intervention but he had come to see the error of this policy.  Just as the radicals suffered for adaptation this position so too did Menocal.  When ex Cuban president Carlos Mendietta (with U.S. encouragement) began to form a government in exile in New York, Menocal was the only important exile left out of the group.  This occurred in spite of the fact that Menocal was probably the richest and politically most powerful exile in the United States.

             It is hard to imagine an alliance between a ragtag group of student revolutionaries and the distinguished and wealthy ex-president; however, as Justo Carillo points out in his history of the 1933 revolution, Menocal and the DEU represented opposite polls of force which were attracted to each other.

             The radicals provided him with spontaneous demonstrations of support, and in return, Menocal gave them financial assistance.  He went so far as to join with the Pan American League of Miami to put on a benefit for the refugees at the Biltmore Hotel.  The Pan American League was one of the products of Miami's enthusiasm over the Caribbean connection.  Founded by Mrs. Clark Stearns and supported by such notables as Marjorie Stoneman Douglass, the League stated as its goal the "Promotion of peace and understanding among the Americas".

             They held luncheons, round table discussions and supported a speakers bureau and artistic series, but probably their most significant contribution was providing support to foreign students who were visiting or studying in Miami.  As women and mothers their sympathy for the exiled students went beyond politics, and one member Mrs. Julia Sproul Baker joined with Menocal to put on a fund raising affair for them.  The guest list (but for a few exceptions) included the entire list of "Who's Who" in Miami.  Among those attending were Judge Frank Stonemen and Hugh Matheson.  Those not attending were also notable.  For example, the mayor of Miami Beach Frank Katentine protested to the League when they announced his name on a guest list.  He pointed out that the refugees were political enemies of the legitimate government of Cuba, and since the United States still recognized that government he felt that his name should not be used to encourage political strife between factions in any other countries.

             If he had been asked, Katentine would probably also have expressed dismay over the fact that one of the most powerful of Cuba's exiles was holding court in a mansion on Miami Beach.  The mayor was probably expressing an uneasiness over the situation that many of Miami's entrepreneurs shared.  The feared that the good will being generated between the two cities would be destroyed if Miami became identified as a center for the overthrow of the government.  Machado was by no means out, and it was he who was responsible for much of the economic activity between Miami and Cuba.  If he survived this attempted coup, and in February of 1933 there was every reason to believe he would, Miami entrepreneurs wanted to be sure that he was still well disposed toward Miami.

             The Miami Herald also revealed some of this apprehension.  Even though Judge Stoneman apparently supported the refugees and was still editor in chief and foreign editor of the Herald, the paper never wrote one word about the refugees until it was clear that Machado had fallen.  During the exciting months from Roosevelt's inauguration to Machado's fall from power in August, Miami was a hotbed of Cuban political activity.  Exile leaders met into the early hours of the morning in Menocal's mansion, demonstrations broke out spontaneously at railroad stations and in front of Menocal's house, and there was even evidence that guns stolen from National Guard Armories were being smuggled through Miami to revolutionaries in Cuba.  None of this was ever reported in the Herald.  Its absence from the paper provokes speculation.  Perhaps the trial and execution of Chicago's Mayor Cermak's Assassin was more important, and certainly, Roosevelt's first hundred days were more newsworthy.  But the fact remains that on at least fifteen occasions the New York Times saw fit to report events that occurred in the Cuban exile community in Miami, and the Herald did not.

             Perhaps there are more subtle reasons for the Herald's apparent indifference to the Cuban exile community.  For one, every Sunday during this unstable period the Herald was still publishing five full pages of advertising paid for by the Cuban government.  In one of these advertisements which appeared early on in the struggle, the Herald even printed an announcement from the Cuban government that Cuba intended to keep her tourists from being bothered by internal problems.  The Herald maintained this tolerant if not indifferent view even after Machado had expelled the American publisher John T. Wilford and closed down his paper, the Havana- American.  Apparently business as usual was a higher priority than the principles of journalistic freedom.  Secondly, the Herald represented the business community of South Florida, not the exiles.  This community did not want relations with Cuba harmed.  They certainly felt that the upheaval was temporary, and that whoever won the struggle would want to continue to develop commercial ties with Miami.  It was best for Miami to remain neutral.  As the struggle wore on, this became a difficult trick, especially during the hot-mid-August days when Machado's government finally fell, and tempers exceeded the temperatures in downtown Miami.

             In the middle of the night of August 13, Machado realized his regime was finally over.  After leaving a note for his wife to meet him in New York, he gathered up his five closest friends and advisors. Still in their pajamas, they flew with Machado in an amphibian Sikorsky to Nassau along with five revolvers, and seven bags of gold.

             The next day it was up to the highest ranking officials, Secretary of State Orestes Ferrara, to bring the government to a close.  Legalistic to the end, Ferrara searched for The American ambassador and chief negotiator during the crisis, Sumner Welles, in order to submit his resignation.  Ferrara smelled blood in the streets and feared for his life.  He asked Welles for protection, but the ambassador demurred, stating that the excitement was merely celebration over the departure of Machado.  Ferrara and his wife left the ambassador's mansion in an open vehicle and when the "jubilant crowd" recognized him, they quickly turned into an angry mob.  Guns were drawn and pistol shots flew over the head of the former secretary of state and his wife.  Just ahead of the mob, their speeding car arrived at the harbor where Ferrara and his wife jumped onto a Pan Am clipper ship.  The pilot, Leo Tertlesky, the engines idling and when he heard the mob, he taxied out into the harbor and as gunshots ripped into the plane he hurriedly took off leaving fourteen Miami bound passengers, mail and baggage at the terminal.  Machine gun bullets continue to tear at the wings and fuselage, but no vital parts were damaged and two and a half hours later the plane taxied safely into the Dinner Key Harbor in Miami.

             In Miami, another angry crowd greeted Ferrara.  As he stepped off the plane into the hot muggy afternoon sun, the crowd moved closer.  As he escaped through the canopied walkway into the terminal the crowds yelled after him.  Most of the shouting was in Spanish but interspersed calls of "murderer", "butcher" and "assassin" could also be heard.  When a reporter asked for a translation a young man answered, "Just imagine the worst words you know in English".  Shaken but indignant Ferrara shouted from the second floor window of the terminal.  As he left the terminal someone from the crowd shouted in English " will fight you with anything you big bum!"  Ferrara who had fought a number of duels in Cuba ran to answer the challenge, but was restrained by the police.  Then under heavy guard the ex-secretary of state and his wife drove to the Hollywood train station where they boarded a pullman for New York.

             The following day Miami Cuban refugees greeted Mrs. Machado similarly; however, this time the crowd was less controllable.  Mrs. Machado arrived in Miami drained both physically and emotionally.  After watching her husband flee for his life the day before, she had taken an armored yacht to Key West.  From there she, along with her daughters and their husbands, boarded a train for Miami.  When she arrived at the Miami Station at 7:30 in the evening a crowd began taunting her and her family.  When police threatened to disperse the crowd with billy clubs, they resisted by forming a tight ring.  Police reacted with their clubs and arrested ten of the ringleaders.  About fifty of the crowd followed the police and demonstrated outside the jail for the release of their friends.  Among those arrested was Manuel Mencia, nephew of Miguel Gomez, the former mayor of Havana who had joined Menocal in the aborted coup of 1931.  When questioned by police the effervescent Gomez replied that there must have been some misunderstanding; his nephew would never insult Mrs. Machado.

             These last demonstrations by the exiles finally blew the cover of tranquility that Miamians had maintained throughout the crisis.  Police Chief Scarburo told reporters that the patience of his entire force had finally been stretched to the breaking point.  No more demonstrations will be tolerate he announced, no matter who the demonstrators will be tolerated he announced, no matter who the demonstrators are sympathizing with.  "If they want to fight and raise hell", he added, "let them go back to Cuba!"  He explained to reporters that during the past five months the city had quietly put up with hundreds of exile incidents.  "They have been pampered for too long" he exclaimed, "from here on out they will have to take their place as law abiding residents in the area.  We don't believe any group in Miami should be permitted to submit everybody else in the city to conduct as has been exhibited there.  This situation", he confessed, "has been embarrassing the police for some time."

             In his anger he also let out some information he probably should not have.  For example, he told reporters that "We have definite knowledge that thefts of machine guns and pistols from U.S. armories have been traced to Miami, undoubtedly through the activity of some of these exiles [and] the army has been sent here to investigate."

             When the story broke in the Herald there was an immediate attempt to chasten Scarburo.  While Menocal met with Inspector Frank Mitchell and issued a statement that he (Menocal) would be personally responsible for the conduct of the exiles, members of the Board of Trade met with Scarburo and tried to persuade him to retract his statements from the previous day.  Scarburo remained unflinching.  "The statement I published yesterday was correct", he insisted, "I have nothing to retract."  However, cooler heads prevailed; the ten young men were released from jail and the new makeshift Cuban government, apparently as eager to maintain good relations as most Miamians were, announced that they were sending a ship to Miami immediately to collect all their citizens.

             In reaction to this flood of news, the Miami Herald, eager to establish good relations with the new government, editorialized that the Cuban departure was a great loss for Miami.  "With the sudden retirement of Machado," the editorial began, "Miami had begun to lose her Cuban residents who are fleeing back to their homeland.  Miami was glad to extend her hospitality to the exiles and sad to lose them."  The article concluded on an ironic yet prophetic note, "Miami's gates will always be open to Cubans, should the time ever come again when they need a refuge.  In the meantime" the editorial concluded, "our mutual interests will continue to grow".

             The thirties witnessed an important turning point in the Miami-Havana relationship.  With the advent of the airplane, travel to Miami became safer and easier than to the traditional entrepots of Tampa and New York, and competitive Miami entrepreneurs pursued this advantage aggressively in order to assure a long lasting commercial relationship with Cuba.  Finally, it seemed the two areas were realizing the commercial and cultural destiny that geography had established for them.  And although Cuba was subject to political turmoil, Miami business leaders remained resilient: sending cars and invitations to the dictator Machado on one day and bidding bon voyage and best wishes to new leaders the next.  Miamians remained seemingly impervious to political convolutions on the island.  The benefits of the infinite commercial possibilities seemed to far outweigh the ephemeral game of politics.

             Experienced during the Machado Revolution greatly modified American foreign policy in the Caribbean.  Instead of direct intervention against unfavorable governments, the United States usually followed a plan of economic pressure, combined with military threat and support for exiled political groups.  In regards to Cuba, Miami became a participant in this diplomatic formula.  Consequently, after 1933, with each change in government in Cuba, the Cuban population in Miami increased to a substantial minority, and economic and cultural ties between the two areas strengthened.

             During periods of political upheaval, Miami opened its gates to ex-Cuban officials with money, regardless of their political beliefs.  Not atypical of these times was Grau San Martin's friend and ministry of education official, Jose Manuel Aleman who arrived in Miami in October of 1944 with $20,000,000 in his suitcase.  Scenes such as this symbolized both the corruption that plagued Cuban government and the strong economic ties that Miami and Havana were establishing as they moved closer together in the decades of the forties and fifties.  Havana, only a short flight away, became a playground for adult games that were still illegal in most of the United States.  Cuba also bragged that it offered the least expensive and quickest possible divorce in the world.

             Most Havana's entertainment operations which included hotels gambling, and prostitution, were administered in Miami, a safe but proximate distance from the volatile republic.  As a result of this new relationship with Cuba and the underworld Miami became involved in these enterprise, for example it became a link in the heroin traffic which flowed from France to Havana to New York.  And when politicians such as Aleman arrived in Miami with millions of dollars the various mafia run businesses in Miami provided investment opportunities which would not scrutinize sources of income.  By the mid-fifties, the Department of Commerce reported that investments by Cuban citizens in the United States had reached $400,000,000, and most of this money went through Miami.

             The tremendous amount of financial activity between Miami and Havana, both legal and illegal, solidified their economic relationship.  It also changed the city of Miami radically as people such as Meyer Lansky and other underworld figures began to play a major role in determining the city's future.  But these changes were minor compared to influences that the island republic would have on the Magic City in the following decades.

             In 1952 Fulgencio Batista, the young sergeant who had given the Cubans democracy in 1940, took it away with a coup d'etat against Carlos Prio, and Miami once again was swept into the whirl of Cuban politics. After the 1952 coup, Prio lived in Miami with his millions of dollars.  He was the last legitimately elected president of Cuba and for those with a longer memory he was the idealistic student leader of the 1933 r evolution against Machado.  With these credentials, many Cubans were willing to forgive his financial indiscretions while he was president, and recognize his as their leader in exile.

             On the morning of May 15, 1957 a group of seventeen supporters of Prio crept out of Biscayne Bay on their way to begin the revolution in Cuba against Batista.  This small group of soldiers under Calixto Sanchez arrived on the coast of Oriente where they were captured and summarily shot by the Lieutenant of Police of the tiny village of Mayari.

             This relatively insignificant event marked the end of Prio's claim to leadership and increasingly support began to fall to the "hero" of the Sierra Madre, Fidel Castro, and his followers.  By December of 1958 Castro had taken control of the country and early in the morning of January 1, 1959, the first Castro refugees arrived in Miami.

             At first. Miamians accepted the appearance of refugees on the evening news as rather normal routine.  Most of the earliest arrivals had financial or familiar connections and had made provisions ahead of time.  But very quickly the hundreds of wealthy elite turned into desperate and penniless thousands.  At first, the Cuban Community felt they could handle the problem with the result that sometimes there were, according to Monsignor Bryan Walsh, "19 families living in a single family residence".  Of course this was an extreme, but even the average Cuban family in Miami during this period was sharing a two room dwelling with two additional adults.

             When the pressure on the Cuban families became unbearable they went to private charities, and since it was a familiar institution to the Cubans, the Catholic Church became the first private organization to tackle the refugee problem.  In late 1959 the Diocese of Miami opened a Refugee center at 130 N.E. 2nd Avenue.

             The Catholic Church also put refugee children into their schools which inflated the average classroom size to over sixty students.  In addition, they established health care for refugees free of charge at Mercy Hospital.  One of the biggest problems the Church handled in the early days was the relocation of thousands of children who had been sent by their parents to America alone.  Through Msgr. Bryan Walsh's leadership and the assistance of The National Catholic Welfare Council, thousands of young children were placed in foster homes through 47 dioceses in 30 states.  The monumental task of placing these children and keeping track of them was a human miracle and this event alone deserves a full chapter when the final story of the Cuban migration is told.  In the first months of 1959, the Catholic Church spent in excess of $200,000 supporting the refugees, but this sum does not include hospital and educational costs.  The amount increased to $561,000 the next year.

             Catholics of Miami soon began learning of the refugee problem in their churches on Sunday as financially pressed pastors asked for additional collections.  The rest of Miami also began to realize the dimension of this problem, as the exiles they saw on T.V. began looking less and less like wealthy vacationers and more and more like the refugees they viewed on the evening news coming out of East Berlin.  This new group of visitors like the refugees of Communist Europe were bedraggled, confused, hungry and poor.

             When the new immigrant arrived off the plane, an inspector questioned him, and then he received a quick physical.  The lucky ones would be approved, photographed, fingerprinted and released.  The unlucky visitor, however was sent to Opa Locka airport for further questioning.  Having survived this, the immigrant who had no family, found his way to the Catholic Relief Center where he received a meal and possibly a few dollars with which to begin his new life.

             Although shabby in appearance and almost penniless, these refugees were quite different than the group of poor workers and students that wandered into Miami during the Machado revolution.  These new arrivals were, as later statistics verified, decidedly middle class.  Typical of the new immigrant was a man described by then Mayor Robert King High.  "My law office recently required testimony from someone with a background in Cuban law".  Said High, "We were able to reach a former judge, an appellate judge in Cuba who had served some 30 years.  He came to Miami in the middle of 1960.  It was brought out in testimony as to what his present position is and he stated that he delivers groceries on a part time basis for $18 a week".

             These poorly dressed, mentally depressed, uncomely, wanderers were not the Cubans Miamians had become accustomed to and many were quick to express their disgust.  News commentator Wayne Farriss echoed the opinions of many when he said:

             "Miamians view the Cubans as house guest who have worn out their welcome, who feel it is now time for them to move on. . . .[The Cubans] are a threat to our business and tourist  economy.  It would appear that the hand that holds Miami's torch of friendship has been   overextended"

             Rejected in Cuba, poor abandoned by all but the Church and ridiculed by many, the plight of the first refugees from Castor's Cuba was a sad one.  Had word of this filtered back to Cuba possibly the great flow of humanity would have ceased.  But before the earliest experiences became established practice an amazing event occurred.  The Federal government stepped in.  No longer was the problem of refugees perceived as a local problem but rather an issue of utmost importance to the national security of the country.

             In the fifties and early sixties as refugees poured out of Eastern Europe, Americans interpreted the phenomenon as proof of the failure of Communism.  And when the federal government noticed similar numbers coming out of Cuba they instituted policies which would encourage continued migration and prove a similar point in the Caribbean.  Miami quickly became the latest battle front in the cold war, the Berlin of the Caribbean, and the refugees were no longer  waifs, but heroes.

             Much of this ideological transformation is documented in Senate Hearings held in Miami in 1961.  Senator Phillip Hart from Michigan set the tone for the hearings when he stated that if the United States was going to undertake a major refugee assistance program it must be done "in a way that reflects a conscious understanding that our action in this area bears directly on our foreign policy".

             Local leaders sensitive to the Washington sentiment and eager to obtain funds for their beleaguered community also picked up the cold war theme.  Congressman Dante Fascell in soliciting funds for education added that in every classroom time must be taken for a rigid indoctrination program.  And Mayor Robert King High stated that "we can no longer treat the matter of Cuban refugees as a welfare problem.  These people who gave up their homes, and in some instances their families because of their refusal to knuckle under to communist tyranny should be allowed to taste the fruits of freedom (i.e. a comfortable middle class life).

             H. Franklin Williams of the University of Miami, seeking funds for refugee programs being established at his school testified, "[the refugee problem is] something larger than a Miami community problem we see Miami as the battle front of the Cold War. . .for the firs time the United States was a country of first asylum", he pointed out, and "the way in which we handle these people who had chosen to leave a Communist area was important to the Cold War."

             Of course Williams as well as others who testified in Miami were seeking federal dollars for the community.  But the immediate gratification of large amounts of federal money prevented reflection on long term implications for the future of the city.  The great infusion of federal dollars, along with the millions of Cuba dollars lying dormant in Miami since the forties, combined with vigorous new Cuban middle class, to set off an explosion of entrepreneurial activity in this city such as has never been seen anywhere.  Almost overnight businesses sprang up everywhere.  There were at least a dozen Cuban newspapers printed in 1960 and they recorded the swift Cuban economic development.  On December 30, 1960 the first Cuban theater opened at 313 West Flagler.  It was called Teatro Flagler and its first show was the French film "Este Cuerpo Tan Deseado".  A Cuban employment agency opened at 223 N.W. 3rd Avenue and in December, 1960 on Miami Beach at the Old Raleigh Hotel, Mr. Abraham, the old owner of the Dulceria Mignon del Vedado in Havana, opened what might be the first Cuban restaurant in the Miami area.  "We have Cuban food" Mr. Abraham announced and we speak Spanish."  At seventeenth street and Biscayne Boulevard where the Revolutionary Headquarters would eventually be established, there was even a man selling Cuban liberty bonds.

             More significant than these first openings, however, was the dramatic transformation of Southwest Eight Street.  Within two years, according to the City Directory, between Southwest Fifth Avenue and Fifteenth Avenue, twenty eight street shops changed ownership from American to Cuban.

             An Italian American shopkeeper on Eight Street, Sylvan Peterno, put these statistics into the human terms.  After twenty-six years running a shop on Eight Street, he had to close down and sell out in 1962. [Cuban migration] is "knocking the hell out of my business", he said, "the Cubans trade with their own people and we merchants have to take a loss or sell out cheaply to Cubans.  It's unbelievable how the Cuban could push out Americans in four years time."

             The other side of this story of is that the late 1950's Miami was in po or economic condition.  The city had the highest rate of V.A. and F.H.A. foreclosures in the country, and Eighty street was actually a shabby row of businesses trying to survive in a deteriorating neighborhood.  Also, those who were living here before the Cuban migration benefited economically from the influx too.  As Antonio Jorge and Raul Moncarz have pointed out, the influx of money and economic activity had a multiplier effect which overflowed from the Cuban community to the general economy, and small businessmen selling appliances, furniture, clothing, used cars and other necessities of middle class life, shared in Miami's new prosperity.

             The major source of the economic stimulus for this activity came from the federal government.  In 1960, the fiscally conservative Republicans contributed four million dollars in benefits to the refugees, but by 1961, under the Kennedy administration, expenditures on Cuban refugees increased to $2.4 million a month.  By 1976 from this source alone (Cuban Refugee Program) over 1.6 Billion dollars were injected into the Cuban community.  In addition, traditional disbursement sources such as the Small Business Association, began targeting the Latins also.  As Professor Raymond Mohl has pointed out, of the one hundred million distributed by the SBA in Miami in the early 1970's over half went to Latins.

             Overshadowing all government expenditures was the investment made by the CIA.  Through front organizations such as the Zenith group at the University of Miami the CIA pumped over 100 million dollars into the Cuban community in the early sixties.

             In addition to paying salaries of commandos who spent their money in Miami, the CIA also added a new dimension to the economy, as weapons production and importation became a key industry in the area.  Miami also provided a ready army for CIA operations throughout the world.  At first this militia activity was localized.   For example these counter-revolutionaries bombed Paula's restaurant at 435 N.E. First Avenue which was known hangout for Castro sympathizers and anytime a Cuban official arrived in Miami they would attack them, claiming they were fighting the communists.  But the government funded anti-Communism grew to such a point that eventually CIA agents could come to Miami and recruit an army of one to two hundred Cubans simply by saying they were helping the anti-Communist crusade.  Although this was kept secret, the implications of such a policy became apparent to everyone as events related to the Watergate break-in revealed that Miami Cubans had played an integral part in that operation.

             This massive influx of federal money from various sources far dwarfed normal public spending in the city.. For example, in 1959 the budget for the City of Miami expected no government funding and planned to spend a total of only $19,000,000 for the entire year.  As a result of this commitment, the American government created the largest refugee relief program in the history of the country and in doing so, transformed the city of Miami economically, demographically an politically.

             Twenty Five years into this program a historian might begin to ask to what end was this policy established?  If it was to stimulate the Miami economy, then the government policy was an unparalleled success.   Dreams of economic expansion, that began in the thirties with the first air flights to the Caribbean, became a reality in the sixties and seventies, as exiled Cuban businessmen, building on old connections in the Caribbean, made Miami the acknowledged financial and trading center of the Caribbean.  But if the main purpose was a diplomatic victory over Fidel Castro, the policy was as complete a disaster as the Bay of Pigs fiasco.  For the diplomatic and economic assault designed to destroy the Castro revolution strengthened it.  First of all, it provided a safety valve for the revolution.  Castro did not have to purge his strongest opponents, he simply let them go to Miami.  Secondly, by opening its gates to the Middle Class, America was removing from Cuba that segment of the population most necessary for a successful bourgeois democracy.  With only true believers, workers and the less politically or economically ambitious remaining in Cuba, Communism became the only political destiny possible for the island.  And if the purpose of the migration was to undermine Fidel Castro; this too was a failure, for he used his enemies to expand his own prestige.  From a demographic point of view, he has expanded Cuban influence into the Southern United States, and from an economic point of view he has established a colony which continues to provide economic support (through money, medicine and clothing sent to families, telephone income, and at time tourist income) to the Mother country Cuba.

             Why did America embark on such a futile policy?  In part the answer is that this was just one segment of an overall cold war policy.  But also, Miami's history played a part in the evolution of this policy.  In two previous revolutions, against Spain in 1898 and against Machado in 1933, a small group composed of wealthy exiles and poor desperate radicals used Miami as a base for successful revolutionary operations.  There was no reason to think that 1959 would be any different.  Local government and businessmen lobbied for and supported such a plan because it meant added income for the city and the federal government pursued it because it had been successful in the past.  What they did not understand was that the rules the players and the field had all ben changed by 1959.  The refugees were not just the extremely wealthy and the extremely poor, they were decidedly middle class.  And as the statistics for the first years show, the main goal of the majority of the immigrants was not to foment revolution in Cuba, but to reestablished the comfortable middle class life that was taken away from them there.  The Senate Hearings on the Refugee program reveal a large amount of money being spent to retrain, accountants, physicians, teachers and lawyers so that they might pursue productive lives in the United States.  But most importantly there were new rules to this political game.  Cuba had by American design been thrown into the world political arena, Cuban-American relations were no longer being played out as an issue of American hegemony in the Caribbean, but rather as a question of Communism verses Capitalism.  As Kennedy said shortly after entering office, "Our objection isn't to the Cuban Revolution, it is to the fact that Castro has turned it over to the Communists".

When this occurred both Miami and Havana became pawns not players and their destinies were no longer in their own hands.  At one time the two important geographic centers were on a course of economic cooperation and development.  Because of their complementary economic and strategic significance in the Caribbean, the two cities, Havana and Miami provided a model for Anglo-Spanish cooperation in the new era of Caribbean trade which the airlines were stimulating.  But due to events over which both sides surrendered control, these two cities have scorned natural destiny to become sworn enemies.  The destruction of this relationship has become one of the worst casualties of the entire cold war.

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