Speakers weigh immigration trends amid changing U.S.-Cuba relations

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February 18, 2015

Florida bishop weighs in on U.S.-Cuba diplomatic relations

Bishop Felipe J. Estevez of St. Augustine, Fla., talks with Raul Hernandez of the New Americans Campaign about Cuban refugees Feb. 12 during a workshop held at the Jacksonville Hyatt Riverside Hotel. (CNS photo/Tom Tracy)

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (CNS) — Cuban parents who sent their unaccompanied children from Cuba to the United States in the early 1960s for fear of communist indoctrination under Fidel Castro made the right decision.

That was the conclusion of St. Augustine Bishop Felipe J. Estevez, who was one of four Cuban experts on a panel convened in Jacksonville at a time of expected shifts in diplomatic relations between the United States and Cuba.

The bishop shared his insights into Operation Pedro Pan and the motivations that Cuban parents had in cooperating with the church-sponsored plan. He also spoke of his own history as a Pedro Pan child.

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