Angelina Suarez was born in Cuba in 1951 to Luis and Amelia Suarez just a few years before the entire island erupted in revolution. Although she and her younger brother, Raul, never experienced the war directly, it was on the periphery, always close. Castro may not have realized it when he seized the reins of power, but he set in motion events that would have wide-ranging effects, not just on his island or between the Soviet Union and America but on the Lupus sapiens race as well.
Angelina’s parents believed in individual freedom and a strong education. They worked endlessly to ensure their two children were brought up in that environment. However, with the takeover of the government, Castro was intent on ensuring the youth of Cuba were given a “State Education.”
The Cuban people looked to America as the shining example of what their lives should be. The study of America’s Founding Fathers was part of that example. But that was before the revolution. Hitler, Jefferson, Stalin, and most every other powerful leader knew an education supplied by the State inculcated the youth to the needs and wants of the State and was the best way to ensure the longevity of the State and its political theories. Fidel Castro, being a lawyer, was not stupid; he knew it, too.
Cuban parents, fearing Marxist-Leninist indoctrination and that the government would eventually remove their parental authority, sent their children to America. In February 1962, Angelina and her brother were two of approximately 14,000 unaccompanied minors who immigrated to America under Operation Pedro Pan. Monsignor Bryan O. Walsh, an Irish, Catholic priest spearheaded Operation Pedro Pan and arranged for over half of these children to be placed with relatives or foster homes around the country. Angelina and her brother were not so lucky. They grew up under the Catholic Welfare Bureau in a group home in Miami. Still, in their parents’ eyes, it was better than growing up in Cuba under Castro. Their parents died in a failed counter-revolution, knowing their children were safe, three years after sending them to America.
Angelina worked hard to honor her parents and their decision to send them to America by dedicating her life to learning and earning a full college scholarship through the Catholic Welfare Bureau. She ultimately received her Doctorate from the University of Miami Medical School in Psychology in 1978.
She spent her first year and a half after college working directly for the Bureau at the Miami Bridge, a program for run-away teens; she wanted to give something back to the organization that spent so much time and so many resources on her and her brother’s behalf. As a professional counselor, she oversaw scores of kids and young adults, helping them overcome drug addictions and other problems.
Angelina’s life came crashing down around her on October 20, 1979.