Maximo Alvarez: Escaping Communist Cuba through the Pedro Pan Operation

VOC highlights the tragic and powerful stories of victims of communism through our award-winning Witness Project video and podcast series. Today, we are proud to present the newest episode of the Witness Project, featuring Maximo Alvarez, who escaped communist Cuba through the Pedro Pan Operation. 

After Fidel Castro seized power in Cuba, the communists took over all areas of life. Communist sympathizers were appointed to surveil city blocks and report on their neighbors. Show trials and unjust executions became frequent. Educational institutions, including Max’s Catholic school, were purged of religious educators. Overnight, life on the beautiful island of Cuba would never be the same.

Max’s parents feared for his safety so he was sent to Florida on a ferry, along with thousands of other Cuban children over a period of months, in hopes that he would be protected from the chaos of revolution. This mass exodus would come to be known as the Pedro Pan Operation, organized by Monsignor Bryan O. Walsh, a Catholic priest.

Today, Maxis a successful businessman and a staunch supporter of preserving the legacy of the Pedro Pan Operation. In this episode of the Witness Project, Max discusses his experience with the communist dictatorship in Cuba, growing up in the United States, and the American Dream.