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Cuban American Association of Pensacola Collection

A collection of books and videos collected by the Cuban American Association of Pensacola (CAAP) and donated to the John C. Pace Library.

What is the Cuban American Affairs Collection?

The Cuban American Association of Pensacola (CAAP) was founded in 2000 in the wake of the Elián González affair. A number of us were sufficiently scandalized about the way the Cuban-American community was being misrepresented in the media to form an association which, among other purposes, would foster “accurate and fair reporting on Cuba and Cuban-Americans” and “preserve and transmit knowledge of the Cuban-American odyssey.” Founding or long-term Board members included Roberto de Varona (founding president), Juan Caballero, Zeida Ward (long-term president), Mayra Fillmore, Sylvia Machado, José Zayas, Marta Suárez-O’Connor, John Spurny, Julie Neyra, and Alfred Cuzán. The Board met monthly except in the summer. It organized two or three general meetings annually. The yearly highlights were a dinner dance honoring Cuba’s apóstol José Martí in late January or early February, when donations for one or more canastillas (layettes) were presented to the mother or mothers of a child born around Martís birthday, a historic Cuban tradition; and a roast pig feast held in late May to celebrate Cuba’s Independence Day. Also, whenever the media was abuzz with news about Cuba or Cuban-Americans, the Board would draft a letter for publication in the Pensacola News Journal commenting on the events. After 15 years in existence, the Board voted to “retire” the Association and to donate the balance of its bank account ($1,000) to the UWF library to purchase books on Cuba or Cuban-Americans. Thus the CAAP Cuban collection was born. Former CAAP members are encouraged to donate additional volumes. We are grateful to UWF for agreeing to host the collection.