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Archive for the ‘Cuban Americans’ Category

“Que Pasa USA” and growing up Cuban in the US

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Written by scantojr

June 28, 2017 at 6:41 pm

A show from 2013: Memories of “Semana Santa” in Cuba

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Written by scantojr

April 15, 2017 at 10:00 pm

Happy ‘Dia de los Reyes’ to all of my Latino friends

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(My new American Thinker post)

Over the years, many of us celebrated January 6 as “El Día de los Reyes,” or the day the Three Wise Men visited the baby Jesus.  The story comes from the New Testament:

After they had heard the king, they went on their way, and the star they had seen in the east went ahead of them until it stopped over the place where the child was. 

When they saw the star, they were overjoyed. 

On coming to the house, they saw the child with his mother Mary, and they bowed down and worshiped Him. Then they opened their treasures and presented Him with gifts of gold and of incense and of myrrh. 

And having been warned in a dream not to go back to Herod, they returned to their country by another route.


For centuries, children in Spain, France, and other countries with a strong Catholic influence got gifts from their families on this day.  It is one of the greatest traditions.  Spain brought this tradition to Latin America.

As a kid growing up in Cuba, I remember that this day became the equivalent of what Santa Claus is in the U.S.

For example, we would write letters to the three kings (we called them kings, not wise men) and request presents.  In fact, kids would write a letter to their favorite king.  A few days before Christmas, my father used to take our letter and promise to mail it.

On a commercial level, the retail stores would have displays of the three kings.  Kids would go with their parents and take pictures, the same way we do with Santa Claus.  I remember one place in Cuba that had real camels the kids could approach and touch.

On the night before, we went to bed early and waited for them to come by and drop off our presents.  We would leave grass and water for the camels.  Our mom would always leave a cake for the kings.  It was amazing to us how the camels and the kings always consumed everything.  It was even more remarkable to talk to the kids in the neighborhood and hear that the kings and camels ate everything they had left, too!

The kings even had a “repair service.”  One year, our little sister left her doll outside a week before, and it was delivered with a new dress and hair.

In Cuba, the tradition and Christmas were outlawed by the communist regime.  They were brought back in 1997 before Pope John Paul II visited the island.  

Unfortunately, 30 years without Christmas gave us a generation that did not understand the holiday or the traditions I knew.

This beautiful tradition continues in much of Latin America, although Santa Claus has become a bigger part of the season.    

In some countries, they share food with friends and neighbors, as we read from Carolina Moreno

Reyes festivities come in different shapes and sizes across the globe from community parades to three-day celebrations at Disneyland. 

In Mexico, thousands gather every year to taste a mile-long “Rosca de Reyes” (Kings’ Bread) while others simply make the holiday staple at home honoring the tradition to hide a baby jesus figurine within the bread — the person whose slice has the figurine must prepare tamales for everyone on the Day of the Candles on Feb. 2!

In our case, we usually share something with each other.  Years ago, my parents would always tell our sons that the kings paid a special visit to Texas and left them a gift.

Say “Feliz Día de los Reyes” to your Hispanic friends today!  It will probably remind them of a great tradition we grew up with.

P.S. You can listen to my show (Canto Talk) and follow me on Twitter.

Written by scantojr

January 6, 2017 at 6:02 am

Let’s talk about ‘Cuba Adios’ with author Lorenzo Martinez

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Guest: Lorenzo Pablo Martinez, author of ‘Cuba Adios’, his journey to freedom….click the link below to listen:

Source: Let’s talk about ‘Cuba Adios’ with author Lorenzo Martinez 08/15 by Silvio Canto Jr | Politics Podcasts

Written by scantojr

August 8, 2016 at 1:00 pm

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The poetry of Cástulo Gregorisch PLUS Fernando Hernandez

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January 30, 2016 at 3:30 pm

Let’s meet Nilda Cepero, Cuban American author & poet

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January 30, 2016 at 2:00 pm

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Angel Ruiz, Cuban American success story

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(My new Babalu post)

We always enjoy reading about Cuban American success stories. Let me tell you about my friend Angel Ruiz:

“In 1968, 12-year-old Angel Ruiz heard those words from his father, who had awakened him and his 8-year-old brother, Carlos, in the middle of the night as they slept on the floor of Cuba’s Havana Airport. The father told the boys that he and their mother were being taken away for searches they had to undergo as part of a program to get the family out of the country that Fidel Castro controlled. He added that he did not know exactly why they were being taken—or whether the boys would ever see them again.

Nearly five decades later, that 12-year-old boy now runs a large portion of the U.S. and Canada operations of Sweden-based Ericsson, one of the two biggest suppliers of hardware and software used in telecommunications networks of companies like Verizon and Dallas-based AT&T. (The other dominant player is Nokia.) Of Ericsson’s roughly 16,000 North American employees, 9,500 report to Ruiz, including most of the 3,600-plus people at the company’s North American headquarters in Plano. The 59-year-old leader, whose title is head of Ericsson Region North America, saw annual revenue for his piece of the company hit $8 billion in 2014—compared with $500 million when he took the helm in 2001. “

You can read the whole story here! It’s worth sharing with your friends.  Angel has met many challenges with courage and a wonderful personality.

In the interest of full disclosure, I’ve known Angel for many years. My brother, Angel and I spent a lot of hours listening to Alvarez-Guedes LPs and eating our mothers’ Cuban dishes.

P. S. You can listen to my show (Canto Talk) and follow me on Twitter.


Written by scantojr

January 13, 2016 at 11:30 am

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