Front Door to Cuba

José Miró Cardona

Miró Cardona spent a good part of his life trying to avoid politics. But politics kept finding him (his father was a division general in Cuba's Third War for Independence which ended in 1898).

Cardona graduated from Havana University Law School and began a practice in 1938. Eventually he became one of Cuba's best-known criminal lawyers, and the president of the Cuban College of Lawyers (similar to the national bar association). His most famous case was the defense of Army Colonel Ramón Barquín, accused of plotting against Cuban dictator Fulgencio Batista in 1956.

Eight months before Batista fell, Miró Cardona moved to Miami in fear of his safety.

Four days after Castro's victory, Cardona was named Premier of Cuba, while Castro remained chief of the armed forces. Thirty-nine days later Cardona resigned; "I cannot run my office while another man is trying to run it from behind a microphone."

In Miami, before the invasion at Bay of Pigs in 1961, Cardona was elected provisional president of the Revolutionary Council. This was to be Cuba's "government in arms," flown into the island once a beachhead had been secured. This provisional government would ask for U.S. military intervention, which would be granted.

Prior to the invasion, Cardona and the other members of the "free Cuba" government were held incommunicado until they could be flown in. The flight never took place.

As president of the Revolutionary Council and the government in exile, Cardona experienced just as much "freedom" to plan for a future just society as he had under Castro.

Cuba in The 1960s

Bay of Pigs | Rolando Cubela | Tony Varona| Manuel Artime Buesa | Huber Matos

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