Guillermo V. Vidal traveled a long and rocky road before becoming deputy mayor and manager of public works for the city and county of Denver. His memoir, “Boxing for Cuba,” which comes out November 15 from Ghost Road Press, is an account of this journey—a tapestry of his coming of age, a broken family, and the extraordinary collective disorientation of political unrest.
Born in Cuba, Vidal was barely ten years old when the rise of Fidel Castro brought an abrupt and staggering change for him and his family. Though once staunch supporters of La Revolucion, Vidal’s parents soon found they could no longer keep their sons safe in the new face of Castro’s reign, making the difficult decision to send him and his brothers to the U.S. via Operation Peter Pan in 1961.
My story puts a very human face to the difficulties of leaving one’s homeland, security, culture, family and friends and immigrating to a foreign land
The plan was to send the boys to stay with family in Miami until political tremors in Cuba subsided. But to the boy’s surprise, no one was waiting for them. So they were placed in an orphanage in Southern Colorado. After an eventual reunion with his parents, Vidal was raised in Colorado where he and his family struggled and thrived as Cuban Americans.
Vidal returned to Cuba in 2001, where he came to terms with the events of his family’s past.
“My story puts a very human face to the difficulties of leaving one’s homeland, security, culture, family and friends and immigrating to a foreign land,” Vidal said.
Guillermo “Bill” Vidal lives and writes in Denver, Colorado. He is the deputy mayor of Denver.
Contact: Tommie Evans 303.758.7623 or tommie @ ghostroadpress.com
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