Madrid Spain.- This September 21 marks the 83rd anniversary of the birth of Cuban businessman Jorge Mas Canosa, a key personality in the fight against the regime on the Island.
Mas Canosa, born in Santiago de Cuba in a middle-class family, from a very young age openly showed his opposition to Fidel Castro, which is why he left the country in 1960.
In 1959, with the arrival of Castro to power, he had been imprisoned, accused of being a “counterrevolutionary”. Upon being released, he moved to the United States.
From then until his death, Jorge Mas Canosa dedicated his life to fighting for democracy and freedom in Cuba, which led him to become the leader of the Cuban exile community in Miami.
After his arrival in the northern country, he graduated as an ensign in the US Army, but left the military aside to focus on his business projects.
In 1969 he made a deal with the owner of Church & Tower, a telephone service company that was in crisis. In exchange for his half ownership, he promised to get the company off the ground. Gradually, Church & Tower grew and by 1980 it had annual revenues of $40 million.
Among his many actions, the creation of the Cuban American National Foundation (CANF) in 1981, and the Radio Martí station in 1985 stand out.
In 1992, after Hurricane Andrew hit South Florida, Mas Canosa developed a program to help affected communities.
In December 1996, Mas Canosa was diagnosed with Paget’s disease, a bone disease that would lead to his death on November 23, 1997, at the age of 58.
After his death, one of his sons, Jorge Mas Santos, express: “My father’s thoughts until his last minutes were with his family, with God and with Cuba.” (…) During these months of so much suffering he always offered his pain for the freedom of his homeland. It is those seeds and that love for Cuba that he has planted, not only in his family and in the members of the Foundation, that are going to lead us all to the freedom of Cuba”.
For his part, the former president of the United States, Bill Clinton, stated: “He united his community, his adopted country and people around the world in favor of the cause of freedom and democracy in Cuba. We have lost a strong voice for the freedom of Cuba and elsewhere, but his dream lives on”.