HAVANA TIMES, Jan 12 — Cuban born Guillermo Vidal, 59, was sworn in Tuesday as the new mayor of Denver, Colorado. He came to the US as an eight-year-old along with two brothers, but without their parents, as part of “Operation Peter Pan” that sent children out of Cuba to avoid supposed indoctrination by the revolutionary government of Fidel Castro.
Vidal will finish the term of John Hickenlooper who was elected governor of Colorado. He was Hickenlooper’s deputy mayor for the last six years. Vidal will hold the mayor´s office until July 18. An election in May will decide who takes his place. He is not a candidate.
Vidal wrote a book titled “Boxing for Cuba” telling his personal story that included shaking the hand of Fidel Castro (1959) and Robert F. Kennedy back in 1961.
“Vidal and his brothers – who did not speak English at the time – were left alone in a Florida airport and shipped to the Sacred Heart Orphanage in Pueblo, Colorado,” reported the Denver Post back in 2007.
“I think the issue of immigration is one that burns in me pretty deeply. Most people don’t realize just how difficult it is leaving everything you know … and starting over in something that is so strange,” Vidal told the Post.