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Operation Pedro Pan

 Between December 1960 and October 1962, more than 14.000 Cuban children embarked on a one-way trip to Miami, in one of the lesser known and most tragic episodes of the Cold War.  

Operation Pedro Pan was conducted by the Catholic Church with the aid of anti-Castro organizations and financial support from the American government. In order to preserve them from Communist indoctrination, many middle-class families chose to send their sons and daughters alone to the United States. The parents believed their children would be away for just a few months, until Fidel Castro was ousted.


After the missile crisis in October 1962, the children couldn’t go back to Cuba and it became much more difficult for their parentes to emigrate to the U.S. The little refugees were sent to orphanages and foster homes all around the country.  Some of the children suffered neglect and abuse. Others never saw their parents again. And all of them describe how traumatic that separation was.


Set in Miami, Washington, New York and Havana, this ocumentary feature intertwines interviews with Pedro Pans, historians and other witnesses of the period with archival footage from both American and Cuban sources. 



2019, 4K, 1 x 80’

Directed by: Maurício Dias and Kênya Zanatta

Produced by: Maurício Dias e Fernando Dias

Broadcaster: Canal Curta! (Brazil)