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How the kids escaped from Havana

A few years ago, I was sitting at a press conference at which television executives were discussing a new Pedropan drama about a family of Cuban-American sugar growers. A producer casually mentioned that one of the characters would be ``a Pedro Pan kid.'' Around me, the faces of other TV critics went blank with incomprehension. And as the producer explained what a Pedro Pan kid was, the expressions twisted into near disbelief.

Like so much about Cuba, Operation Pedro Pan -- the covert airlift of some 14,000 of the island's children to the United States during the early days of Fidel Castro's rule -- is an intimately familiar story in Miami that's virtually unknown to other Americans. Escape From Havana: An American Story, a CNBC documentary airing Thursday, is a worthy if flawed attempt to break the silence. Read my full review in Thursday's Miami Herald.


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