Before Pitbull was a world-renowned Grammy Award-winning rapper with a net worth of $100 million, he was best known as Armando Christian Pérez.
The first-generation Cuban American whose family escaped the iron-fisted rule of Fidel Castro gives a stark warning about communism rising in the United States.
Pitbull’s grandmother initially fought in the Cuban revolutionary war on the side of Castro, but once he took power, she realized that she had made a grave mistake.
In the early 1960s, there were rumors swirling in Cuba that Castro was going to round-up children and place them in communist indoctrination centers.
Pitbull’s grandmother sent her two daughters to the United States during Operation Peter Pan, a covert program that brought 14,000 Cuban children to the U.S. between 1960 to 1962 at the height of the Cold War. Pitbull’s mother and aunt were taken to Florida, where the rapper’s father would also land after fleeing from Fidel.
“My grandmother fought in the [Cuban] revolutionary war actually with Castro, because everybody thought that Batista was corrupt,” Pitbull told CNN in 2009. “I’m not saying that he wasn’t, but it’s almost like the lesser of two evils. [When she became disillusioned with the Castro government], my mother and my aunt got sent off in an operation called Peter Pan without their parents. She didn’t see her mother for seven years. As far as my father – he came over also. He didn’t come in the Peter Pan, but they fled the country.”