Antonio Luis Navarro
Antonio Luis Navarro was born on September 26, 1922 in Havana, Cuba. He was a former Fidel Castro ally who later became a resistance leader on the island and director of Radio and TV Martí in the early 1990s. Navarro was a graduate of Belén Jesuit Preparatory School in Havana. He then went to the United States and obtained a degree in chemical engineering from Georgia Tech University in Atlanta in 1943. He worked for Shell Chemical Co. in California until 1950. That’s when he returned to Cuba to work for Galban Trading Co., one of the country’s biggest sugar exporters.
When Castro began to control the press, confiscate private property and summarily execute members of the opposition, Navarro joined the underground anti-Castro movement. He set up an illegal radio communications operation to send and receive Morse code transmissions between resistance fighters and exiles in Miami. These communications helped guide air-dropped shipments of food and weapons to resistance fighters who were to support the Bay of Pigs invasion. When Cuban intelligence arrested him, Navarro sought asylum at the Brazilian Embassy in Havana in 1961.
He ended up in Lima, Peru, where he spent 12 years as general manager of W.R. Grace and Co.’s extensive sugar, chemicals and diversified industries. Later, he moved to New York as assistant to the company CEO, eventually holding several executive positions.
He served on the advisory board for the Office of Cuba Broadcasting — which oversees transmissions on Radio and TV Martí — from 1985 to 1990 and, after retiring in 1989, became director of the broadcasting office from 1990 to 1992.
He died on August 16, 2003 in Miami, Florida.