The Cuban American Veterans Association
The Cuban American Veterans Association, is dedicated to promoting the welfare of Cuban-American veterans. It was established in Miami after a trip to the Naval Base in Guantanamo, (GITMO,) on November 11, 1990 in order to celebrate “Veterans Day.” The idea of founding an organization with its own identity: “Cuban American Veterans,” was originated by Rolando Pérez, a Cuban American Veteran himself.
The initial Board of Directors was made up of the following veterans: Raul Tejero, Jorge O. Fenton, and Andrés Garcia.
The Officers were: Raul Tejero, Jorge O. Fenton, Andrés Garcia, Rafael Crespo, Enrique Gaston, Joel Lopez, Rafael Morales and Oscar Martinez.
Membership is open to “anyone who has served honorably as an officer or enlisted, on active duty, honorably discharged or released to inactive duty in the US Armed Forces.”
The Cuban American Veterans Association (CAVA, Inc.) was incorporated under the Laws of the State of Florida on September 12, 1991, as a non-profit organization.
The purpose of the organization is as follow:
- To help foster, encourage and promote the welfare of the veterans of the U.S. Armed Forces.
- To prevent discrimination suffered by all veterans, but mainly Hispanic veterans, and to develop channels of communications which will assist veterans to maximize self-realization and enrichment of their lives.
- To study, on a nonpartisan basis, proposed legislation, rules, or regulations introduced in any Federal, State or local legislative or administrative body which may affect the social, economic, educational, or physical welfare of the veterans and to develop public policy proposals designed to improve the quality of life of the veterans especially in the areas of employment, education, training and health.
- To assist disabled, homeless and needy veterans including, but not limited to, their dependents and the widows and orphans of deceased veterans.
- To provide humanitarian aid to the people of Cuba, in the form of food medicine, clothing and sundries, immediately upon the demise of the communist regime and the transition of the nation to democracy.
- To engage in humanitarian aid missions.
To conduct studies with the purpose of evaluating the socioeconomic philosophy of the incoming refugees, as to identify their understanding of democratic values and ideals and provide an educational and social program encompassing human rights, economics, politics, history and social values. To accelerate their process of integration and acculturation into the U.S. society. The results of the study will serve as a model for the development of democratic institutions in the nations of the Western Hemisphere