» more from Escape from Havana: An American Story

Candi Sosa

Candi Sosa (pictured far left with her sisters, brothers and a neighbor in pre-Castro Cuba) was just 10 years old when her parents sent her and her siblings to the United States.

Her Pedro Pan story began with a song. It was just after the revolution and her parents sent her to buy milk at a corner store where she had a chance encounter with Fidel Castro, who had come in to buy cigars.

People in the store told him Candi was a singer, so she obliged Castro with a song. Soon after, Castro's men arrived at Candi's home with news that he wanted to send Candi to Russia to train as an opera singer. Her parents said no.

It wasn't long until they came for Candi's father. He was declared a traitor to the revolution. Soon after, the family decided to send Candi and her siblings to the United States with the secret Pedro Pan operation.