CNBC News Releases


Jennifer Dauble



A CNBC Original, "ESCAPE FROM HAVANA: AN AMERICAN STORY," will premiere on Thursday, May 27th at 9pm. The documentary will repeat that evening at 10pm, 12am and 1am.

Narrated by Meredith Vieira, co-anchor of NBC News’ TODAY, CNBC's original documentary, "Escape from Havana: An American Story," tells the fascinating story of a little-known chapter in American history. It was the height of the Cold War, and 90 miles from U.S. shores a charismatic young leader, Fidel Castro, came to power in Cuba. It was supposed to be a democratic revolution, but Castro soon turned to communism and dictatorship. Rumors began to spread among the elites and middle class that Castro would take their children away. Throughout the island, parents panicked. Then, the U.S. offered a way out: it would conduct a secret airlift of Cuban children and bring them to America – without their parents. It was irresistible – and unbearable, a "Sophie’s Choice" between raising their children in the oppression of Castro’s Cuba, or setting them free to live in the land of freedom, never knowing if they would reunite.

The airlift was carried out over two years, from 1960 to 1962. In that time, more than 14,000 Cuban children arrived in the United States. Many have thrived here ever since. Some have reunited with their parents and some have not. Each has walked a long road and fought to overcome profound obstacles on their way to the American dream. In CNBC's "Escape from Havana: An American Story," viewers will meet a big-city mayor, an accomplished author, a singer, an activist, a professor, and a wealthy business tycoon. They were all part of a secret and improbable plan to escape a dictator’s rule and fly to freedom: it became known as Operation Peter Pan.

This is the story of an extraordinary group of Americans known as the Peter Pans.

The show will also air on Sunday, May 30th at 10pm.

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