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Mas Canosa, Jorgelocked

(21 September 1939–23 November 1997)
  • Dennis Wepman


Mas Canosa, Jorge (21 September 1939–23 November 1997), political activist and entrepreneur, was born in Santiago, Cuba, the son of Ramón Mas Cayado, a Cuban army veterinarian, and Josefa de Carmen Canosa Aguilera. While still in high school in Santiago, Mas Canosa was active in politics and spoke out against the president of Cuba, Fulgencio Batista, on the local radio, for which, at the age of fourteen, he was arrested and spent a few months in jail. His father sent him to the United States to study at Presbyterian Junior College (now St. Andrews Presbyterian College), in Maxton, North Carolina, from which he received an A.A. in 1959. The next year he returned to Santiago, where he studied law at the University of Oriente and married his high school sweetheart, Irma Santos Espronceda. The couple had three children. Still hostile to Batista, he supported Fidel Castro when Castro took over the Cuban government in 1959, but he soon became critical of the new leader and spoke publicly against him. Mas Canosa was briefly jailed again, and he and his wife emigrated to the United States in 1960. He arrived penniless and worked for a time at menial jobs, including stevedore, dishwasher, milkman, and shoe salesman, in Little Havana, in Miami. In 1961 he signed up with other Cuban exiles being trained by the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) for the Bay of Pigs invasion that took place in April of that year. He didn't participate in the fighting, but he continued working for the CIA, broadcasting to Cuba through Radio Swan, an anti-Castro station sponsored by the agency. He later joined the U.S. Army, attaining the rank of second lieutenant....

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