This lecture series will address the long silent voice of Cuba's democratic opposition in American academia. Miami is the logical location for such a lecture series to originate from. It is home to a large number of Cuban exiles and Cuban Americans. They have seen and experienced firsthand the suffering and oppression perpetrated by the Castro government against the Cuban people.
The fact that pro-Castro voices have had a greater voice on American campuses than the voices of those who speak for democracy and human rights in Cuba is a sign that American universities are out of touch with the reality of the Orwellian nightmare that is Cuba. The Thomas P. Ray Lecture Series is an important first step in combatting Castro's campaign of misinformation.
The lecture series is named in honor of Thomas P. Ray, an American pilot who died trying to liberate Cuba during the Bay of Pigs. Captured and wounded he was taken to a Cuban hospital. While in the hospital a communist militia member shot and killed him in his hospital bed. During the next 18 years his family searched for his remains. Upon ascertaining were his remains were located the Castro government told the family that they would have to pay $36,000 in "storage fees." We believe that by spreading the message about the Cuban reality we honor the memory of those who gave their lives in the cause of a free Cuba.