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A Guide to the Carlos González Blanco Collection

Finding aid created by Margarita Vargas-Betancourt

University of Florida Smathers Libraries - Special and Area Studies Collections
October 2012


Descriptive Summary

Creator: González Blanco, Carlos, 1917-1996
Title: Carlos González Blanco Collection
Dates: 1968-1977
Abstract: The collection includes the letters that Carlos González Blanco wrote to his wife, mother, and daughter while he was a political prisoner in various Cuban jails. It also includes his mother's correspondence with Latin American and U.S. presidents, and international organizations, such as Amnesty International and the Red Cross, regarding the situation of her son and two brothers, who were also political prisoners.
Extent: 0.2 Linear feet. 1 box.
Identification: MS Group 24
Language(s): Includes materials written in Spanish and English.
Note: This guide is available in Spanish at http://www.library.ufl.edu/spec/manuscript/guides/gonzalezblanco_es.htm

Biographical/Historical Note

Carlos Eugenio González Blanco was born on December 25, 1917 in Colón, Matanzas, Cuba. His father, Carlos González Tadeo, was a farmer, and his mother, Mercedes Blanco Muñiz, a high school math teacher. In 1935, he participated in the Third Central American and Caribbean Games at El Salvador, where he obtained a silver medal as a light-weight boxer. Later, when González Blanco became a political prisoner, his name was deleted from official Cuban records. In 1952, he married Ara Margarita Masdeu Gaudix. A year later, they had a daughter, and González Blanco named her Frida in honor of the Mexican painter Frida Kahlo. He was a business man who sold and distributed underwear in several Cuban cities.

González Blanco was also politically active. He was a member of the Partido Auténtico and participated in different unions that fought against the government of Fulgencio Batista. When Fidel Castro turned to communism, González Blanco joined a counter revolutionary group led by Eumelio Rodríguez. In 1961, along with his comrades, he was sentenced to nine years in prison. In 1966, he escaped from the Taco Taco Prison and hid in Havana, where he tried to flee the country. He was caught and sentenced to twelve more years in prison. In July 1968, González Blanco's wife and daughter arrived in the in the United States on the Vuelos de la Libertad (freedom flights to bring Cuban refugees to the U.S. sponsored by President Lyndon Johnson) . A year later, González Blanco's mother took the same route.

Thanks to family pressure, Castro's government allowed González Blanco to go to Venezuela in July 1978. On September of that year, he went to California where he joined his mother, wife, and daughter who had settled in California several years before. González Blanco worked as a night watchman in a synagogue until 1981, when he had an accident. He died in Miami of a heart attack on October 14, 1996.


Scope and Content

The collection includes the letters that Carlos González Blanco wrote to his wife, mother, and daughter while he was a political prisoner in various Cuban jails. It also includes his mother's correspondence with Latin American and U.S. presidents, and international organizations, such as Amnesty International and the Red Cross, regarding the situation of her son and two brothers, Odón and Lauro Blanco, who were also political prisoners. After nine years of prison, Odón Blanco was released, and he took care of his imprisoned nephew and brother. In fact, Odón sent the letters that González Blanco wrote in prison to his family. Odón also wrote letters to inform González Blanco's wife and daughter of the physical condition of the latter.

The letters that González Blanco and his uncle wrote give evidence of the life of political prisoners in Cuba during the 1960s and 1970s. Odón's letters also deal with the conditions of life in Cuba during the same time period. According to Frida Masdeu, many of the letters that political prisoners and their relatives sent to each other were smuggled by the wardens.


Access or Use Restrictions

Access

The collection is open for research.


Related or Separated Material

This collection is part of the Cuban Miscellaneous Collection.

Reina Peñate de Tito was another member of the counter revolutionary group that Eumelio Rodríguez led. Like Carlos González Blanco, she was a political prisoner. The George A. Smathers Libraries at the University of Florida hold her testimonials and her sentence documents (See the Reina Peñate de Tito Collection).

Zoé Valdés, award-winning writer, interviewed Frida Masdeu on her life, the political activism of her father, and her own political activism. The interview can be accessed in the following link: http://ecodiario.eleconomista.es/blogs/zoe-en-el-metro/2012/07/20/frida-b-masdeu-la-trayectoria-de-una-verdadera-exiliada/


Administrative Information

Alternate Form of Finding Aid

This guide is available in Spanish at http://www.library.ufl.edu/spec/manuscript/guides/gonzalezblanco_es.htm.

Preferred Citation

[Identification of item], Carlos González Blanco Collection, Special and Area Studies Collections, George A. Smathers Libraries, University of Florida, Gainesville, Florida.

Acquisition Information

Frida Masdeu, Carlos González Blanco's daughter, donated the collection to the University of Florida in 2012.


Contents List

Box
1 Letters to Ara Masdeu. 1968
1 Letters to Ara and Frida Masdeu. 1969
1 Letters to Ara and Frida Masdeu. 1970
1 Letters to Ara Masdeu. 1971
1 Letters to Ara and Frida Masdeu. 1972
1 Letters to Ara and Frida Masdeu. 1973
1 Letters to Ara and Frida Masdeu. 1974
1 Letters to Ara and Frida Masdeu. 1975
1 Letters to Ara and Frida Masdeu. 1976
1 Letters to Ara and Frida Masdeu. 1977
1 Letters to Ara and Frida Masdeu. 1978
1 Letters to Ara and to Carlos González Blanco. 1979-1984
1 Letters to Ara and Frida Masdeu. Not dated
1 Mercedes Blanco's correspondence regarding the imprisonment of her son and brothers. 1970- 1977
1 Portrait of Carlos González Blanco done while in prison. Not dated

Selected Subjects and Access Terms

Political prisoners -- Cuba



For further information, please contact: Special Collections Access Services.

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