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A Guide to the Manuel Ray Oral History Collection

Finding aid created by Margarita Vargas-Betancourt

University of Florida Smathers Libraries - Special and Area Studies Collections
March 2013


Descriptive Summary

Creator: Guerra, Lillian
Title: Manuel Ray Oral History Collection
Dates: 2008-2009
Abstract: Two filmed interviews conducted by Lillian Guerra, one with Manuel Ray (aka Manolo) that is nine hours long, and the other with Aurora Chacón de Ray that is one hour and a half in length. Also included is a transcript of both interviews that is 74 pages in length and several photos.
Extent: 0.1 Linear feet. 5 Folders.
Identification: MS Group 88
Language(s): Spanish
Note: This guide is available in Spanish at http://www.library.ufl.edu/spec/manuscript/guides/ray_es.htm

Biographical/Historical Note

Manuel Ray Rivero (1924- ) was an important figure in the Cuban Revolution and in the counterrevolutionary movements that followed it. From 1957 to 1959, Ray was the Secretary General of the Movimiento de Resistencia Cívica or MRC (Civic Resistance Movement) where he was in charge of action and sabotage units. He was also one of Cuba's most renowned engineers; he designed the famous and critical tunnel connecting both sides of the bay of Havana and the Havana Hilton (known as Habana Libre since 1959). Fidel Castro appointed him as the first Minister of Public Works in the 1959-1960 revolutionary government, but he only lasted in this position for a few months. He resigned from the Cabinet when Fidel Castro demanded Ray's support for the execution of Huber Matos in 1959.

Ray then became an important counterrevolutionary leader. He founded groups such as the Movimiento Revolucionario del Pueblo or MRP (Revolutionary Movement of the People) in 1960 and the Junta Revolucionaria Cubana or JURE in 1962. Although Ray had already left Cuba, through these groups he attempted to mobilize internal counterrevolutionary movements there. He operated with CIA aid, but after several failed attempts of infiltration and invasion, the CIA withdrew its support.


Scope and Content

The collection includes two interviews conducted by Lillian Guerra, one with Manolo (aka Manuel) Ray that is nine hours long, and the other with Aurora Chacón de Ray that is one hour and a half in length. Also included is a transcript of both interviews that is 74 pages in length, a photo of Manolo and Aurora's wedding, a photo of Manolo as a young man, a newspaper clipping, and some photos of the meetings with Lillian Guerra.

Guerra conducted these interviews in February of 2009 over the course of three days in Ray's home in San Juan, Puerto Rico. The films of Ray are long and detailed, covering his childhood through the many actions taken by the 26th of July Movement in Havana and elsewhere. Well documented is the period 1959-1963 when he became alienated from the authoritarianism of the Revolution. Also interviewed was Ray's wife Aurora Chacón de Ray who had many, interesting comments to contribute.


Access or Use Restrictions

Access

The collection is open for research.

Usage Restrictions

Lillian Guerra has copyright for the filmed interviews and the transcription until 2020.


Related or Separated Material

This collection is part of the Cuban Miscellaneous Collection.


Administrative Information

Alternate Form of Finding Aid

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

Preferred Citation

[Identification of item], Manuel Ray Oral History Collection, Special and Area Studies Collections, George A. Smathers Libraries, University of Florida, Gainesville, Florida.

Acquisition Information

Lillian Guerra donated the collection to the University of Florida in 2012.


Contents List

Folder
1 Five photos of Manolo Ray, Aurora Ray, and Lillian Guerra during the first meeting. August 2008
2 Five photos of Manolo Ray, Aurora Ray, and Lillian Guerra during the second meeting. February-March 2009
3 Two photos of Manolo and Aurora Ray during their youth and a photocopy of a newsclipping during that period. 1960s
4 Lillian Guerra's transcription of the interviews to Manolo and Aurora. 2009
5 Disc 1 (movies 1, 2, 3); Disc 2 (movies 4,5,6); Disc 3 (movies 7, 8, 9). February 28 and March 1, 2009

Selected Subjects and Access Terms

Chacón de Ray, Aurora
Cuba -- History -- 1933-1959
Cuba -- History -- 1959-1990
Cuba -- History -- Revolution, 1959
Ray Rivero, Manuel, 1924-



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

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