Co Host: Orestes Matacena.
Matacena has worked as an actor with high profile directors on films, television and commercials.
Orestes first ventured into films at the age of six when he worked as an actor in “The Life of Billy the Kid,” with a cast comprised only of children. The movie was shot at the Mercedes Sugar Mill in Matanzas, Cuba, where he lived with his parents. In the last few years, Orestes has expanded his versatility as a playwright and screenwriter. His writing encompasses a variety of styles: thrillers, dramas, comedies, horror and action-adventures. Five of the 23 screenplays he has written have been produced, and six more have been optioned.
Special Guest: Danilo de la Torre
Danilo is a Cuban born actor, aka Adora is a drag queen performer and Miami DJ, he is also part of the performance art group “Homocipian Art for Evolucion”. Trained as a classical dancer, Danilo began dancing professionally at age 17, he traveled to Paris, France to continue his dancing career.
In 1989 Danilo’s career took a turn towards the sunny City of Miami, in 1991 the persona Adora was born and since then, Adora aka Danilo De La Torre has been one of the most popular and sought after drag artist in Florida. Adora has been traveling nationally and internationally entertaining the public far and wide with her glamour, beauty and talent.
Huber Matos (26 November 1918 – 27 February 2014) was a Cuban dissident activist and writer. Previously, he had been a revolutionary who assisted Fidel Castro, Che Guevara and other members of the 26th of July Movement (M-26-7) in successfully overthrowing the dictatorship of Fulgencio Batista as part of the Cuban Revolution. Matos had opposed Batista since the general’s effective coup in 1952, which he regarded as unconstitutional, but became increasingly critical of the movement’s shift towards Marxist principles, and closening ties with leaders of the Communist Party of Cuba (PCC). Convicted of “treason and sedition” by the new Castro regime, he would spend 20 years in prison (1959–1979) before being released in 1979.
Celebrating Life in Union, narrated by Andy Garcia is a one-hour documentary about a group of cuban former political prisoners who fought with Fidel Castro, and later after Huber Matos, the third high ranking officer of the Fidel Castro revolution resigned, these men fought against Fidel Castro and were jailed, abuse and tortured.
Producer of Celebrating Life in Union, Gladys Bensimon shares the similarities of what occured in Cuba 1959 and the atrocieties the Venezuelan people are undergoing right now.
Ana Margarita Martinez
Ana Margarita Martinez was born in Cuba and came to the U.S. as a child. She was a divorced mother of two young children in suburban Miami when she was courted and wed by a Cuban spy. This is a story of love and betrayal, espionage and murder.
Ana Margarita Martinez was born in Havana, Cuba and came to the United States at the age of six with her mother and grandmother in 1966 during the Freedom Flights Exodus. She was just another Cuban-American working mother and wife when her entire world crashed in 1996 after her husband turned up in Cuba just two days after the Cuban government shot down two civilian planes and killing four volunteer pilots and co-pilots in a Brothers to the Rescue search and rescue mission – an organization of which her husband, a Cuban MiG pilot who had reportedly defected from Cuba, had been a member. Juan Pablo Roque’s marriage to her had been part of his cover – and a sham, making Ana Margarita and her children a part of the machiavellic espionage plan. She was suddenly thrust into the public limelight and consequently became active in the Cuban pro-democracy cause and politics. Her marriage to Roque was annulled in a civil court of law.
Three years after Roque returned to Cuba, Ana Margarita won two judgments against the Cuban government – $7,175 million in personal damages and $20 million in punitive damages, for the rogue government’s role in the fraud. The debt is still unpaid. In her personal battle against the Cuban government, Ana Margarita has seized three Cuban airplanes that have arrived at U.S. territory as partial payment to her judgment. Her story has circulated the globe on such programs as ABC’s 20/20; Good Morning America, CBS’s 60 Minutes; Inside Edition; The Leeza Gibbons Show; Court TV; Univision Network’s Aqui y Ahora and many more, as well as in articles published in Time magazine, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Miami Herald/El Nuevo Herald, The London Guardian, People Magazine, Discovery ID and Lifetime Television, just to name a few.
In February of 2010, lawyers for Ana Margarita filed motions to garnish eight charter companies that do business with the Cuban government in order to collect the legal debt ordered by a circuit court judge. The U.S. Department of Justice intervened in court in defense of the Cuban government.
Ana Margarita still lives in a Miami suburb, but in a different home. She lives close to her daughter and ten-year-old grandson (her son lives out of state) and works as a public relations consultant, specializing in Hispanic media and outreach as well as English-language marketing. There is a book about her story in Spanish that only scratches the surface. A feature film and a fuller, deeper book are in the works.
Story featured following publications:
New York Times
Los Angeles Times
Victor Cegarra works with a variety of artists, musicians, recording, performing in concerts at small and large venues in the USA as well as abroad. Born in Venezuela, at the age of 7, Victor studied the “cuatro” (a Venezuelan guitar with only 4 strings) Later, he studied guitar basics for some time and moved on to his first piano lessons at the age of 9. At age 13 he went yet to Lino Gallardo National Conservatory of Music to study complementary piano. Once in college, his piano instructors, Olegario Diaz and Marcus Vinicio da Fonceca introduced Cegarra to jazz and Brazilian music. Other Latin styles were self-taught as he was an avid listener of salsa, cumbia, merenge and other popular genres. The next few years Victor became involved with other musicians and performed a variety of styles ranging from American Pop, Latin, and Jazz. After performing, recording, and some light touring, he shared his knowledge of music by educating others. First, as a piano instructor for the Torrance Dept of Parks & Recreation, teaching children and adults. Later, as a regular Elementary School Teacher for the LA Unified School District where he has been teaching since July 1998. In June 2001 Cegarra obtained a Master’s Degree in Education Administration from The California State University at Dominguez Hills in Carson, California. In early 2003 he partnered with Gilberto Torres and released his first solo project a piano and flute duo, performing traditional Venezuelan tunes with influences of Jazz and Classical Styles called “Venezuela Desde Afuera” Today, you will find Victor Cegarra performing alongside well known and talented Cuban singer Candi Sosa, also with Gilberto Torres and other LA Musicians, performing in concerts, private events, clubs and restaurants while continuing to produce and record music at his home studio.
Danae began her career at the tender age of four, performing in Cuban Television and Theatrical programs. At age 18 she joined the band “Azucar”. Being a part of the Azucar allowed Danae to further flourish professionally, sharing her passion for music touring throughout Latin America and Europe .
Danae has recorded a collection of songs for Tropical Album Filmax, Vale Music Star Disco, “Caribbean Vale Music”, Disco reggaetton Vale Music, a notable Spanish Record Label founded in the late 90’s with headquarters in Barcelona Spain. Vale Music became Universal Music Spain in 2011 and is one of the major record companies in Spain surpassing EMI in music sales. Danae also had the honor of performing with “SPS” An all-female Cuban group, touring in Mexico , Panama , Guatemala , Martinique, St. Martin , Guadeloupe, Germany, Turkey and finally Spain where she decided stay begin her solo career.
In 2006 Danae was the guest star on the National Tour of “LA BATUKA” She has also had the opportunity of collaborating and recording music with famous rapper DJ KUN.
Now in Miami, Danae comes to keep the fire burning in the music world. Looking forward to new opportunities where she can realize her musical experiences of salsa, merengue, bachata, chachacha, cumbia, Spanish pop rock and more.
Remembering Col Cornelio Rojas Fernandez
Barbara Rangel, Col Rojas granddaughter and grandson Silvio Gonzalez. Producer & Director Agustin Blazquez, Author, Brian LFrench, Musician, Steve Pichan and Humberto Fontova, author of numerous books and expert on Totalitarian and Dictatorial regimes. Col. Cornelio Rojas Fernandez born in Cuba in the 1900’s His aspirations were to become a military man like his ancestors, after graduation, he began his military career in Cuba’s National Police where he was a Captain, Commander then General Inspector of Cuba’s National Police. With hard work and dedication he became the Chief of Police for the Leoncio Vidal Regiment in Santa Clara. Col Rojas was a pillar of his community, known for his public service and philanthropy, Col. Rojas had a great heart and strong family values. In 1931, he fought for democracy against dictator Gerardo Machado as group leader under Manuel Balan. He came from a line of distinguished patriots, Mambises that fought in Cuba’s War on Independence against Spain. His father Lt. Col. Cornelio Rojas Escobar joined the war of 1895-1898 and his grandfather, Brigadier Col. Cornelio Rojas Hurtado was a 3 Star General that fought in the 3 wars: The Ten-Years War, The Small War and the War of Independence against Spain. When the war ended on 08/24/1898 he was promoted to Brigadier General, he died of natural causes at the age of 88. In January 1959 Castro imposed communism in Cuba and Col. Cornelio Rojas who was Chief of Police in Santa Clara, went missing. Later the family found out that Che Guevara, had occupied Santa Clara and had arrested him for being a high ranking officer. Meanwhile, the Rojas family receives a comunicado a “salvo conducto” from Guevara himself, explaining that no harm would come to Col. Rojas. On January 7,1959 only days after his capture, while the Rojas family was watching television regular programming was interrupted to exhibit the live execution of Col. Cornelio Rojas.
Agustin Blazquez – Cuban Filmmaker of Documentry “COVERING CUBA 7: Che Guevara. The other side of an Icon“
Steve Pichan – songwriter / recording artist of “You don’t know Che“
Humberto Fontova – Author of book “Exposing the Real Che Guevara and the Useful Idiots Who Idolize Him“
Brian Llyod French – Author of book “Mojito!“