Remembering the Cuban-Americans of 9/11

Sunday, September 14, 2014
Last Thursday, September 11th, was the 13th anniversary of the terrorist attacks against the World Trade Center towers in New York City.

We honor and remember all of the victims of those horrible acts of terrorism.

However, we'd like to take the opportunity to highlight the stories of the Cuban-Americans who perished that fateful day.

Courtesy of Yoani Sanchez in The Huffington Post:

The Cubans of 9/11


Born in Havana in 1945, Marco Motroni emigrated with his family at age 11. In 1963 he graduated from George Washington High School in Manhattan. He started playing in la Típica Novel, one of the most successful Latin orchestras in New York. Years later he began working as a broker at Carr Futures, whose offices, in 2001, were on the 92nd floor of the North Tower.


Born in 1940 in Cuba, Juan LaFuente emigrated to the United States to attend university. In 1964 he married Colette Merical, who was the mayor of Poughkeepsie between 1996 and 2003. LaFuente worked at IBM for 31 years and at the time of the events was working for Citibank. On September 11 he was attending a meeting at a restaurant North Tower.


Niurka Davila was 47 years old when she died in the attacks. Her real name was Rosa, but she changed it when she was naturalized as an American citizen. She worked for the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey.


Born in Cuba in 1965, Nancy Peréz emigrated with her family five years later and settled in New York, She was a supervisor at the Port Authority at One World Trade Center at the time of the attacks.


Born in Matanzas in 1961, George Merino emigrated with his family when he was only 7 and settled in New York. He lived in Bayside, Queens, and was a securities analyst at Fiduciary Trust, located in the World Trade Center.


The son of Cuban emigrants, Carlos Domínguez was born in New York in 1967 and lived in Nassau County, New York. In 2001 he was in charge of computer system security for Marsh & McLennan, on the 95th floor of the North Tower.


Michael Díaz Piedra III was born in Cuba in 1952. His family, plantation owners, emigrated to the United States in 1960. They settled in Florida and later, in New Jersey. He was 49 years old in 2001 and was a vice president for the Bank of New York in charge of disaster recovery planning. His family said his desire was to return to Cuba the day it became a democracy.