Immigrant Heritage Month: Pitbull Shares Family's Immigration Story, Says 'There's A Lot of History There' [Watch]
In honor of Immigrant Heritage Month, Cuban-American rapper Pitbull shared his family's story of immigration to the United States.
The artist, known for his upbeat catchy tunes, sat down to discuss how his family came to the United States from Cuba and what it means to be able to live in a nation with "freedom."
"They knew what this country had to offer is that you could control your won destiny," he said. "You had opportunity. And you had the number one thing which was and which is freedom."
Pitbull, whose birth name is Armando Christian Pérez, explained how his grandmother fought for Fidel Castro in the Cuban revolutionary war and later sent her daughters, including Pitbull's mother, to the United States as part of Operation Peter Pan, the largest migration of fourteen thousand unaccompanied minors in the 1960s. His father helped organized the Mariel boatlift migration of Cubans to Florida in the 1980s and eventually came to the U.S. through a visa lottery.
"So there's a lot of history there," he continued. "Definitely very deeply rooted and that's why I appreciate every opportunity this country has to offer."
Although proud of his heritage, which he says he celebrates through his music, the 34-year-old made it clear to The Guardian back in 2011 that he does not believe in the current state of Cuba.
"I won't perform in Cuba until there's no more Castro and there's a free Cuba," he said. "To me, Cuba's the biggest prison in the world, and I would be very hypocritical were I to perform there. The people in Cuba, they know what I stand for, and there's a lot of people in Cuba that stand for the same. But they can't say it."
The "Fireball" rapper insists that it is really important that people look to their family history, here in the U.S. and wherever their ancestors come from.
"Really understand what your family came for and for you to really enjoy freedom, opportunity and know your destiny," he said.
Watch the full video:
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