BIOGRAPHY (1924-2013)

ABEL PEREZ was born in Cuba, July 3, 1924. He began his career in business right after graduating from High School, in his native Cabaiguán, Las Villas province, working as a salesman in a local clothing store. He continued to work while attending a Business College in the city of Santa Clara where he majored in Marketing. After graduating, he moved to the city of Colón, in Matanzas province where he got a job in one of the largest clothing store there as a Sales Representative. Five years later Abel opened his own clothing in the same city, "La Casa Pérez."

In 1957, due to the political turmoil and unrest during the Batista regime vs. Fidel Castro’s forces, he had to sell his business because the country's economy was hurting badly. He then began to work as a travel salesman for a U.S. company, Interamerican Oil Co., until he left Cuba.

It was during his traveling years that he met his wife Gina. They were married in July 1959. A year later, in July 1960, discontent and threatened by local members of the Revolutionary government which had overthrown Fulgencio Batista's administration a year earlier, Abel left Cuba and his then pregnant wife in search for freedom and democracy in the United States.

Later that year, while working as a waiter in a restaurant in New Orleans, LA, Abel joined a group of Cubans in what later became the 2506 Brigade, which took part in the Bay of Pigs invasion against the Communist government of Fidel Castro, April 17, 1961.

Back in Miami, FL, Abel never stopped working to gain freedom for his beloved homeland. He tried to join the U.S. Army, but was told that he was too old to join - he was 37 years old then. He then joined several revolutionary organizations based in Miami while working as a volunteer to help settle down the many Cuban refugees arriving in the U.S. from Cuba.

In 1962, he moved to California with his wife and his one-year-old daughter. They settled in Newbury Park, where the Catholic Welfare Relief had relocated them. They lived in a trailer, in a small ranch, while he and his wife worked as a bartender and a cook respectively for a local millionaire, Frank Talley, owner of Talley Corporation. Less than six months later, the Pérez family moved to Los Angeles where Able began to work for Mattel Toymakers and Gina for Bank of America.

While still working for Mattel, Abel, aided by a small group of other Cubans preoccupied like him for what was happening in their homeland, founded 20 de Mayo Spanish Newspaper, in October 1969, in a makeshift printing shop, in a garage, in the back of the apartment building where Abel and his family were living. A short time later, Abel resigned his position at Mattel, Inc. and dedicated all his time and efforts to bring forward what he thought would be an effective way to let the people in the United States know the truth about what was happening in the Caribbean island.

As the years passed, 20 de Mayo has become a Spanish weekly newspaper for all Latin American communities residing in the U.S. His editorial pages are always opened to the different political, civic, or professional Hispanic organizations as long as they follow its editorial line of democracy, respect for human rights and freedom for all no matter where they are. The concerns of the vast Hispanic communities in Southern California are its concerns as well 20 de Mayo is their voice wherever they might be, the voice of freedom, democracy and justice for all.

Abel Pérez played an important part in the settlement of Cuban refugees from the Mariel Exodus in 1980, in Los Angeles, organizing and gathering a group of prominent Cuban businessmen and professionals in what was called the Cuban Assistance League. This non-profit organization funded with private contributions, helped Cuban refugees to find shelter, clothing, medical and financial assistance as well as jobs during the most critical years after their arrival in the U.S. It served as the middleman between the Immigration and Naturalization Services and the refugees, in their efforts to obtain their legal status in this country. As the president of the Cuban Assistance League Abel received several commendations from local, state and federal governments.

Through the years, 20 de Mayo Spanish Newspaper has been the main source of information for those Cubans newly arriving in Southern California, whether as refugees or simply relocating to this area.

In his civic and community functions Abel has been a member of the Echo Park Chamber of Commerce; the Echo Park Lions Club where he served as its treasurer for four years; the National Foundation of Hispanic Owned Newspapers; honorary member of more than a dozen Cuban social and cultural organizations; active member of the Cuban Journalists Association in Exile, whose national headquarters are in Miami, and the National Association of Hispanic Media; he is founder and Grand Master of the Latin American Masonic Grand Lodge of Spanish Language and Grand Patriarch of the Knights of the Light.

Abel and Gina reside in the city of San Gabriel, California. They have a daughter Celia Julia and four grandchildren.

Spanish Newspaper
fundado en 1969
Editor y Publisher
1824 Sunset Blvd,
Suite 202
Los California 90006
213 483-4890

Anual $40
Semestral $20