History of the Cuban American Veterans Association (CAVA)

The Cuban American Veterans Association, (CAVA,) was born out a trip to the Naval Base in
Guantanamo, (GITMO,) on 11 November 1990 in order to celebrate ”Veterans Day." The idea of founding an organization with its own identity: "Cuban American Veterans," was originated by Rolando Pérez, a Cuban American Veteran himself.

The first check issued to reserve the name of the organization took place thereafter. CAVA’s Logo was designed by Elcira Morales, the first check signed by Iris Martory. The Articles of Incorporation of, CAVA under the Laws of the State of Florida, were filed on 12 September 1991. The document number of this corporation is N45110.

The initial Board of Directors was made up of the following veterans:
Raul Tejero, Jorge O. Fenton, and Andrés Garcia.
The Officers were:
Raul Tejero, Jorge O. Fenton, Andrés Garcia, Rafael Crespo, Enrique Gaston, Joel Lopez, Rafael Morales and Oscar Martinez.
Iris Martory was the official Notary Public of the State of Florida.

"Anyone who has served honorably as an officer or enlisted, on active duty, honorably discharged or released to inactive duty in the US Armed Forces shall be eligible for membership." Article V of incorporation document.

Former Presidents and *Current President:
Raul Tejero, Armando Montes, Jorge A. Sibila, Mario Alfonso, Oscar Martinez, Andrés Garcia,
Rafael Crespo, Joseph Martory, Francisco Pénela, Juan Carrocera, *Jesus Castro.

Events, Banguets, Brunches, Awards Ceremonies:
The first Banquet and Awards Ceremony took place at the Big Five Club on 16 May 2003. The second Banquet a Gala Dinner took place at the Radisson Mart Plaza Hotel on 9 October 2004. A third Banquet and Gala Dinner took place at the Miami Sheraton Mart Hotel on 28 January 2006.
CAVA has celebrated numerous breakfasts to recognized outstanding members of our
community. Among them, Police Officers and Civil Servants.

Special Events and Activities:
Trip to Guantanamo: 11 November 1990. (Explain some details of the same.)
Trip to Washington, D.C. Date: 25-26 February 2008 in support of Hermanos al Rescate, for the indictment, “encausamiento” of Fidel and Raul Castro for the downing of the two airplanes on 24 February 1996.
Members of CAVA went to the Nation's Capital. We walked the halls of Congress visiting and
passing literature to members of Congress and the Senate. We also visited the White House and the State Department with the same mission.
Documentation was presented to both of them and received by their staff.

CAVA’s color guard was founded by Julio de Castro, Cuban Missile Crisis Army Veteran. Since its inception CAVA has participated in numerous banquets, parades and other activities:
Junta Patriética Cubana Banquet.
Christian Coalition Banquet.
Three Kings Parade.
Memorial Day Ceremony at Woodland Cemetery.
Veterans Day Ceremony and Parade.
Other parades in the area.

Chaplains of the Cuban American Veterans Association. (CAVA.)
The first Chaplain from its inception was Catholic Lay Ecclesial Minister José Torriente. He served in the U.S. Army during the Cuban Missile Crisis. By invitation from former President Major Oscar Martinez, USAFR, Ret. Rev. Guillermo Cortés also a veteran of the U.S. Army during the Cuban Missile Crisis
joined the Chaplain Service. While working as a volunteer and the Miami VA Medical Center, Rev. Cortes met the Catholic Chaplain assigned to the VA. He invited him to join CAVA and he did. Rev. José Luis Fernandez, Ph.D. served on Active Duty with Marines, Navy, and Air Force, as Military Chaplain. He is now retired from both the Armed Forces and the Department of Veterans Affairs. He is the current Chaplain of the Cuban American Veterans Organization.
Cuban American Veterans Association