2012 Alumnus’ Family Reunion in Cuba Makes National Headlines

Posted May 4, 2016 / Last updated May 5, 2016

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Cristian Miguel Soler '12

Cristian Miguel Soler ’12

In June 2014, Jesuit alumnus Cristian Miguel Soler ’12 became the first of his family to travel to Cuba in more than 50 years. Cristian’s family reunion was recognized in a 2016 speech to the Cuban people by President Barak Obama and in a national news story by Yahoo.com.

Since the John F. Kennedy administration, American citizens had almost no contact with Cuba. In 2011, the Obama administration eased restrictions slightly by introducing a “people-to-people” travel rule. It allowed “purposeful” travel, such as that for approved humanitarian or academic reasons.

Cristian’s travel was part of a summer study-abroad program while he was an international relations student at LSU. His father Miguel Soler, a Jesuit alumnus from the Class of 1982, visited his relatives in Cuba the following year with his sister Ana.

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WhiteHouse.gov – Remarks by President Obama to the People of Cuba

Yahoo.com – Perfect Storm Reunites Family in Cuba After a Lifetime Apart

TheAdvocate.com – Obama invokes story of New Orleans native in push to improve U.S.-Cuba relations