Cuba, Lost and Found: A Poignant True Story of Life Before & After The Revolution

Edward Neyra’s true life story as told in ‘Cuba, Lost and Found,’ captures the reader’s heart and soul as if held captive by the revolution itself.  It touches the child within us all, who often feels abandoned and alone, and the consequences of such feelings later in life.  Mr. Neyra has the rare ability to tell his story with childlike simplicity and clarity as he tackles the complex emotional ramifications of being taken from his home and parents at the age of eleven.  As his story unfolds, the reader is gently educated on the history of Cuba, including Operation Pedro Pan, which, from December 1960 to October 1962, evacuated more than fourteen thousand Cuban youths to the United States, and was the largest recorded exodus of unaccompanied minors in the Western Hemisphere.

The book begins as Mr. Neyra’s describes his carefree life in Cuba as a child.  Being a member of a prominent family, Mr. Neyra was well-loved, cared for, and indulged by various family members.  This love and concern, however, is what also leads to the separation from his beloved family when they send him, his sister and cousin to the United States to avoid communist indoctrination.  He and his sister end up living with family friends in Cincinnati, where he excels in school, becomes a wealthy businessman, and raises a strong family of his own.

The most interesting parts of the story are the vivid descriptions of the places in Cuba where Mr. Neyra lived as a child as they were at the time of his childhood, and as they were when he returned on numerous trips beginning about 40 years later.  In an effort to regain the feeling of belonging he lost as a child, he traces his family lineage in Cuba and uncovers some surprises, and later finds he is the descendent of a King while exploring his ancestry in Spain.

Although his story of facing and overcoming childhood traumas is a common story, what makes his account so special is the unusual setting and clarity, humor, courage, and overall success of the character.  One cannot read ‘Cuba, Lost and Found’ without becoming more courageous, honest and hopeful about one’s life.  It may be a story about a boy who was forced to grow up too fast because of political instability, but it’s also about hope in the human condition.  His story reminds us that the small voice within us, often frightened and overlooked, is the voice that can ultimately heal us, allowing us to live fully and make our dreams come true.




9 thoughts on “Cuba, Lost and Found: A Poignant True Story of Life Before & After The Revolution

  1. Roberto

    I would like read tva pages of this book. I can not find it. Can you help me if you have this book?

    Your articel is very good.


  2. Kathy Post author

    Hi Roberto, the book is available to purchase on Search for “Cuba Lost & Found” by Edward Neyra. It’s really a wonderful story!!

  3. Roberto

    Hi Kathy.
    There are books för 5 . 10 dollars very cheap but amazon does not send the book to Sweden. I live in Sweden. The pages are 362 and 363. I have read many pages i google book. There is a possibility but it cost 80 dollar för sending. I do not if you can help me.

    Very sincerly.


  4. Roberto

    Hi Kathy.
    There is another way to help me. In pages 362, 363 Eduard Neyra has a conversation with Federico about the connection between Juan Bautista Rodrigues de Sotolongo and duke Alfonso de Aragon son of Kind of Juan de Aragon. Can you write only what Federico said to him about it in the book.

    I hope you can help me.

  5. Kathy Post author

    OK, starting half way down page 362 Federico says: “Juan II of Aragon fathered several nature children with Dona Leonor de Escobar outside his marriage, including Alfonso de Aragon, Duke of Villahermosa.” I was thrilled to have the proof of the missing link in my hands and asked to borrow the book to copy the page. The next morning, we visited Federico and Carmen to say good-bye and return the book. It was a heartfelt paring, one filled with warmth but also with sadness. Federico and I felt as close as if we had known each other all out lives; he was my connection to the previous Sotolongos. Our final hug was especially long, and I felt as if I was also saying good-bye to the many generations before him. On our last day in Madrid, I wasn’t to visit the Palacio de Villahermosa, known as the Thyssen-Bornemisza Art Museum. Kiko had recommended I visit this palace, which Federico confirmed had been the home of the infamous Duke, Alfonso de Aragon, whom I now knew as the natural son of King Juan II and my illegitimate forefather sixteen generations ago. I was hoping to find information on its origin and add to my collection of Sotolongo memorabilia, but any reference regarding the Duke was general and brief. Lynn and I spent the afternoon strolling through Parque del Been Retiro, and in its wide, formal garden paths we found successive statues of the Catholic kings……Does that help you Roberto?

  6. Roberto

    I appreciate you very deeply information. I pages 361 he said to edward that Alfonso de Aragon ,Duke the Villahermosa, was a natural son of King Juan II.
    But the family Sotolongo began med Juan Bautista Rodriguez de Sotolongo who var a natural son of Alfonso de Aragon. I treated to seek the connection. Alfonso of Aragon gave inheritance to his son, but anything to Juan Bautista. The genealogy pages in internet says that Juan Bautista is Alfonso son but I have not find the
    If Juan Bautista is son of Alfonso and grandson of King Juan II, I have Kings blood. From Juan Bautista to my son There is a direct chain of generation after generation of Sotolongo. My name is Roberto Sotolongo. My father and min family do not talk about my ancestors. For two years ago I began to seek my ancestor for giving my son(10 years) information about his family for my side in Sweden.
    I appreciate you help very much.
    if I can do nothing I am here for helping.
    Very sincerely and great salutes.
    Roberto Sotolongo.

  7. Kathy Post author

    You’re welcome Roberto! I’m glad I could help. I enjoy doing ancestry research myself! I will mention one more thing, on page 362 before the lines I wrote, it says that Federico opened an old book called “Historia General de Espana” by Don Modesto Lafuente, volume VI, page 131. That is where Federico read the paragraph saying that Juan II was the natural father of Alfonso of Aragon. If that helps.


  8. Roberto

    Hi Kathy.
    Thank you one more time for helping me. Yuo are very kind.
    I am going to seek book for reading.

    Very salutes

  9. Patrick

    I appreciate this dialogue, but we keep seeing this dancing around whether Juan Bautista Rodrigues de Sotolongo is really in any way the son of Alfonso de Aragon, Duke of Villahermosa. So far the only claim we see is in a page like this (which may be borne of decent connections via proper source documents that can be sourced) and websites like Geni, where many people add names of folks in their ancestry to the list of children of royalty or nobility of one kind or another in the hopes that they can claim that they too are somehow royalty, etc. (a strange game to play, but putting on heirs isn’t a new social game).

    I may have missed something, but that Father-Son link seems to be critical (mentioning the well-established fatherhood of James II and Alfonso of Aragon, Duke of Villahermosa doesn’t get us there: just says that any royal/nobility line ends there, and so far, on the Geni page, the Juan Bautista Rodrigues de Sotolongo name and link is added with no basis or support, unless this support/basis appears in a place that seems so far non-existent). Roberto Sotolongo (who is probably a relative of mine, like most all Sotolongos that ended up in Cuba) has noted the same gap (that we have no evidence to support that claimed lineage).

    If either of you have any independently verifiable link, even if a living person living on the Iberian peninsula, who may point to source documents, I would much appreciate it! I don’t mind coming back here in case I find something that is a proper linkage (otherwise, it’s correct to assume the lineage is not really there). Thanks for reading.


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