‘Brothers to the Rescue’ leader honored by South Miami Commission with street-sign dedication

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New signage is now in place along a portion of SW 76th St. between SW 57th and SW. 60th Avenues in South Miami honoring long-time resident Jose Basulto, leader of the nonprofit Cuban exile organization “Brothers to the Rescue.”

The resolution to install new “Jose Basulto Street” signs, sponsored by Commissioner Walter Harris, was passed late last year by both the City of South Miami Commission and County Commission. A morning ceremony was well attended by neighbors, friends, and supporters – among them South Miami Mayor Phil Stoddard and Commissioners Josh Leibman and Bob Walsh, whom addressed the group just down the street from Basulto’s home.

In 1991, Basulto founded “Brothers to the Rescue,” a humanitarian organization that assists and rescues raft refugees emigrating from Cuba, literally saving thousands of lives of men, women, and children that otherwise would have been lost in the Florida Straight. The organization also “supports the efforts of the Cuban people to free themselves from dictatorship through the use of active nonviolence.”

Mayor Philip Stoddard (center) and South Miami Commissioner Walter Harris honoring resident Jose Basulto.

Mayor Philip Stoddard (center) and South Miami Commissioner Walter Harris honoring resident Jose Basulto.

His rescue planes were ultimately shot down by the Cuban Air Force in 1996, leading to international condemnation. Since the Cuban revolution, Basulto participated in various activities intended to subvert or overthrow the Cuban government.

After the revolution, he was trained by the CIA in intelligence, communications, explosives, sabotage, and subversion in Panama, Guatemala, and the U.S. He was later placed back into Cuba, posing as a physics student to help prepare the ground for the Bay of Pigs Invasion.

In 1961, Basulto infiltrated Cuba for a commando operation intended to sabotage an alleged missile site, a mission which was ultimately aborted. In August 1962, he was involved in an expedition of the Directorio Revolucionario Estudantil which took a boat to Cuba and fired a 20mm cannon at a hotel, though nobody was killed in the incident.

Perhaps this daring expedition was the inspiration for rolling a cannon down the street on this day to fire it off during before his street dedication! (see video)

As a successful residential builder, Basulto has constructed several homes within the City of South Miami where he has been a resident for more than 30 years. He received his bachelor’s degree from FIU, and his master’s of business administration from Cornell University, and is an active member of the community.

Basulto is a member of Habitat for Humanity of Miami, South Florida Fishing Club, Pacific National Bank, and the American Diabetes Association Community Leadership Board.


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About the Author

Bill Kress
Bill Kress, President of Kress Communications, is an editorial consultant with the Community Newspapers, covering business news, non-profits, and municipal government. He is an award-winning public relations practitioner, news reporter, photographer, and a prolific social mediologist. Reach Bill at info@kresscom.com or call 305-763-2429.

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