Rochester Today – From Cuban Rebel to Rochester Parking Ramp Attendant
Steve Lange from Rochester Magazine shared the story of a remarkable Rochester resident with KROC-AM listeners Wednesday morning on Rochester Today with Tracy McCray and Andy Brownell.
Orlando Berrio came to Rochester in the early 1980's after his arrival in the U.S. during the Mariel boatlift. While many of those expelled from Cuba by Fidel Castro were criminals, Berrio was among the thousands of political prisoners who made the dangerous journey to Florida and freedom.
His story about becoming one of Castro's enemies is fascinating. In this month's issue of Rochester Magazine, Berrio describes being a teenager swept up in the revolution that toppled Fulgencio Batista, and his later disillusionment with Castro after he abandoned the rebels' push for democracy and shifted the island nation to a totalitarian communist regime.
The article includes a philosophical Berrio discussing the incredible tragedies he has endured while maintaining a positive outlook, including his complete estrangement from his first wife and children because contact with him put them in danger.
He is a man familiar to many local residents from his numerous years working at the Center Street parking ramp in downtown Rochester.
Click on the play button below to listen to the show.