Cuban-American historical museum opens this weekend

MIAMI (WSVN) - A museum that set to open its doors in South Florida is honoring Cuban-American history.

Many of the pieces displayed at the American Museum of the Cuban Diaspora may make guests emotional, but the goal is to make them think about what they are looking at.

The doors will soon be open at the museum with a theme of dictators, war, terrorism and exile, but the founding director said there is still so much to be proud of.

“We’ve been through everything, but we are overcoming,” said Ileana Fuentes, the museum’s founding director. “We have overcome, and that’s what this is about.”

Fuentes said these displays are all about the story of struggle, which eventually ends in triumph. “It’s a Cuban story. It’s a Cuban diaspora story, but it is a story of humanity as well,” she said.

All of the works here are carefully crafted by artist Luis Cruz Azaceta.

“A preeminent crossover Cuban-American artist who has been in exile his entire life, practically,” Fuentes said. “The 19th of November will be another anniversary of his exodus from Cuba, so that’s why we chose this time.”

This was all 10 years in the making. Fuentes, who has been in the Cuban-American art world for 40 years, said she anticipates visitors will have a challenging but pleasant time exploring a museum unlike any in the world.

She also stressed how impactful it is to share the Cuban-American experience through the arts. “Nowhere else are you going to find or see or hear this story,” she said. “That’s what we hope people will leave this museum with. A knowledge of suffering, but also a knowledge of triumph, a knowledge of joy about what Cubans feel about this home, this new home away from homeland. This has been a long time brewing, so for me, we’re home. We finally have a home.”

The museum will be open this weekend. The grand opening celebration will take place on Saturday, from 8 to 11 p.m. Viewers will also have a chance to interact with the artist himself.

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