Maria D. Garcia learned from her father that justice must always prevail. Her upbringing and dedication to the rule of law led her to become an attorney and now, the president of the Cuban American Bar Association (CABA).
Maria Garcia, Whose Father Was Fidel Castro’s Prisoner, is Now CABA President and ‘Keeper’ of the Law
Kozyak Tropin & Throckmorton’s Maria D. Garcia has always known what she wanted. As a child growing up in Miami, she’d tell her parents, exiled from Cuba, that one day she’d be una abogada: an attorney.
Garcia’s first paychecks came from her father’s small glass and mirror business in Coral Gables, where she says she learned the value of hard work and diligence.
Garcia’s family had owned a business in Santiago de Cuba, one of the island’s largest cities, until Fidel Castro’s government took it and imprisoned him for speaking out in 1961. For Garcia’s father Jose Antonio Garcia, disagreeing with Castro’s communist ideas and policies meant 12 years behind bars.
“Everything they worked for, they gave it up, even their freedom,” Garcia said. “Because they couldn’t stand for something that they knew was wrong, and they were OK making those sacrifices if it was going to help better the system for everybody in Cuba.”
That family motto endured, imprinting a sense of urgency in Garcia, who felt that a free society is something that must be actively protected, not taken for granted.
“The experience that [my family] went through in Cuba really made me realize, since I was a child, how important the rule of law is and having a stable society and country,” Garcia said. “Because as an attorney, you learn about all those things and you are a keeper of that law, you’re a keeper of how this country was built and how the rule of law should be for all of us.”
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