MIAMI – Ana Rodriguez was preparing to live in her car outside of the Versailles Cuban Bakery in Miami’s Little Havana.
The former Cuban political prisoner and author had packed everything from the home where she had lived for decades. She had never imagined she would be homeless at 82 years old.
A Cuban-American businessman who wishes to remain anonymous prevented the tragedy. Rodriguez met him in person and he made him a promise that he kept.
“He says, ‘I am trying to buy your house, but in case I couldn’t buy your house, I am buying another house, so you will not have to sleep in your car.’”
She said the kind man told her he wanted to help her because she is “a freedom fighter.” He made sure Rodriguez and two people she had been helping were able to move into a beautiful five-bedroom home in Miami-Dade County.
It’s a permanent arrangement. He made sure the co-author of “Diary of a Survivor: Nineteen Years in a Cuban Women’s Prison” will never have to worry about being homeless again. She can now live in the home with her friends for the rest of her life.
Rodriguez fell behind on the mortgage and tried to make good on missed payments but the bank refused. Attorneys picked up her case pro-Bono.
A court document shows she made a deal with the bank and agreed to foreclosure, but her attorneys insist she never made such a deal.
As the legal back and forth continues through the courts, she said her heart was full of gratitude. After feeling like the banks were heartless, she said the generous man restored her faith in humanity.