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Winston Churchill’s History In Florida And Cuba To Be Highlighted

When most people think of Sir Winston Churchill, they think of the man who led the United Kingdom in the 1940s and 1950s. They probably don’t know that he also had ties to Cuba and Florida.

The legacy and history surrounding the former Prime Minister’s experiences in the West will be presented during “Florida Conversations: Winston Churchill in Cuba and Florida” at the Tampa Bay History Center on Wednesday.

The session will explore how Churchill’s time in Cuba in 1895 and Florida in 1945 helped shape his leadership, legacy and life.

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Credit International Churchill Society
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International Churchill Society
While a member of the 4th Hussars, Lt. Winston Churchill served in Cuba in 1895.

Lee Pollock, a trustee of the International Churchill Society, will share stories of Churchill’s endeavors in the West.

“People don’t realize in 1895, when he was a very young man, Churchill came to Cuba for several weeks during the Cuban insurrection of Spanish rule,” said Pollock. “That was a time in which he experienced many firsts in his life and really was a period that was highly formative to his character.”

Churchill revisited Cuba and spent time in Florida fifty years later, when he had already established himself as one of the most important leaders in the world. Pollock said this period was important for the future.

“He spends almost six weeks in South Florida and writes the Iron Curtain speech which is one of the most iconic speeches in his career and sets the stage for the Cold War,” said Pollock.

The impact of Churchill is something that still resonates today and Pollock believes people can learn a valuable leadership lesson.

“If we want young people to continue to want to change the world, giving them role models of people who have done that in the past despite their flaws, failures and mistakes, that’s a good lesson for us to pass on to this generation and future generations,” said Pollock.

The Florida Conversations event is Wednesday from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. and is free and open to the public. The British Consulate in Miami is sponsoring the event, WUSF Public Media is the media sponsor.

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Credit International Churchill Society
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International Churchill Society
Lee Pollock, a trustee of the International Churchill Society, at the premiere of the Churchill biography movie, "Darkest Hour," in Miami. Pollock will speak at “Florida Conversations: Winston Churchill in Cuba and Florida” at the Tampa Bay History Center on Wednesday.