Albor Ruiz, a Journalistic Voice for Latinos, Is Dead at 80



Albor Ruiz, a distinguished Cuban-born journalist whose columns for The Each day Information, El Diario and Al Dia Information advocated for Latino immigrants and demanded that the USA elevate its longstanding commerce embargo towards his homeland, died on Jan. eight in Homestead, Fla. He was 80.

His sister Enid Ruiz stated the trigger was pneumonia.

Mr. Ruiz reached his largest readership at The Each day Information in New York, the place for 23 years he was an editorial author; the editor of its short-lived bilingual spinoff, El Each day Information; and a columnist who wrote with ardour about immigration, politics, schooling, housing, artwork, literature and racism.

Focusing largely on the borough of Queens and its monumental vary of nationalities, Mr. Ruiz wrote usually about Latinos. However he additionally described individuals of different backgrounds, just like the 4 Polish immigrants who died in a hearth in an unlawful condominium within the Maspeth space of the borough — which reminded him of residing illegally with seven pals in a small condominium in Miami after his escape from Cuba in 1961 — and “individuals with accents who’re talking loudly nowadays,” like Pauline Chu, a Chinese language-American girl who ran unsuccessfully for a Metropolis Council seat in 1997.

Folks with “myriad accents,” he added, have been “including music to the sounds of New York.”

Sandra Levinson, the manager director of the Heart for Cuban Research in New York, stated that Mr. Ruiz “cared about being an immigrant and recognized with each one.”

Mr. Ruiz’s ardour and concern for Cuba remained a basis of his work. He wrote in 2009 with guarded optimism when President Barack Obama allowed Cuban-People to go to there as usually as they favored. However he criticized President Obama and Presidents Invoice Clinton and George W. Bush for not ending the embargo imposed by President John F. Kennedy in 1962.

Mr. Ruiz returned to his homeland a number of instances. In 2000, he coated the extreme battle between Cuba and the USA over custody of Elián González, who had fled Cuba as a 5-year-old boy in late November 1999 together with his mom, who drowned on the best way to Florida. Over the subsequent seven months, Elián turned the main target of dramatic standoffs between the 2 international locations’ governments and his relations in Cuba and Miami.

Quickly after Elián’s return to Cuba in the summertime of 2000, Mr. Ruiz described his private connection to the boy, whose transfer again to Cuba he had championed. They have been born in the identical coastal metropolis, Cardenas, and attended the identical college.

“For the journalist all the time attempting to maintain his distance from his topics and to report as objectively as humanly potential,” he wrote from Cardenas, “there are nonetheless tales that forcefully play his emotional strings, at instances making splendidly blissful music, at instances terribly unhappy melodies. For me, the Elián González saga is a type of tales.”

Albor Ruiz was born on Nov. 27, 1940, in Cardenas. His father, Ricardo, ran a grocery retailer, and his mom, Micaela (Salazar) Ruiz, labored there.

At first, Albor was pleased with Fidel Castro’s revolution. However his political view modified in 1961 when his father was sentenced to 5 years in jail on baseless expenses. Albor’s subsequent anti-Castro actions — which, he stated, triggered him to be sentenced to dying in absentia — led him and two pals to flee from Havana in a 14-foot boat in November 1961, a 12-hour journey.


A couple of 12 months later, Mr. Ruiz’s two sisters and two brothers joined him at a rented home in Miami. “He met us on the airport and had purchased us every part we wanted,” Enid Ruiz stated in a cellphone interview. “Even at 20 or 21, he was so accountable.”

Their mother and father joined them in Miami after their father’s jail sentence ended.

Mr. Ruiz graduated from the College of Florida with a bachelor’s diploma in political science in 1969 and earned a grasp’s in philosophy from the college a 12 months later.

Over the subsequent decade or so, he taught English as a second language in Manhattan, philosophy in Puerto Rico and Spanish at Lehman Faculty within the Bronx. He was additionally an government of a bookstore and publishing home that specialised in Latin American books.

And he was a part of a Miami-based group of Cuban exiles, the Committee of 75, that helped negotiate and course of the discharge of three,000 political prisoners from Cuba in 1978.

In 1985 he joined the Spanish-language newspaper El Diario, the place he served as an editorial author, a columnist and information editor. He was additionally an editor of two Hispanic magazines from 1990 to 1993 earlier than being employed at The Each day Information as an editorial author. After two years, he was named the editor of El Each day Information.

“It was very thrilling,” Maite Junco, who was the metropolitan editor of El Each day Information, stated by cellphone. “This large paper in New York was launching this paper. It was very large for the Latino journalism group. ”

However low circulation and distribution issues triggered the paper to close down after 5 months.

After it closed, Mr. Ruiz informed The New York Occasions, “We really feel — and I’m speaking for the editorial workers —- that we did our job, and I believe in that sense we’ve no regrets.”

Over his time at The Each day Information, Mr. Ruiz developed a repute as a newsroom mentor.

“Albor was all the time there believing in me, telling me I used to be an excellent reporter, usually after I wanted to listen to it most,” Ralph Ortega, a former Each day Information reporter, stated by cellphone.

Mr. Ruiz remained on The Information’s workers till 2013, when he was laid off, however continued as a contract columnist till 2016, when he was let go. He then started writing columns for Al Dia Information, a weekly journal, and continued till November.

He was inducted into the Nationwide Affiliation of Hispanic Journalists Corridor of Fame in 2003.

Along with his sister Enid, Mr. Ruiz is survived by one other sister, Lidice Lima, and his brothers, Ricardo and Elián.

Mr. Ruiz was additionally a poet. His first assortment, “Por Si Muero Mañana” (“In Case I Die Tomorrow”), was revealed in 2019. Within the title poem, he mirrored on his love for Cuba — the place his ashes shall be scattered — and concluded:

Volver al suelo, tierra cubana
Extranjero soy y ella me llama
Sepan todos que Cuba me reclama
Por si muero mañana

As translated, it reads:

Again to the soil, Cuban land
I’m a foreigner and she or he calls me.
Everybody is aware of that Cuba claims me.
In case I die tomorrow.


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