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The College of the Florida Keys continues its 2020 VIP Series with “The Jewish Underground: Smuggling Refugees from Cuba to Key West.”  The presentation, led by local author and historian Arlo Haskell, is on Wednesday, March 4 at 7 p.m. in the Tennessee Williams Theatre on the Key West Campus.

Haskell will share the little-known story of thousands of Jewish immigrants who became refugees in Cuba in the 1920s when they were barred from entering the United States. Cuban authorities looked the other way as smugglers transported them to Key West, pitting them against powerful local officials who belonged to the Ku Klux Klan and inspiring Ernest Hemingway’s novel “To Have and Have Not.”

Haskell is an award-winning author, historian, literary organizer, and publisher. He is executive director of the Key West Literary Seminar, publisher of Sand Paper Press, and author of “The Jews of Key West: Smugglers, Cigar Makers, and Revolutionaries,” which received the Florida Book Award’s Gold Medal for Florida Nonfiction.

In its seventh season, the College’s VIP Series invites the community to learn from the visions, ideas, and perspectives of speakers of local, regional, and national prominence.  The 2020 season, sponsored by Centennial Bank, includes presentations that focus on timely and relevant topics.

Tickets are $5 at the door.  Admission is free for students at CFK and Monroe County schools. For more information, call CFK at 305-296-9081 or visit www.fkcc.edu.