HAVANA TIMES – Progreso Weekly founder Francisco Gonzalez Aruca died unexpectedly of a heart attack in his sleep on Wednesday, March 6, in Denver, Colorado, where he lived. He was 72 years old.
In 1979, Aruca founded Marazul Charter, which specialized in travel to Cuba. In 1986, he moved to Miami to handle his thriving air travel business. Five years later he would go on to found Radio Progreso, his radio program, where he discussed Cuba-related issues from a perspective that had never been heard publicly in Miami.
His son, Daniel, in an email to Progreso Weekly editor Alvaro Fernandez, reminded him of words spoken by Aruca when describing his life: “If I die tomorrow, I know I have lived a very full life and that I lasted much longer than anyone ever expected.”
Aruca is survived by his wife, Ann, and his three children – Michele, Debby and Daniel – and three grandchildren.
“Aruca was much more than a friend,” said Fernandez. “For years I have said that he helped change Miami’s political landscape for the better. I will miss him tremendously.”