National Archives at Kansas City

Dr. Felix Sabates, Sr., to Discuss From Cuba with a Vision: Losing my homeland and gaining the American dream, a story of passionate choices

August 28, 2017

Kansas City (MO)… On Tuesday, September 26 at 6:30 p.m., the National Archives at Kansas City will host Dr. Felix Sabates, Sr., author of From Cuba with a Vision: Losing my homeland and gaining the American dream, a story of passionate choices who will join Erik Bergrud, associate vice president for external relations at Park University, for a public conversation about this book. A free light reception will precede the program at 6:00 p.m.  

Sabates is a professor and founding chairman of the Department of Ophthalmology at the University of Missouri – Kansas City School of Medicine/Eye Foundation of Kansas City and Sabates Eye Centers. In 1960, a Cuban ophthalmologist named Felix Sabates was completing his medical training in Boston and looking forward to a bright future in Havana when he received a telephone call that destroyed his dreams. "You can't come home," his father said. Fidel Castro had seized power in Cuba the year before and was now clearly imposing a communist dictatorship. Sabates found himself stranded in a foreign country, an accidental immigrant with no money, broken English, and a young family to support. Cuba's loss was America's gain. In his own words, Sabates recounts the story of his early days growing up in a close-knit family in the tropical homeland that was stolen from him and his courageous and passionate pursuit of a new life in the United States. His remarkable journey began with aquiring citizenship through an Act of Congress just days before the failed Bay of Pigs invasion. Sabates quickly rose to the top of his field, gaining a reputation as one of the top eye surgeons in the world. Perplexed at first by the unwritten cultural rules of his adopted home, he set out to "infiltrate" Kansas City society and put the tools of capitalism to work advancing his vision of providing top-quality eye care for all, including the city's most indigent citizens. Sabates provides an intimate and engaging behind-the-scenes look at a stunning Kansas City success story and a shining embodiment of the “American Dream.”

Copies of Sabates’s book will be available for purchase and signing. Reservations are requested for this free program by calling 816-268-8010 or emailing Requests for ADA accommodations must be submitted five business days prior to events. 

The National Archives at Kansas City is home to historical records dating from the 1820s to the 1990s created or received by Federal agencies in Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, and South Dakota. For more information, call 816-268-8000 or visit   

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LPM/LE – KC17-21