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Manuel Duasso, commissioner in sweetwater, fl
Commissioner Manuel Duasso
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Commissioner Manuel Duasso

Integrity, charity and humanity describe Commissioner Manuel Duasso - a man who has dedicated his life to bettering the lives of others.

Commissioner Duasso is in his fifth consecutive term as city commissioner after being elected in 1995. On any given day, one can see Commissioner Duasso, 83, helping that city's elderly by taking them to doctor's appointments or bringing groceries to their homes.

He also enjoys spending time with young adults and telling them about his roots in Cuba as a rebel fighter and how he came to live in Sweetwater, after leaving Cuba in 1961.

"I feel that I have lived a thousand years, and sometimes, when I am walking down the streets of Sweetwater, talking to a friend, a neighbor or sharing some Cuban coffee with a citizen, my heart fills with pride and passion, and I feel that it is the very first day of my life," said Commissioner Duasso.

He fell in love with Sweetwater the day he moved to the city in 1973. He noticed that Sweetwater needed "care and nurturing", which is why he decided to apply for the maintenance director position five years later in 1978. He was appointed director by the nation's first Cuban mayor, Jorge Valdez.

Commissioner Duasso lives with his beloved wife of 52 years, Maria, has two sons Manuel, 51, and Jose Luis, 47, and six grandchildren.

Commissioner Duasso believes that "no matter what obstacle is put ahead of you, you must put forth the will to move forward and have a love for God." His son, Manuel, 51, is an example of this belief.

Manuel was a victim of a shooting during an armed robbery in 1985. That day he lost his sight but didn't allow his loss to stop him from achieving his dreams. Today, Manuel is in his 18th year as a Miami Dade College professor of English and psychology. He is married with three children.

Commissioner Duasso is a self-proclaimed fighter for the liberty of his beloved Cuba, the director of Cuban Liberty Council, a member of Community Development Board, president of the West Flagler Heritage Council and second vice president and founder of the Sweetwater Lion's Club.

Among the causes he holds close to his heart, is an initiative to build a memorial in memory of the four men killed in 1996 in a civilian aircraft over international waters while on a Brothers to the Rescue mission.

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Commissioner Manuel Duasso
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