Armando "Pitbull" Pérez was born to Cuban expatriates in Miami, Florida. The rapper told US Weekly that he is proud of his Cuban roots. "I'm first-generation Cuban American," he said. "My mother came to the United States as part of Operation Peter Pan. My father picked up 547 people during the Cuban Mariel boatlift in 1980."
Pitbull's 2006 El Mariel album takes its name from the Mariel boatlift which brought 125,000 Cuban refugees to the coast of Florida on barely seaworthy craft in the early 1980s.
During his childhood, Pitbull had little contact with his drug-dealing father. He was raised by his mother, who was forced to kick him out of their house when he was 16 after he also started selling drugs.
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