Ruben was host of the popular “Fiesta En Tampa” radio show on Walt Tison’s 1110-AM WALT in the early 1950’s. He was also a giant in Tampa’s Latin entertainment community and instrumental in introducing many local acts, like the Arena Twins (Sammy and Andy), to Tampa Bay’s Hispanic audience. He produced numerous sold-out variety shows at the Royal Theatre on Howard Avenue and even took his troupe to perform in entertainment venues in Havana, Cuba.
In November 1955, Fidel Castro came to Tampa to found a branch of “The 26th of July Movement,” his revolutionary army, and to raise money for his fight against Fulgencio Batista, the island nation’s then-president. Since WALT was the only station with any Spanish programming, a couple of Castro’s men walked into the station to request a few minutes of air time on Fabelo’s show so the Cuban leader could speak to and invite the Latino community to a public meeting; however, management denied the request.
Fabelo worked with WALT until it was sold in 1956, and then joined Tison’s newly acquired Ybor City station, AM-1300 WEBK (which he re-named WWTB). When Rust Craft Broadcasting bought WWTB in 1959 and changed it to WSOL, the Tampa native, again faced with new owners, decided to stay put, and was still working for the station when he passed away in 1960 at the age of 42.
1953 - 1960 Other Tampa Bay Area Stations (On Air Personality)