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The Other Cuban Transition: Waiting for Changes in the Political Ethos of Cuban Miami

March 24, 2004 - 5:00 pm

Lisandro Pérez, Florida International University

The political landscape of Cuban Miami is undergoing some changes. Moderates, recent arrivals, and new generations appear to threaten the political hegemony of the original “exile” generation. But are the changes fundamental or superficial? The question takes on greater importance in an election year, given the influence that Cuban Americans, especially those in Miami, exert on U.S. policy towards Cuba. Using data from the U.S. Census, the FIU Cuba Poll, and firsthand observations from within Miami, Lisandro Pérez addresses the issue of whether or not we are still waiting for Miami’s “Cuban transition” to occur.

Lisandro Pérez is Professor of Sociology at Florida International University (FIU), Miami’s public university. Until the summer of 2003 he served as the Director of FIU’s Cuban Research Institute, which he founded in 1992. He is the editor of the journal Cuban Studies and co-author of the book The Legacy of Exile: Cubans in the United States, recently published by Allyn & Bacon. His writings have also appeared in the Latin American Research Review, the Journal of Latin American Studies, the Harvard Encyclopedia of American Ethnic Groups, and the International Migration Review. He is the Executive Producer of the 2003 award-winning documentary Beyond the Sea: The Story of the Mariel Exodus. His current research project is on the Cuban community in New York City during the 19th and early 20th centuries.

This series reviews the past history of US-Cuba relations and other factors making possible to think about new scenarios for relations between the United States and Cuba. Organized by Margaret E. Crahan (Dorothy Epstein Professor, Hunter College and The Graduate Center) and Mauricio Font (Director, Bildner Center for Western Hemisphere Studies, and Prof. Queens College and The Graduate Center) this series includes five seminars and a conference throughout the 2003-2004 academic year.