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Cuba in a Global ContextInternational Relations, Internationalism, and Transnationalism$
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Catherine Krull

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780813049106

Published to Florida Scholarship Online: May 2014

DOI: 10.5744/florida/9780813049106.001.0001

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Cubans without Borders

Cubans without Borders

From the Buildup to the Breakdown of a Socially Constructed Wall across the Florida Straits

(p.287) 17 Cubans without Borders
Cuba in a Global Context

Susan Eckstein

University Press of Florida

The Cuban experience demonstrates that immigrants do not necessarily enmesh their lives across borders. Studies typically point to certain characteristics of immigrants to explain variability in homeland ties: motivation for migration, time laps since uprooting, family remaining in the home country, country-of-origin language retention, and income. Yet Cuban immigrants in the United States remitted little, even though they were, on average, the wealthiest Latin American immigrants. Cuba’s experience points to the import of institutional and cultural forces to transnational engagement at the macro as well as informal level. For three decades formal and informal barriers stood in the way of Cuban immigrant transnational engagement. It took the crisis that ensued in Cuba when Soviet aid and trade ended after 1990 to break down, first, people-to-people, then state, barriers to such ties. The impetus for the breakdown in barriers came initially from Cuba.

Keywords:   Cuba, Transnationalism, Special Period, Cuban Diaspora, United States, Miami Cubans

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