Cuban Americans

Cuban Americans (Spanish: cubanoamericanos)[3] are Americans who trace their ancestry to Cuba. The word may refer to someone born in the U.S. of Cuban descent or to someone who has emigrated to the U.S. from Cuba. Cuban Americans are the third-largest Latino group in the United States.

Many communities throughout the United States have significant Cuban American populations.[4] Florida (1.53 million in 2017) has the highest concentration of Cuban Americans in the U.S.,[5][6] standing out in part because of its proximity to Cuba, followed by California (110,702), New Jersey (99,987), Texas (86,183) and New York (78,478).

South Florida is followed by New York City, Tampa, Union County and North Hudson, New Jersey areas, particularly Union City, Elizabeth and West New York.[4] With a population of 141,250, the New York metropolitan area's Cuban community is the largest outside Florida. Nearly 70% of all Cuban Americans live in Florida.[6]

Cuban Americans
Flag of the United States
Flag of Cuba

Location of Cuba
Total population
2,315,863[1]
0.71% of the U.S. population (2017)
Regions with significant populations
Predominantly in Florida: Miami/Fort Lauderdale Area, Tampa, and Orlando; New Orleans, California, Texas, New Jersey, New York and Chicago. Growing populations in Washington State, Louisville, Kentucky,[2] North Carolina, South Carolina, and Georgia.
Languages
Spanish, English (Cubonics)
Religion
Predominantly:
Roman Catholicism
Minority:
Protestantism, Santería, Ifá, Judaism
Related ethnic groups
Spaniards, Hispanics
Afro-Cubans, Cuban Jews, Chinese Cubans

Immigration

Early migrations

Before the Louisiana Purchase and the Adams–Onís Treaty of 1819, Spanish Florida, and when divided during British occupation, East Florida and West Florida, including what is now Florida and the Gulf Coast west to the Mississippi River were provinces of the Captaincy General of Cuba (Captain General being the Spanish title equivalent to the British colonial Governor). Consequently, Cuban immigration to the U.S. has a long history, beginning in the Spanish colonial period in 1565 when St. Augustine, Florida was established by Pedro Menéndez de Avilés, and hundreds of Spanish-Cuban soldiers and their families moved from Cuba to St. Augustine to establish a new life.

Thousands of Cuban settlers also immigrated to Louisiana between 1778 and 1802 and Texas during the period of Spanish rule. Since 1820, the Cuban presence was more than 1,000 people. In 1870 the number of Cuban immigrants increased to almost 12,000, of which about 4,500 resided in New York City, about 3,000 in New Orleans, and 2,000 in Key West. The causes of these movements were both economic and political, which intensified after 1860, when political factors played the predominant role in emigration, as a result of deteriorating relations with the Spanish metropolis.

The year 1869 marked the beginning of one of the most significant periods of emigration from Cuba to the United States, again centered on Key West. The exodus of hundreds of workers and businessmen was linked to the manufacture of tobacco. The reasons are many: the introduction of more modern techniques of elaboration of snuff, the most direct access to its main market, the United States, the uncertainty about the future of the island, which had suffered years of economic, political and social unrest during the beginning of the Ten Years' War against Spanish rule. It was an exodus of skilled workers, precisely the class in the island that had succeeded in establishing a free labor sector amid a slave economy.

The manufacture of snuff by the Cuban labor force, became the most important source of income for Key West between 1869 and 1900.

Tampa was added to such efforts, with a strong migration of Cubans, which went from 720 inhabitants in 1880 to 5,532 in 1890. However, the second half of the 1890s marked the decline of the Cuban immigrant population, as an important part of it returned to the island to fight for independence. The War accentuated Cuban immigrant integration into American society, whose numbers were significant: more than 12,000 people.[7]

Jose marti in ybor
Statue of Jose Martí at the Circulo Cubano (Cuban Club), Ybor City

Key West and Tampa, Florida

In the mid- to late 19th century, several cigar manufacturers moved their operations to Key West to get away from growing disruptions as Cubans sought independence from Spanish colonial rule. Many Cuban cigar workers followed. The Cuban government had even established a grammar school in Key West to help preserve Cuban culture. There, children learned folk songs and patriotic hymns such as "La Bayamesa", the Cuban national anthem.

In 1885, Vicente Martinez Ybor moved his cigar operations from Key West to the town of Tampa, Florida to escape labor strife. Ybor City was designed as a modified company town, and it quickly attracted thousands of Cuban workers from Key West and Cuba. West Tampa, another new cigar manufacturing community, was founded nearby in 1892 and also grew quickly. Between these communities, the Tampa Bay area's Cuban population grew from almost nothing to the largest in Florida in just over a decade, and the city as a whole grew from a village of approximately 1000 residents in 1885 to over 16,000 by 1900.

Both Ybor City and West Tampa were instrumental in Cuba's eventual independence.[8] Inspired by revolutionaries such as Jose Martí, who visited Florida several times, Tampa-area Cubans and their sympathetic neighbors donated money, equipment, and sometimes their lives to the cause of Cuba Libre.[9] After the Spanish–American War, some Cubans returned to their native land, but many chose to stay in the U.S. due to the physical and economic devastation caused by years of fighting on the island.[10]

Other early waves (1900–1959)

Several other small waves of Cuban emigration to the U.S. occurred in the early 20th century (1900–1959). Most settled in Florida and the northeast U.S. The majority of an estimated 100,000 Cubans arriving in that time period usually came for economic reasons (the Great Depression of 1929, volatile sugar prices and migrant farm labor contracts), but included anti-Batista refugees fleeing the military dictatorship, which had pro-U.S. diplomatic ties. During the '20s and '30s, emigration from Cuba to U.S. territory, basically comprised workers looking for jobs, mainly in New York and New Jersey. They were classified as labor migrants and workers, much like other immigrants in the area at that time. Thus migrated more than 40,149 in the first decade, encouraged by U.S. immigration facilities at the time and more than 43,400 by the end of the 30s.

Subsequently, the flow of Cubans to the United States fluctuated, due to both the domestic situation in the 40s and 50s in Cuba, and U.S. immigration policies, plus intermittent anti-immigrant sentiment. Cuban Migration in those years included, in addition to workers, a small mass of the population who could afford to leave the country and live abroad. The U.S. was considered a favored destination by the Cuban bourgeoisie and the middle classes of society, to send their children to school, take vacations and bring some of their capital to establish small and medium-sized businesses.

The Cuban population officially registered in the United States for 1958 was around 125,000 people including descendants. Of these, more than 50,000 remained in the United States after the revolution of 1959.[7]

Post-1959 revolution (1959–present)

After the Cuban revolution led by Fidel Castro in 1959, a Cuban exodus began as the new government allied itself with the Soviet Union and began to introduce communism. The first Cubans to come to America after the revolution were those affiliated with former dictator Fulgencio Batista, next were Cuba's professionals. Most Cuban Americans that arrived in the United States initially came from Cuba's educated upper and middle classes centered in Cuba's capital Havana. This middle class arose in the period after the Platt Amendment when Cuba became one of the most successful countries in Latin America. Between December 1960 and October 1962 more than 14,000 Cuban children arrived alone in the U.S. Their parents were afraid that their children were going to be sent to some Soviet bloc countries to be educated and they decided to send them to the States as soon as possible.

This program was called Operation Peter Pan (Operacion Pedro Pan). When the children arrived in Miami they were met by representatives of Catholic Charities and they were sent to live with relatives if they had any or were sent to foster homes, orphanages or boarding schools until their parents could leave Cuba. From 1965 to 1973, there was another wave of immigration known as the Freedom Flights. In order to provide aid to recently arrived Cuban immigrants, the United States Congress passed the Cuban Adjustment Act in 1966. The Cuban Refugee Program provided more than $1.3 billion of direct financial assistance. They also were eligible for public assistance, Medicare, free English courses, scholarships, and low-interest college loans.

Some banks pioneered loans for exiles who did not have collateral or credit but received help in getting a business loan. These loans enabled many Cuban Americans to secure funds and start up their own businesses. With their Cuban-owned businesses and low cost of living, Miami, Florida and Union City, New Jersey (dubbed Havana on the Hudson)[11][12] were the preferred destinations for many immigrants and soon became the main centers for Cuban-American culture. According to author Lisandro Perez, Miami was not particularly attractive to Cubans prior to the 1960s.[13]

It was not until the exodus of the Cuban exiles in 1959 that Miami started to become a preferred destination. Westchester within Miami-Dade County, was the area most densely populated by Cubans and Cuban Americans in the United States, followed by Hialeah in second.[14]

Communities like Miami, Tampa, and Union City, which Cuban Americans have made their home, have experienced a profound cultural impact as a result, as seen in such aspects of their local culture as cuisine, fashion, music, entertainment and cigar-making.[15][16]

1980s

Another large wave (an estimated 125,000 people) of Cuban immigration occurred in the early 1980s with the Mariel boatlifts. Most of the "Marielitos" were people wanting to escape from economic stagnation.

Fidel Castro sent some 20,000 criminals directly from Cuban prisons, as well as mentally ill persons from Cuban mental institutions, with the alleged double purpose of cleaning up Cuban society and poisoning the USA. Those people were labeled "unadmissible" by the US government, and with time, through many negotiations, have been returned to Cuba.

Mid-1990s to 2000s

Since the mid-1990s, after the implementation of the "Wet feet, dry feet" policy immigration patterns changed. Many Cuban immigrants departed from the southern and western coasts of Cuba and arrived at the Yucatán Peninsula in Mexico; many landed on Isla Mujeres. From there Cuban immigrants traveled to the Texas-Mexico border and found asylum. Many of the Cubans who did not have family in Miami settled in Houston; this has caused Houston's Cuban-American community to increase in size. The term "dusty foot" refers to Cubans emigrating to the U.S. through Mexico. In 2005 the Department of Homeland Security had abandoned the approach of detaining every dry foot Cuban who crosses through Texas and began a policy allowing most Cubans to obtain immediate parole.[17]

Jorge Ferragut, a Cuban immigrant who founded Casa Cuba, an agency that assists Cuban immigrants arriving in Texas, said in a 2008 article that many Cuban immigrants of the first decade of the 21st century left due to economic instead of political issues.[18] By October 2008 Mexico and Cuba created an agreement to prevent immigration of Cubans through Mexico.[19][20]

In recent years, Puerto Rico has become a major drop-off point for Cubans trying to reach the United States illegally. As a U.S. Commonwealth, Puerto Rico is seen as a stepping stone for Cubans trying to get to the continental U.S., though Puerto Rico itself is home to a number of Cubans.[21]

Immigration policy

Before the 1980s, all refugees from Cuba were welcomed into the United States as political refugees. This changed in the 1990s so that only Cubans who reach U.S. soil are granted refuge under the "wet foot, dry foot policy". While representing a tightening of U.S. immigration policy, the wet foot, dry foot policy still affords Cubans a privileged position relative to other immigrants to the U.S. This privileged position is the source of a certain friction between Cuban Americans and other Latino citizens and residents in the United States, adding to the tension caused by the divergent foreign policy interests pursued by conservative Cuban Americans. Cuban immigration also continues with an allotted number of Cubans (20,000 per year) provided legal U.S. visas.

According to a U.S. Census 1970 report, Cuban Americans as well as Latinos lived in all fifty states. But as later Census reports demonstrated, the majority of Cuban immigrants settled in south Florida. A new trend in the late 1990s showed that fewer immigrants arrived from Cuba than previously. While U.S.-born Cuban Americans moved out of their enclaves, other nationalities settled there.[22]

In late 1999, U.S. news media focused on the case of Elián González, the six-year-old Cuban boy caught in a custody battle between his relatives in Miami and his father in Cuba, after the boy's mother died trying to bring him to the United States. On April 22, 2000, immigration enforcement agents took Elián González into custody. González was returned to Cuba to live with his father.

On January 12, 2017, President Barack Obama announced the immediate cessation of the wet feet, dry feet policy.[23] The Cuban government agreed to accept the return of Cuban nationals.[24] Beginning with the United States–Cuban Thaw in 2014, anticipation of the end of the policy had led to increased numbers of Cuban immigrants.[25]

Demographics

In the census in 2000 there were 1,241,685 Cuban Americans, and in the 2010 census there were 1,785,547 (both native and foreign born), and represented 3.5% of all Hispanics, and 0.58% of the US population. 983,147 were born abroad in Cuba, 628,331 were U.S born and of the 1.6 million, 415,212 were not U.S citizens.[26] In the 2013 ACS, there were 2,013,155 Cuban Americans. The 2010 US Census shows that 85% report of Cubans that immigrated to the US from Cuba identify as being white.[27] The most recent 2012 Cuban census has the island population at 64.12% white, 26.62% mulatto, 9.26% black, and 0.1% Asian.[28]

Ancestry

The ancestry of Cuban Americans is primarily from Spaniards and Black Africans,[29] as well as more distant ancestry from among the indigenous peoples of the Caribbean and those of Florida. During the 18th, 19th and early part of the 20th century, there were waves of Spanish immigration to Cuba (Castilians, Basques, Canarians, Catalans, Andalusians, Asturians and Galicians). Canarians immigrated to many countries along the Caribbean from Louisiana to Venezuela. But Cuba was the Latin American culture most influenced by the emigration of Canary Islanders (they developed the production of sugar in Cuba), and Cuban Spanish is closest to that of the Canary Islands. Canary Islanders were viewed by other Spanish-Cubans as superstitious but also hard-working. Some of Haiti's white population (French) migrated to Cuba after the Haitian War of Independence in the early 18th century. Also, minor but significant ethnic influx is derived from diverse peoples from Middle East places such as Lebanon and Palestine.

There was also a significant influx of Jews, especially between the World Wars, from many countries, including Sephardi Jews from Turkey and Ashkenazi Jews from Poland, Germany and Russia. Other Europeans that have contributed slightly include Italians, Germans, Swedes, and Hungarians. Many Chinese also settled Cuba as contract laborers and they formerly boast the largest Chinatown in Western Hemisphere as most Chinese Cubans left for Florida.

U.S. states with largest Cuban populations

The Top 10 US states with the largest Cuban populations are: [30]

State or territory Cuban-American
population (2010 Census)[31][32]
Percentage[note 1][6] Most recent estimate
(2017)[33]
Percentage
(2017)
 Alabama 4,064 0.1 4,541 0.1
 Alaska 927 0.1 813 0.0
 Arizona 10,692 0.2 14,561 0.2
 Arkansas 1,493 0.1 2,589 0.1
 California 88,607 0.2 110,702 0.3
 Colorado 6,253 0.1 15,867 0.3
 Connecticut 9,490 0.3 14,843 0.4
 Delaware 1,443 0.2 1,796 0.2
 District of Columbia 1,789 0.3 2,830 0.4
 Florida 1,213,438 6.5 1,528,046 7.3
Georgia (U.S. state) Georgia 25,048 0.3 35,321 0.3
 Hawaii 1,544 0.1 2,353 0.2
 Idaho 825 0.1 1,167 0.1
 Illinois 22,541 0.2 23,900 0.2
 Indiana 4,042 0.1 5,794 0.1
 Iowa 1,226 0.0 3,776 0.1
 Kansas 2,723 0.1 3,463 0.1
 Kentucky 26,323 0.2 16,824 0.4
 Louisiana 10,330 0.2 15,155 0.3
 Maine 783 0.1 932 0.0
 Maryland 10,366 0.2 15,571 0.3
 Massachusetts 11,306 0.2 18,517 0.3
 Michigan 9,922 0.1 10,969 0.1
 Minnesota 3,661 0.1 4,747 0.1
 Mississippi 2,063 0.1 3,209 0.1
 Missouri 4,979 0.1 6,871 0.1
 Montana 421 0.0 827 0.0
 Nebraska 2,152 0.1 5,205 0.3
 Nevada 21,459 0.8 33,421 1.1
 New Hampshire 1,349 0.1 2,109 0.2
 New Jersey 83,362 0.9 99,987 1.1
 New Mexico 4,298 0.2 4,401 0.2
 New York 70,803 0.4 78,478 0.4
 North Carolina 18,079 0.2 26,520 0.3
  North Dakota 260 0.0 284 0.0
 Ohio 7,523 0.1 8,028 0.1
 Oklahoma 2,755 0.1 3,198 0.1
 Oregon 4,923 0.1 8,870 0.2
 Pennsylvania 17,930 0.1 28,329 0.2
 Rhode Island 1,640 0.2 2,103 0.2
 South Carolina 5,955 0.1 10,259 0.2
 South Dakota 265 0.0 442 0.0
 Tennessee 7,773 0.1 11,564 0.2
 Texas 46,541 0.2 86,183 0.3
 Utah 1,963 0.1 2,660 0.1
 Vermont 510 0.1 308 0.0
 Virginia 15,229 0.2 20,836 0.3
 Washington 6,744 0.1 11,335 0.2
 West Virginia 764 0.0 1,409 0.1
 Wisconsin 3,696 0.1 4,578 0.1
 Wyoming 275 0.0 310 0.0
USA 1,785,547 0.6 2,315,863 0.7

US metropolitan areas with largest Cuban populations

The largest populations of Cubans are situated in the following metropolitan areas (Source: Census 2010):[6]

  1. Miami-Fort Lauderdale-West Palm Beach, FL MSA – 982,758
  2. New York-Northern New Jersey-Long Island, NY-NJ-PA-CT MSA – 135,391
  3. Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater, FL MSA – 81,542
  4. Los Angeles-Long Beach-Santa Ana, CA MSA – 49,702
  5. Orlando-Kissimmee-Sanford, FL MSA – 36,724
  6. Chicago-Joliet-Naperville, IL-IN-WI MSA – 20,633
  7. Las Vegas-Paradise, NV MSA – 20,569
  8. Houston-Sugar Land-Baytown, TX MSA – 19,130
  9. Atlanta-Sandy Springs-Marietta, GA MSA – 17,648
  10. Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, DC-VA-MD-WV MSA – 14,527

U.S. communities with high percentages of people of Cuban ancestry

Census Bureau 2000, Cubans in the United States
Cubans in the US, 2016 census

The top 25 US communities with the highest percentage of people claiming Cuban ancestry are (the top 22 of which are in Miami-Dade County):

  1. Hialeah, Florida 77%
  2. Westchester, Florida 74%
  3. Coral Terrace, Florida 63.2%
  4. West Miami, Florida 65.6%
  5. University Park, Florida 67.4%
  6. Olympia Heights, Florida 75.6%
  7. Tamiami, Florida 67%
  8. Hialeah Gardens, Florida 70%
  9. Medley, Florida 70.7%
  10. Sweetwater, Florida 59%
  11. Palm Springs North, Florida 61.2%
  12. Miami Lakes, Florida 56.1%
  13. Kendale Lakes, Florida 53.4%
  14. Fontainebleau, Florida 53.4%
  15. Miami, Florida 34%
  16. Miami Springs, Florida 31.83%
  17. Richmond West, Florida 29.30%
  18. Coral Gables, Florida 28.72%
  19. Virginia Gardens, Florida 26.11%
  20. South Miami Heights, Florida 25.70%
  21. Kendall, Florida 21.31%
  22. Miami Beach, Florida 20.51%
  23. Ybor City, Florida 20.28%
  24. West Tampa, Florida 20.23%
  25. Surfside, Florida 20.15%

U.S. communities with the most residents born in Cuba

For total 101 communities, see the reference given. Top 20 U.S. communities with the most residents born in Cuba are (all of which are located within the Miami Florida area):[34]

  1. Westchester, Florida 55.8%
  2. Hialeah, Florida 53.5%
  3. Coral Terrace, Florida 51.9%
  4. West Miami, Florida 50.5%
  5. South Westside, FL 48.3%[35]
  6. University Park, Florida 48.1%
  7. Hialeah Gardens, Florida 47.5%
  8. Medley, Florida 46.0%
  9. Tamiami, Florida 45.7%
  10. Olympia Heights, Florida 45.2%
  11. Sweetwater, Florida 45.2%
  12. Westwood Lakes, Florida 44.9%
  13. Sunset, Florida 32.7%
  14. Fountainbleau, Florida 32.3%
  15. North Westside, FL 30.4%[36]
  16. Miami, Florida 30.3%
  17. Miami Lakes, Florida 30.1%
  18. Palm Springs North, Florida 29.8%
  19. Kendale Lakes, Florida 28.9%
  20. Kendale Lakes-Lindgren Acres, FL 24.3%[37]

Culture

Assimilation

Many Cuban Americans have assimilated themselves into the American culture, which includes Cuban influences.

Cuban Americans live in all 50 states, Washington, D.C. and Puerto Rico, which received thousands of anti-Castro refugees as well in the 1960s. Since the 1980s, Cuban Americans have moved out of "Little Havana" and "Hialeah" to the suburbs of Miami, such as Kendall, as well in the more affluent Coral Gables and Miami Lakes. Many new South and Central Americans, along with new Cuban refugees, have replaced the Cuban Americans who have relocated elsewhere in Florida (Fort Lauderdale, Orlando, Tampa Bay and West Palm Beach) and dispersed throughout the nation. Nevertheless, Cubans are still heavily concentrated in Florida, which slows assimilation; according to the 2010 Census, 68% of Cuban Americans still live in Florida.

More recently, there has been substantial growth of new Cuban American communities in places like Louisville, Kentucky, the Research Triangle area of North Carolina,[38] Katy, Texas, and Downey, California; the latter city now has the second-highest percentage of Cubans and Cuban Americans in the Western United States at 1.96% of the population.[14]

Cuban Americans have been very successful in establishing businesses and developing political clout in Miami. Cuban Americans have also contributed to and participated in many areas of American life including academia, business, acting, politics, and literature.[39] [40]

In the last 15 years, due to the growth of interest around the world for genealogy, Cuban genealogy has become a major interest for Cuban Americans and a growing segment in the family research industry. This has complemented assimilation by preserving Cuban and colonial roots, while also adopting American culture and value.[41]

Religion

Cuban Americans are mostly Roman Catholic, but some Cubans practice African traditional religions (such as Santería or Ifá), which evolved from mixing the Catholic religion with the traditional African religion. Cuban Catholicism was also influenced by the Catholicism practiced by the Canarian people. However, there are many Protestant (primarily Pentecostal) with small numbers of syncretist, nonreligious or tiny communities of Jewish and Muslim Cuban Americans. The Protestant movement in Cuba started after the Spanish–American War when many Americans came to Cuba.

Language

Similar to the 67% of other Hispanics, 69% of Cubans under 18 speak a language other than English at home. For Cubans over the age of 18, the percent speaking a language other than English at home climbs to 89%, which is higher than the 80% among other Hispanic groups.[42]

Only 12% of Cubans under the age of 18 speak English less than very well, which is much lower than the 20% among other Hispanic groups.[42]

Food and drink

Cuban food is varied, though rice is a staple and commonly served at lunch and dinner. Other common dishes are arroz con pollo (chicken and rice), pan con bistec (steak sandwich), platanos maduros (sweet plantains), lechon asado (pork), yuca (cassava root), flan, batido de mamey (mamey milkshake), papayas, and guava paste.

A common lunch staple is the Cuban sandwich (sometimes called a mixto sandwich), which is built on Cuban bread and was created and standardized among cigar workers who traveled between Cuba and Florida (especially Ybor City) around the turn of the 20th century.[43][44][45]

Cuban versions of pizza contains bread, which is usually soft, and cheese, toppings, and sauce, which is made with spices such as Adobo and Goya onion. Picadillo, ground beef that has been sauteed with tomato, green peppers, green olives, and garlic is another popular Cuban dish. It can be served with black beans and rice, and a side of deep-fried, ripened plantains.

Beverages

Cuban coffee is popular in the Cuban-American community. Cubans often drink cafe cubano: a small cup of coffee called a cafecito (or a colada), which is traditional espresso coffee, sweetened with sugar, with a little foam on top called espumita. It is also popular to add milk, which is called a cortadito for a small cup or a cafe con leche for a larger cup.

A common soft drink is Materva, a Cuban soda made of yerba mate. Jupiña, Ironbeer and Cawy lemon-lime are soft drinks which originated in Cuba. Since the Castro era, they are also produced in Miami. Other famous Cuban drinks include guarapo de caña.

A popular drink of Cuban origin is the Cuba Libre, a mix of Cuban rum and cola, usually Coca-Cola and mojitos.

Politics

Until the early 2010s, Cuban Americans historically tended to be more Republican than Democratic, thanks to the anti-communist foreign policy platform of the Republican Party since the 1950s. The failed Bay of Pigs invasion left many Cubans distrustful of the Democratic Party, blaming John F. Kennedy for his handling of the 1961 Bay of Pigs Invasion.[46] Cuban exiles began an alliance with the Republican Party of Florida. In Florida, Cuban-American congressmen have tended to be Republican, beginning with Representative Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (Joe Garcia, a Democrat, is an exception). The presence of Cubans in the Republican Party was highlighted by the 2016 presidential race, which featured U.S. Senators Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio as prominent candidates, both of whom are of Cuban descent. But in New Jersey, another state with many Cuban Americans, Cuban-American congressmen have tended to be Democrats, for example Representative Albio Sires and Senator Bob Menendez. Ronald Reagan is particularly popular in the Cuban-American community for standing up to Soviet communism and Fidel Castro's so-called "exportation of revolution" to Central America and Africa (there is a street in Miami named for Reagan),[47][48][49] and George W. Bush received 75 and 78 percent (in 2000 and 2004 respectively) of the Cuban-American vote. The Cuban-American lobby has also lobbied both parties on causes important to Cuban Americans.

In recent years, the Cuban-American vote has become more contested between the parties. In the 2008 United States presidential election, Democrat Barack Obama received 47% of the Cuban-American vote in Florida.[50] According to Bendixen's exit polls, 84% of Miami-Dade Cuban-American voters 65 or older backed McCain, while 55% of those 29 or younger backed Obama.[51] In 2012, Barack Obama received 49 percent of the Cuban-American vote in Florida, compared to 47 percent for Mitt Romney according to Edison Research exits polls.[52] By spring 2014, this trend increased among Cuban American voters having a preference for Democratic Party candidates increased particularly for younger voters aged 18–49, increasing to some 56% for the younger voter demographic, versus Cuban-American voters over 50 years of age having a 39% preference for Democratic candidates.[53] As in the 2012 United States presidential election, Mitt Romney got more support than Barack Obama. The 2016 United States presidential election saw Donald Trump garner about the same level support within the community, garnering 50-54 percent of the Floridian Cuban-American vote, as opposed to 41-48 percent for Hillary Clinton, as some Cuban Americans were dissatisfied with Obama's Cuba policy, which restored foreign relations with the Cuban government.[54][55]

Socioeconomics

The median household income for U.S.-born Cuban Americans is $57,000, higher than the overall U.S. median household income of $52,000.[56]

However, the median annual personal earnings for foreign born Cuban Americans is $25,000, which is lower than that of US population at $30,000.[56]

Education

Among U.S.-born Cuban Americans, 36% have a college degree or higher, compared to 30% for the overall U.S. population. Of foreign-born Cuban Americans, 27% have a college degree. This is higher than the U.S. Hispanic population (14%) but lower than that of the overall U.S. population.[56]

Notable Cuban Americans

In the United States Congress

Seven Cuban Americans currently serve in the United States Congress. There have been seven Cuban-American US representatives elected from Florida, two from New Jersey, and one each from Texas, Ohio and West Virginia.

Ileana Ros-Lehtinen official photo
Robert Menendez official Senate portrait
Marco Rubio, Official Portrait, 112th Congress
Ted Cruz official 116th portrait (cropped)
  • Ted Cruz, U.S Senator from Texas (2013–present)

Three United States Senators:

Four are United States Representatives:

Former Congressmen:

In state government

Cuban Americans have had much success at the state level. In Florida, where Cuban-American legislators hold more seats than anywhere else in the nation, pro-democracy, anti-Castro, and anti-Chavez legislation is often promoted and passed even though states cannot dictate foreign policy. Even in states where Cuban Americans are not concentrated in large numbers they have had successes especially in New Jersey, where albeit a tiny minority concentrated in Union City, Elizabeth, and Newark, they have had enormous political successes.

Christopher T Sununu

Governor of New Hampshire Chris Sununu

LG Carlos Lopez-Cantera Headshot

Lt.Governor of Florida Carlos Lopez-Cantera

Anitere Flores

Anitere Flores, Florida Senate, Majority Whip

Florida:

New Hampshire:

New Jersey:

  • Vincent Prieto, Democrat, Speaker of the New Jersey General Assembly (2014–Present), Member of the New Jersey General Assembly from the 32nd Legislative District (2004–Present)
  • Angelica Jimenez, Democrat, Member of the New Jersey General Assembly from the 32nd Legislative District (2012–Present)
  • Carmelo Garcia, Democrat, New Jersey
  • Marlene Caride. Democrat, New Jersey

New York:

  • Nicole Malliotakis, Republican, Staten Island, Member of the New York General Assembly from the 64th district

Connecticut:

  • Art Linares, Republican, Westbrook, Member of the Connecticut State Senate from the 33rd district

Nevada:

  • Moises “Mo” Denis, Democrat, Member of the Nevada Senate from the 2nd district

Eduardo Aguirre (R) served as Vice Chairman of the Export-Import Bank of the United States in the George W. Bush administration and later named Director of Immigration and Naturalization Services under the Department of Homeland Security. In 2006, Eduardo Aguirre was named US ambassador to Spain. Cuban Americans have also served other high-profile government jobs including White House Chief of Staff John H. Sununu (R) Florida-based businessman and Cuban exile Elviro Sanchez made his multimillion-dollar fortune by investing the proceeds of his family's fruit plantations. He is one of the most low-profile philanthropists in the Southern States. Cuban Americans also serve in high-ranking judicial positions as well. Danny Boggs is currently a judge on the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit and Raoul G. Cantero, III, served as a Florida Supreme Court justice until stepping down in 2008.

Notable people

Television and entertainment

Singers, songwriters and musicians

Athletes

See also

General:

Notes

  1. ^ Percentage of the state population that identifies itself as Cuban relative to the state/territory" population as a whole.

References

  1. ^ US Census Bureau 2017 American Community Survey B03001 1-Year Estimates HISPANIC OR LATINO ORIGIN BY SPECIFIC ORIGIN retrieved September 23, 2018.
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  47. ^ https://www.nytimes.com/1983/05/20/us/miami-s-community-of-republican-cubans-awaits-reagan-with-excitement.html
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  52. ^ Marc Caputo (November 8, 2012). "Poll: Obama got big share of Cuban American vote, won among other Hispanics in Florida". Miamiherald.com. Archived from the original on March 20, 2015. Retrieved June 5, 2015.
  53. ^ "More U.S. Cubans Are Shifting To Democratic Party". nbcnews.com. NBC News. June 24, 2014. Retrieved June 25, 2014.
  54. ^ Kelly Riddell (November 15, 2016). "Trump won over Cubans in Florida, in possible backlash against Obama's Cuba detente". the Washington Times. Retrieved September 23, 2017.
  55. ^ https://www.usnews.com/opinion/op-ed/articles/2016-11-16/2016-highlighted-the-growing-complexity-of-the-cuban-american-vote
  56. ^ a b c López, Gustavo (September 15, 2015). "Hispanics of Cuban Origin in the United States, 2013: Statistical Profile". Pew Research Center. Retrieved April 3, 2017.
  57. ^ Wehrman, Jessica. "Former Ohio State, NFL Football player joins Congress" Check |url= value (help). Dayton Daily News. Retrieved January 6, 2019.

Further reading

  • De La Torre, Miguel A., La Lucha for Cuba: Religion and Politics on the Streets of Miami, University of California Press, 2003.
  • Diaz, Carmen (2008). Siete jornadas en Miami (in Spanish) (1ra ed.). Miami, FL: Alexandria Library. ISBN 978-1-934804-26-1. Interviews with Cuban-American women in Miami about Cuban-American identity.
  • Kami, Hideaki, “Ethnic Community, Party Politics, and the Cold War: The Political Ascendancy of Miami Cubans, 1980–2000,” Japanese Journal of American Studies (Tokyo), 23 (2012), 185–208.
  • Miguel A. De La Torre, "La Lucha for Cuba: Religion and Politics on the Streets of Miami", University of California Press, 2003.
  • Gustavo Pérez Firmat, Life on the Hyphen: The Cuban-American Way. Austin: The University of Texas Press, 1994. Rpt. 1996, 1999. Revised and expanded edition, 2012.

External links

Christianity among Hispanic and Latino Americans

Latinos and Hispanics are predominantly Christians in the United States. Specifically, they are most often Roman Catholic.

Church of the Little Flower (Coral Gables, Florida)

The Church of the Little Flower is a Roman Catholic church in Coral Gables, Florida founded in 1926. The church's domed 1951 building was constructed in Spanish Renaissance style, in keeping with the Mediterranean Revival architecture for which Coral Gables is noted.The church members have long been conspicuously upscale. But whereas in the 20th century its members were predominantly Irish-American, political liberals who voted the Democratic ticket, by the end of the century the majority of members were Cuban-Americans known for being politically conservative and voting Republican. Both of the Floridian contenders for the 2016 Republican nomination for president, Jeb Bush and Marco Rubio, attend Little Flower with their families. The Rubios were married in the church.

Congressional Hispanic Conference

The Congressional Hispanic Conference (CHC) is a Republican Party-controlled caucus in the United States Congress. Currently with four members, the CHC was formed in 2003, with the stated goal of promoting policy outcomes of importance to Americans of Hispanic or Latino and Portuguese descent. These priorities included support of the following: then-President George W. Bush and American troops in the war against terrorism; the Free Trade Agreement of the Americas (FTAA); tax relief to families and the over two million Hispanic- and Portuguese-owned small businesses; support for faith based initiatives; and, educational choice for all. The impetus behind the Conference's creation was the debate surrounding the nomination of conservative lawyer Miguel Estrada to the DC Circuit Court of Appeals. The Congressional Hispanic Conference should not be confused with the older Congressional Hispanic Caucus, which is another congressional organization populated by Democratic members of Congress.

CubaOne Foundation

CubaOne Foundation, also known as CubaOne, is a Miami-based not-for-profit organization that sponsors free 7-day trips to Cuba for young Cuban Americans ages 22–35.It was founded by Daniel Jimenez, Giancarlo Sopo, Cherie Cancio, and Andrew Jimenez.

Cuban

Cuban may refer to:

Something of, from, or related to Cuba, a country in the Caribbean

Cubans, people from Cuba, or of Cuban descent

Cuban exile, a person who left Cuba for political reasons, or a descendant thereof

Cuban citizen, a person who is part of the Cuban population, see Demographics of Cuba

Cuban Spanish, the dialect of Cuba

Cuban Americans, citizens of the United States who are of Cuban descent

Cuban cigar, often referred to as "Cubans"

Cuban culture

Cuban cuisine

Cuban sandwich

Cuban-eight, a type of aerobatic maneuver

Something related to a cube, a three-dimensional solid object

Cuban-American lobby

The Cuban-American lobby describes those various groups of Cuban exiles in the United States and their descendants who have historically influenced the United States' policy toward Cuba. In general usage this refers to anti-Castro groups.

Cuban Canadians

Cuban Canadians are Canadian citizens of Cuban descent or a Cuba-born person who resides in Canada. According to the 2011 Census there were 21,440 Canadians who claimed full or partial Cuban ancestry. Canada is home to the third largest Cuban immigrant community in the world after the United States and Spain.

Cuban exile

The term "Cuban exile" refers to the many Cubans who fled from or left the island of Cuba. These people consist of two primary groups loosely defined by the period of time occurring before and after the Mariel boat lift of the 1980s. The pre-Mariel group consisted of the mostly middle and upper classes of the island who fled due to fear of widespread reprisals after the communist takeover led by Fidel Castro in the late 1950s-1970s. The people in this group were mainly seeking political asylum. The second group consists of those peoples who emigrated from Cuba during and after the period of the Mariel boat lift of the 1980s. By and large, the majority of these people were, and are, economic migrants. The phenomenon date back to the Ten Years' War and the struggle for Cuban independence during the 19th century. In modern times, the term refers to the large exodus of Cubans to the United States since the 1959 Cuban Revolution. More than one million Cubans of all classes and racial groups have left the island for the United States, and other countries.

Cuban migration to Miami

Cuban immigration has greatly influenced modern Miami, creating what is known as "Cuban Miami." However, Miami reflects global trends as well, such as the growing trends of multiculturalism and multiracialism; this reflects the way in which international politics shape local communities.

Essentially, the coexistence of growth and internationalization within Miami has perpetuated an ethnically driven social polarization. The growing number of Cubans in Miami have remained loyal to their cultural norms, mores, customs, language, and religious affiliations. The transnational force of immigration defines Miami as a growing metropolis, and the 20th century Cuban influx has greatly affected Miami's growth.As of 2012, there were 1.2 million Cubans in Greater Miami. As of that year, about 400,000 had arrived after 1980.

Cubonics

Cubonics is a dialect of Spanglish spoken by Cuban Americans that originated in Miami.The term for the dialect is rather new but the dialect itself has existed ever sinces the first Cuban exile to Miami in the 1950s. The dialect is a mix of the English language and Cuban idioms. When these idioms were translated to English they lost some of their original meaning so to preserve these meanings the phrases were continued to be said in Spanish. Cubonics also consists of the Cuban inflection and use of English words. Use of Cubonics has become so popular in Miami that a knowledge of it is considered necessary by some Cuban Americans. Language researcher Elena M. de Jongh even notes how popular Spanglish in Miami is that court translators need knowledge of it to function proficiently.

Hispanics and Latinos in New Jersey

The U.S. state of New Jersey is home to significant and growing numbers of people of Latino and Hispanic descent, nearly 1.8 million, who in 2018 represented a Census- estimated 20.4% of the state's total population. New Jersey's Latino population comprises substantial concentrations of Dominican Americans, Puerto Rican Americans, Cuban Americans, Mexican Americans, Central Americans, Peruvian Americans, Colombian Americans, and Ecuadorian Americans. New Jersey is also home to a large Brazilian American and Portuguese-speaking population. The state has multiple municipalities with Hispanic-majority populations. Latinos and Hispanics form one-third of the population in the largest city, Newark. The northern part of Hudson County is nicknamed Havana on the Hudson for the large number of Cuban exiles and émigrés living there. Little Lima, in Paterson, is the largest Peruvian enclave outside of South America. Many Latino and Hispanic people have been elected to public office in New Jersey, at both the state and local levels.

Latin freestyle

Latin freestyle (local terms include Miami freestyle) or simply freestyle music is a form of electronic dance music that emerged in the New York metropolitan area in the 1980s. It experienced its greatest popularity from the late 1980s until the early 1990s. It continues to be produced today and enjoys some degree of popularity, especially in urban settings. A common theme of freestyle lyricism is heartbreak in the city. The first freestyle hit is largely attributed to "Let the Music Play" by Shannon.

The music was largely made popular on radio stations such as WKTU and "pre-hip hop" Hot 97 in New York City, and it became especially popular in New Orleans and the Gulf coast and among Italian Americans and Puerto Rican Americans in the New York metro area and Philadelphia metro area, Cuban Americans in the Miami area, and Hispanic and Latino Americans in Detroit and Los Angeles County. Notable performers in the freestyle genre include Stevie B, Corina, Lil Suzy, Timmy T, George Lamond, TKA, Noel, Company B, Exposé, Debbie Deb, Brenda K. Starr, the Cover Girls, Lisa Lisa and Cult Jam, Information Society, Pretty Poison, Sa-Fire, Shannon, Coro, Lisette Melendez, Judy Torres, Rockell, Taylor Dayne, Paris by Air and many others.

Latino poetry

Although the term is the source of some controversy, Latino poetry has generally come to identify writing by different groups of Latino heritage within the United States, including Chicanos, Puerto Ricans, Dominicans and Cuban-Americans.

Latino poetry is best characterized by the works of Lorna Dee Cervantes, Cuban-American award-winning Carlos Pintado, Giannina Braschi, Pedro Pietri, Martín Espada, and Alurista. It is written in English, Spanish, or any combination thereof (including Spanglish). It is poetry written by poets in South America, Central America and North America (Mexico). The poems are in Spanish.

List of Cuban Americans

This is a list of notable Cuban Americans, including immigrants who obtained American citizenship and their American descendants.

Mariel boatlift

The Mariel boatlift was a mass emigration of Cubans, who traveled from Cuba's Mariel Harbor to the United States between 15 April and 31 October 1980. The term "Marielito" (plural "Marielitos") is used to refer to these refugees in both Spanish and English. While the boatlift was incited by a sharp downturn in the Cuban economy, generations of Cubans had immigrated to the United States before the boatlift in search of both political freedom and economic opportunities.

After approximately 10,000 Cubans tried to gain asylum by taking refuge on the grounds of the Peruvian embassy, the Cuban government announced that anyone who wanted to leave could do so. The ensuing mass migration was organized by Cuban Americans with the agreement of Cuban president Fidel Castro. The arrival of the refugees in the United States created political problems for President Jimmy Carter. His administration struggled to develop a consistent response to the immigrants, and it was discovered that a number of the refugees had been released from Cuban jails and mental health facilities. The Mariel boatlift was ended by mutual agreement between the two governments in late October 1980. By that time as many as 125,000 Cubans had reached Florida.

Sinking of tugboat "13 de Marzo"

The "Tugboat "13 de Marzo" massacre" is the name given by Cuban-Americans, exiles, and dissidents, to a July 13, 1994, incident where 41 Cubans who attempted to leave the island of Cuba on a hijacked tugboat drowned at sea. The Cuban archive project, a New York City based organization which promotes human rights in Cuba, has alleged that the Cuban coast guard deliberately sank the commandeered vessel and then refused to rescue some of the passengers. For their part, the Cuban government has denied responsibility, and stated that the boat was sunk by accident.

United States embargo against Cuba

The United States currently imposes a commercial, economic, and financial embargo against Cuba. The United States first imposed an embargo on the sale of arms to Cuba on March 14, 1958, during the Fulgencio Batista regime. Again on October 19, 1960 (almost two years after the Cuban Revolution had led to the deposition of the Batista regime) the U.S. placed an embargo on exports to Cuba except for food and medicine after Cuba nationalized American-owned Cuban oil refineries without compensation and as a response to Cuba's role in the Cuban missile crisis. On February 7, 1962 the embargo was extended to include almost all exports.As of 2018, the Cuban embargo is enforced mainly through six statutes: the Trading with the Enemy Act of 1917, the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961, the Cuban Assets Control Regulations of 1963, the Cuban Democracy Act of 1992, the Helms–Burton Act of 1996, and the Trade Sanctions Reform and Export Enhancement Act of 2000. The stated purpose of the Cuban Democracy Act of 1992 is to maintain sanctions on Cuba as long as the Cuban government refuses to move toward "democratization and greater respect for human rights". The Helms-Burton Act further restricted United States citizens from doing business in or with Cuba, and mandated restrictions on giving public or private assistance to any successor government in Havana unless and until certain claims against the Cuban government were met. In 1999 President Bill Clinton expanded the trade embargo by also disallowing foreign subsidiaries of U.S. companies to trade with Cuba. In 2000 Clinton authorized the sale of "humanitarian" U.S. products to Cuba.

In Cuba the embargo is called el bloqueo, "the blockade". Despite the term bloqueo (blockade), there has been no physical naval blockade of the country by the United States since the Cuban Missile Crisis in 1962. The United States does not block Cuba's trade with third parties: other countries are not under the jurisdiction of U.S. domestic laws, such as the Cuban Democracy Act (although, in theory, the U.S. could penalize foreign countries that trade with Cuba, a possibility which has been condemned by the United Nations General Assembly as an "extraterritorial" measure that contravenes "the sovereign equality of States, non-intervention in their internal affairs and freedom of trade and navigation as paramount to the conduct of international affairs"). Cuba can, and does, conduct international trade with many third-party countries; Cuba has been a member of the World Trade Organization (WTO) since 1995.Beyond criticisms of human rights in Cuba, the United States holds $6 billion worth of financial claims against the Cuban government. The pro-embargo position is that the U.S. embargo is, in part, an appropriate response to these unaddressed claims. The Latin America Working Group argues that pro-embargo Cuban-American exiles, whose votes are crucial in the U.S. state of Florida, have swayed many politicians to adopt views similar to their own. Some business leaders, including James E. Perrella, Dwayne O. Andreas, and Peter Blyth, have opposed the Cuban-American views, arguing that trading freely would be good for Cuba and the United States.As of 2018, the embargo, which limits American businesses from conducting trade with Cuban interests, remains in effect and is the most enduring trade embargo in modern history. Despite the existence of the embargo, the United States is the fifth-largest exporter to Cuba (6.6% of Cuba's imports come from the US). Cuba must, however, pay cash for all imports, as credit is not allowed.The UN General Assembly has, since 1992, passed a resolution every year condemning the ongoing impact of the embargo and declaring it in violation of the Charter of the United Nations and of international law. In 2014, out of the 193-nation assembly, 188 countries voted for the nonbinding resolution, the United States and Israel voted against and the Pacific Island nations Palau, Marshall Islands and Micronesia abstained. Human-rights groups including Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, and the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights have also been critical of the embargo. Critics of the embargo say that the embargo laws are too harsh, citing the fact that violations can result in up to 10 years in prison.

White Americans

White Americans are Americans who are descendants from any of the indigenous peoples of Europe, the Middle East and North Africa, or in census statistics, those who self-report as white based on having majority-white ancestry. White Americans (including White Hispanics) constitute the historical and current majority of the people living in the United States, with 72% of the population in the 2010 United States Census. Non-Hispanic whites totaled about 197,285,202 or 60.7% of the U.S. population. European Americans are the largest ethnic group of White Americans and constitute the historical population of the United States since the nation's founding.

The United States Census Bureau defines white people as those "having origins in any of the original peoples of Europe, the Middle East or North Africa." Like all official U.S. racial categories, "White" has a "not Hispanic or Latino" and a "Hispanic or Latino" component, the latter consisting mostly of White Mexican Americans and White Cuban Americans. The term "Caucasian" is synonymous with "white", although the latter is sometimes used to denote skin tone instead of race. Some of the non-European ethnic groups classified as white by the U.S. Census, such as Arab Americans, Jewish Americans, and Hispanics or Latinos, may not identify as or may not be perceived to be, white.

The largest ancestries of American whites are: German (17%), Irish (12%), English (9%), Italian (6%), French (4%), Polish (3%), Scottish (3%), Scotch-Irish (2%), Dutch (2%), Norwegian (2%) and Swedish (1%). However, the English Americans' and British Americans' demography is considered a serious under-count as the stock tend to self-report and identify as simply "Americans" (7%), due to the length of time they have inhabited the United States, particularly if their family arrived prior to the American Revolution. The vast majority of white Americans also have ancestry from multiple countries.

Óscar Haza

Oscar Haza is a journalist born in the Dominican Republic in 1954, who at the age of 22 moved to Miami to pursue his career in journalism. He is host of the Channel 22 news talk show Ahora Con Oscar Haza which airs on Mega TV. The topics of his programming range from current cultural issues and local news to a recurring South Florida topic: Cuba. His audience is composed mostly of Cuban Americans and South Florida Hispanics. His guests are usually the most important people in the current news cycle: ambassadors, former presidents, governors, political analysts, famous writers and artists.

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