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January

After four years of harsh sanctions by the Trump Administration, the relationship between Cuba and the United States is at the lowest point in decades, and his successor, Joe Biden, must take the initiative to rebuild it, experts estimate.

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The volume, "Picturing Cuba: Art, Culture, and Identity on the Island and in the Diaspora," edited by Dr. Jorge Duany, is now available as a paperback. The book is the result of a 2017 CRI conference, which assessed the significance of Cuban and Cuban-American art for the construction of national and diasporic identities.

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Watch the panel discussion on the edited volume, "La Cuba que quisimos," held at the annual meeting of the Association for the Study of the Cuban Economy (ASCE), including several of the contributors to the book.

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February

The Cuban Research Institute, the Kimberly Green Latin American and Caribbean Center, and the FIU Libraries are pleased to request applications from scholars and graduate students for the summer of 2021. The Díaz-Ayala Library Travel Grants provide the opportunity to conduct research in the special collections and archives related to Cuba and Cuban Americans at the FIU Libraries.

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In recent months, U.S. Coast Guard officials have detected a new uptick in Cuban rafters, with the number intercepted at sea in the fiscal year that started in October already surpassing the total for the previous 12 months. Though still vastly lower than previous surges, the recent increase has sparked concern that as economic and humanitarian conditions in Cuba worsen, more will risk their lives at sea.

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Congratulations to Dr. Elaine Acosta González on her book chapter in "The Palgrave Handbook on Gender and Migration!" In this essay, Dr. Acosta González analyzes the relationship between international migration patterns and both population aging and the crisis of elderly care in Cuba.

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CRI Affiliate Faculty member Dr. Guillermo Grenier explores some of the historical and social process that led most Cuban Americans to vote for the Republican Party.

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The Spanish press has just published "Obra selecta" ["Selected Works"], by Dr. Jorge Duany. The book gathers several academic essays and journalistic articles on transnational migration and national identity in Cuba and Puerto Rico.

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The development of small and medium enterprises—particularly in this moment of recession—is one of the main themes to be approached in a March 18 workshop sponsored by CasaCuba, CRI, and the College of Business at FIU.

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March

In an op-ed piece, CRI Visiting Scholar Elaine Acosta González analyzes the impact of monetary unification and other economic reforms on the Cuban population, particularly on its quality of life and social protection.

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This course will examine the historical origins and development of mass migration from Latin America and the Caribbean to the United States, especially Mexico, Puerto Rico, Cuba, and the Dominican Republic. The discussion will focus on the construction and reconstruction of cultural identities among Latin American immigrants, noting their similarities and differences in the United States.

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Some 100,000 petitions were filed by Cubans and Cuban Americans in the U.S. hoping to reunite with family members on the island which are on hold as visa processing at the Havana embassy remains suspended. As the Biden administration reviews its Cuba policy, some in the exile community are clamoring for a quick resolution.

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April

After Raúl Castro's resignation as first secretary of Cuba's Communist Party, it will be the first time that a person who does not belong to the Castro family has led the political organization that governs the Caribbean island since the triumph of the revolution. This edition of "El Debate" (France 24) analyzes this issue together with guests María Werlau, executive director of Archivo Cuba; and Sebastián Arcos, associate director of FIU's Cuban Research Institute.

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Reuters reports on Castro's resignation from his post as first secretary of the Commmunist Party of Cuba. "For all his reputation as the pragmatic Castro, he did little beyond successfully managing the transition to a second-tier leadership," said Sebastián Arcos, associate director of Florida International University’s Cuban Research Institute, whose father and uncle were prominent dissidents. “And no one knows how long that will last."

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For the first time in over five decades, a leader without the last name Castro is expected to take the helm of Cuba’s ruling party as officials try to usher through a generational leadership change amid a crushing economic crisis. Raúl Castro is expected to step down as the Communist Party’s first secretary general, considered the most powerful political position on the island, during the organization’s Eighth Congress, which is slated to begin Friday.

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According to Univisión 23, the number of Cubans detained at sea trying to reach the United States tripled from 49 in 2020 to 152 in 2021. CRI Director Jorge Duany helps to explain the recent rise in undocumented migration from Cuba.

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May

The gift will support the mission and construction of CasaCuba, the university’s center for the celebration and preservation of Cuban culture and the study of Cuban affairs. The facility will feature galleries for a wide range of exhibits, as well as a state-of-the-art venue for events, classes, performances, and dynamic programming.

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The Sergio Arboleda University in Colombia has published a new volume entitled "Crisis de cuidados, envejecimiento y políticas de bienestar en Cuba," edited by CRI Visiting Scholar Elaine Acosta. The book covers various groups that require care, such as the elderly, children, and disabled people, as well as different strategies to provide care for them.

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CRI Visiting Scholar Elaine Acosta has just edited a special issue of the online journal "Foro Cubano" on the multiple crises of Cuban society, aggravated by the coronavirus pandemic and the U.S. embargo.

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Racial and ethnic segregation in Miami-Dade County has affected the percentage of people vaccinated against the coronavirus. Neighborhoods with large proportions of Central American and Haitian immigrants have much lower rates than those with South American and Cuban immmigrants.

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Congratulations to our colleagues at the FIU Libraries and especially Verónica González from the Díaz-Ayala Collection for their award from the Council on Library and Information Resources (CLIR). The grant will help to reformat, digitize, and provide online access to thousands of cassettes of music from the Caribbean.

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The Cuban Research Institute, the Kimberly Green Latin American and Caribbean Center, and the FIU Libraries are pleased to announce the winners of this year's competition.

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The Association for the Study of the Cuban Economy (ASCE) will hold its 31st annual meeting on Cuba’s economic reforms, the impact of COVID, and the VIII Congress of the Cuban Communist Party. The meeting will take place on August 12–14, 2021.

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June

The Cuban Research Institute is pleased to cosponsor the launching of Cuido60, an independent platform devoted to conducting research and analysis of aging, care, and rights of older adults on the island. The observatory is supported by the Fundación 4 Métrica in Colombia.

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As Cuba battles one of the worst economic crises since its 1959 revolution, more people are risking the dangerous journey to the United States resulting in tragedies on the high seas, though the numbers still remain low compared to previous years.

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July

Congratulations to Dr. Frank Mora, CRI Affiliate Faculty and former Director of the Kimberly Green Latin American and Caribbean Center, on his nomination as U.S. Ambassador to the Organization of American States!

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Dr. Carlos Díaz-Rosillo, director of the Adam Smith Center for Economic Freedom at FIU, discusses the broader implications of the recent street protests against the Cuban government.

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Brian Fonseca, director of the Jack D. Gordon Institute for Public Policy at FIU, explains the use of military and paramilitary organizations in responding to peaceful demonstrations of discontent on the Island.

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Jenny Macías Chaveco will conduct archival research on the media representation of Cuban migrants in the United States for her Ph.D. dissertation in Communication at the Universidad Iberoamericana in Mexico City.

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In 2021, the U.S. has seen an 11-fold jump in desperate Cubans braving sharks, smugglers and tropical storms for a chance at a new life. Authorities are bracing for even more. "I now see it as a growing sign of what happened on Sunday" July 11, CRI Director Jorge Duany said, when thousands of demonstrators poured into streets, enraged over rising prices, lack of staples, and rolling blackouts.

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CRI has invited several FIU experts on Cuba to comment on various aspects of the ongoing protests on the Island, from the human rights situation, the impact of the coronavirus pandemic and the economic recession, to its racial and religious dimensions. This series of short videos begins with an overview of recent events in Cuba by CRI Director Jorge Duany.

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The Cuban Research Institute is pleased to announce the appointment of Dr. Justo Planas Cabreja as a Visiting Scholar during the academic year 2021–22. Dr. Planas Cabreja will revise his doctoral dissertation, entitled "Born in Cuba: Imaginaries of the Child and the Motherland," for publication as a book.

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The U.S. Coast Guard continued its search Wednesday afternoon for nine people missing in the ocean off the Florida Keys. They were among 22 people who left Cuba Monday night on a boat on the way to South Florida as Tropical Storm Elsa was preparing to hit the area with rough seas, heavy winds, and rain.

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Successive waves of immigrants were drawn to Surfside and the collapsed Champlain South condo, where they found their own piece of paradise on the seashore. In the 40 years since it was built, it has become home to more and more Cubans, Puerto Ricans, Colombians, Venezuelans, Argentinians, Brazilians, Chileans, Paraguayans, and Uruguayans.

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August

The Cuban Research Institute continues its tradition of convening scholars and other persons interested in the study of Cuba and Cuban Americans. The main theme of the 2022 conference will be "Cuba before and after J11: Political, Economic, and Cultural Dimensions."

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The online journal "Australian Outlook" commissioned an analysis of the recent Cuban protests by CRI Director Jorge Duany.

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The virtual conference, which will take place on August 12–14, 2021, will focus on the theme "COVID and the VIII Party Congress: Reforming the Cuban Economy."

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CRI Associate Director Sebastián Arcos discusses the historical and political context for the unprecedented anti-government demonstrations that erupted on the Island on July 11, 2021.

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September

CRI Visiting Scholar Dr. Elaine Acosta González has authored an analysis of the antecedents, evolution, and current state of Cuba's strategy of exporting medical services. The report, which can be downloaded here, also assesses the possible impact of the medical brigades on the Island's health system.

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FIU's CasaCuba initiative recently announced plans for the university's first Cuban cultural center on the Modesto Madique campus, a $35 million project. The 57,000 square foot facility will be a multidisciplinary platform for scholars and artists to illuminate unique perspectives of Cubans and the greater diaspora.

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CRI Visiting Scholar Elaine Acosta González writes about her family's experience with Alzheimer's disease, as well as the experience of thousands of Cubans and their families. She argues that the Cuban government must implement the necessary actions to guarantee the social and health services required to face this disease.

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Cubans figured among the top three nationalities that were naturalized in the United States during the past year, representing 4.9 percent of the total. The statistics confirm that Cubans have a relatively high naturalization rate, compared to other immigrant groups.

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In an op ed piece, CRI Associate Director Sebastián Arcos considers the available political options for the Cuban government after the July 11 protests. He grounds his analysis in the academic literature on the transition of Communist regimes to a post-totalitarian stage.

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Dr. Javier Francisco-Ortega has coauthored an essay on the botanical expeditions led by David Fairchild between 1925 and 1934, which were instrumental in building the living collection of the Cienfuegos Botanic Garden in Cuba. This contribution was largely based on a public lecture cosponsored by CRI, LACC, and the Institute of the Environment.

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FIU's History Department has appointed Dr. Abel Sierra Madero to teach Cuban and Latin American history during the academic year 2021-22. Dr. Sierra Madero is the author of several books on Cuban history, focusing on sexuality, memory, and trauma.

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Dr. Sherry Johnson, FIU Professor of History and CRI Faculty Affiliate, will be the keynote speaker at the 48th annual meeting of the Southeastern American Society for Eighteen-Century Studies (SEASEC) on "Oceans Rise, Empires Fall: Tidal Shifts in the Eighteenth Century" on February 17-20, 2022.

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October

We're pleased to announce that the Thirteenth Conference on Cuban and Cuban-American Studies, to be held in Miami on February 3–4, 2022, will be dedicated to Dr. Eliana Rivero, in recognition of her valuable contributions to Cuban and Latino cultural studies. A panel discussion will assess the significance of her work as a literary critic.

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The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Korea has invited Dr. Jorge Duany to give a talk about current political trends after leadership change and public protests in Cuba. The virtual lecture will be part of a seminar on Korea-Cuba relations in the post-Castro era.

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Join Jorge Duany, editor of the book "Picturing Cuba: Art, Culture, and Identity on the Island and in the Diaspora," in conversation with Anelys Alvarez, curator of the Jorge Pérez Art Collection and The Related Group. The virtual event will be livestreamed on Tuesday, November 16, at 12 PM.

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Through a three-year, $5 million grant from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, FIU will be part of a national initiative called "Crossing Latinidades: Emerging Scholars and New Comparative Directions." CRI Director Jorge Duany has represented FIU in planning efforts led by the University of Illinois-Chicago, representing sixteen Hispanic-serving public universities in the United States.

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The New College of Florida has invited Dr. Jorge Duany to talk about the impact of growing Hispanic immigration in Florida, focusing on the Cuban and Puerto Rican diasporas. His lecture will examine the main demographic characteristics of each migrant flow, as well as their settlement patterns. It will also compare the socioeconomic profile and cultural practices of Cubans and Puerto Ricans in Florida. Finally, the presentation will assess the impact of Cuban and Puerto Rican voters.

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The Celia Cruz Foundation has donated the Celia Cruz Music Score Collection to the FIU Libraries, a cultural treasure that includes 230 long- and short-form musical scores belonging to the legendary Cuban singer. It will be part of the Díaz Ayala Cuban and Latin American Popular Music Collection at the FIU Libraries, the most extensive publicly available collection of Cuban music in the United States.

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We're happy to share the news that Veronica Diaz, a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Global and Sociocultural Studies (GSS), has successfully defended her dissertation, "The (Cuban)American Dream of Post-Soviet Era Cuban Émigrés: Perceptions vs. Realities." Veronica's dissertation committee consisted of Professors Jorge Duany (chair), Guillermo J. Grenier, Kevin Grove (all from GSS), and Michael J. Bustamante (History, University of Miami).

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November

The Department of History at Florida International University is searching for an open rank tenure-track or tenured (Assistant, Associate, or Full Professor) in modern Cuban history (post-1895 period).

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We're happy to share the news that Dr. Eugenio Rothe, a faculty member at the Herbert Wertheim College of Medicine, is the recipient of the 2022 Agnes Purcell McGavin Award for Prevention from the American Psychiatric Association. The award recognizes a child and adolescent psychiatrist who has made significant contributions to the prevention of mental disorders in children and adolescents and influenced the general well-being of young people.

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CRI in the News | Restaurant Celebrates 50 Years as "Mecca" of Cuban Exile

Beyond the culinary tradition, the Versailles has also become a forum on Cuban issues where both politicians and exiles come in search of sharing ideas and discussions. At its window you can often see Cubans complaining about the situation on the island, and the car parking lot in front of the restaurant is usually packed with protesters and journalists when there is news about Cuba.