Commissioned Reports

Image: rafael-rojas.png
Rafael Rojas, a specialist on Cuban intellectual and political history

Leading experts on Cuba and its diaspora, including guest speakers and faculty affiliates of the Cuban Research Institute, prepared the following reports on various topics.

Carmelo Mesa-Lago

Cuba's Economy in Times of Crisis: 2020–2022 and Prospects for 2023

The Social Impact of the Economic Crisis in Cuba
Carmelo Mesa-Lago is Distinguished Service Professor Emeritus of Economics and Latin American Studies at the University of Pittsburgh. He has been a visiting professor, researcher, and lecturer in forty countries; founder/editor for eighteen years of the journal Cuban Studies; and author of 95 books/pamphlets and 318 articles/chapters published in nine languages in 35 countries, about half of them on Cuba's economy and social welfare.

Vanessa Garcia

Mi Tacita
Vanessa Garcia is a Cuban-American novelist, playwright, and journalist. Her debut novel, White Light, was published in 2015, to critical acclaim. Her plays include The Cuban Spring, The Crocodile's Bite, and Freek! As a journalist, feature writer, and essayist, her pieces have appeared in The LA Times, The Miami Herald, The Guardian, The Washington Post, and the Huffington Post.

Noraliz Ruiz Caraballo

Uncovering Transatlantic Décimas
Noraliz Ruiz Caraballo was a postdoctoral fellow at the Center for Puerto Rican Studies at Hunter College (CUNY). She holds a Ph.D. in Ethnomusicology and Musicology from Kent State University in Ohio, where she also was a music instructor. Her 2015 Ph.D. dissertation was titled Continuity and Change in the Puerto Rican Cuatro Tradition: Reflections on Contemporary Performance Practice.

José Lee-Borges

The Chinese in Cuba: From Indentured Laborers to Inmates
José Lee-Borges currently serves as Adjunct Professor of History and Humanities at the University of Puerto Rico in Cayey. He holds a Ph.D. in History from the University of Puerto Rico in Río Piedras. In 2015, he published his first book, Los chinos en Puerto Rico.

Ana Menéndez

Cuban Americans and Miami English
Ana Menéndez is a Cuban-American writer and journalist. She is the author of four books of fiction: Adios Happy Homeland! (2011), The Last War (2009), Loving Che (2003), and In Cuba I Was a German Shepherd (2001). She has worked as a journalist in the United States and abroad, most recently as a prize-winning columnist for The Miami Herald.

Jorge Gutiérrez

The Flora of the Cuban Republic
Jorge Gutiérrez is the main curator of the Prof. Dr. Johannes Bisse National Botanic Garden in Havana, Cuba. He also teaches in the Department of Plant Biology at the University of Havana. He has published a book and over 40 research papers in national and international peer-reviewed journals.

María Elena Cobas Cobiella

El derecho civil cubano
María Elena Cobas Cobiella is Professor of Law at the University of Valencia in Spain. She specializes in civil law, family law, notarial law, immigration law, and the legal problems associated with bioethics. She has published in numerous law reviews and academic books in Spain, Cuba, Mexico, Venezuela, and Bolivia.

Carlos A. Romero

Venezuela y Cuba: Los límites de un compromiso
Carlos A. Romero is a retired Professor of Political Science at the Central Unviersity of Venezuela. His latest book is U.S.-Venezuela Relations since the 1990s: Coping with Mid-Level Security Threats (coauthored with Javier Corrales, 2013).

Jorge Duany

Racial and Ethnic Problems and Challenges in Contemporary Cuba

The Cuban Exodus: Growing Complexity and Diversity
Jorge Duany is Director of the Cuban Research Institute and Professor of Anthropology at Florida International University. His most recent publication is the bilingual edited volume, Un pueblo disperso: Dimensiones sociales y culturales de la diáspora cubana (2014).

Madeline Cámara Betancourt

Five Notes on Alternative Thinking in Cuba/Post '59
Madeline Cámara Betancourt is Professor of Latin American Literature in World Language at the University of South Florida. She has authored, edited, and contributed to several books, including María Zambrano: Palabras para el mundo (2011) and Cuban Women Writers: Imagining a Matria (2008).

Siro del Castillo

Una visión de la crisis de los balseros en el XX aniversario
Siro del Castillo is a senior electrical designer at Manuel Perea Consulting Engineers. During the 1994 balsero crisis, he served as Assistant to the Ombudsman for the General at Guantánamo Naval Base.

Lillian Guerra

¿Quién es José Antonio Echeverría?
Lillian Guerra is Professor of Cuban and Caribbean History at the University of Florida, where she also directs the Cuba Program at the Center for Latin American Studies. She is the author of many scholarly essays as well as three books: Visions of Power in Cuba: Revolution, Redemption and Resistance, 1959–1971 (2012); The Myth of José Martí: Conflicting Nationalisms in Early Twentieth-Century Cuba (2005); and Popular Expression and National Identity in Puerto Rico (1998).

Margalit Bejarano

The Jewish Community in Cuba before the Revolution
Margalit Bejarano is Professor Emeritus of Spanish and Latin American Studies at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. She is the author of several works on Jewish migration to Cuba and Latin America, including La comunidad hebrea en Cuba: La memoria y la historia (1996).

Eugenio M. Rothe

Mental Health Issues of Cuban Families in South Florida
Eugenio M. Rothe is Professor of Psychiatry & Behavioral Health in the Herbert Wertheim College of Medicine at FIU. Dr. Rothe is an internationally renowned expert on the mental health issues of immigrants and refugees, an area in which he has published extensively and received national awards. He is trained in adult, adolescent, child and forensic psychiatry, as well as psychoanalysis.

María Donoso

Water Resources in Cuba
María Donoso is the Director of the Global Water for Sustainability Program (GLOWS) at Florida International University. She is also an Associate Scholar in the Department of Earth and Environment at FIU. She previously worked as Regional Hydrologist for Latin America and the Caribbean at UNESCO.

Josenrique Cueto

Cuba's Water and Wastewater Infrastructure
Josenrique Cueto is a civil engineer at the City of Coral Gables Public Works Department. He holds a dual Bachelor's degree in Civil and Environmental Engineering. Mr. Cueto is actively involved with several engineering organizations, serving on the board of the Cuban-American Association of Civil Engineers, the Miami-Dade Branch of the American Society of Civil Engineers, and Region VII of the Florida Section of the American Water Works Association.

Eduardo A. Vega-Llort

Cuba's Future Development Needs, Funding Models, and Alternatives
Eduardo A. Vega-Llort is Assistant Director of Engineering at Miami-Dade Water and Sewer Department.

Mark Hugo López

Changing Partisanship among Cuban Americans
Mark Hugo López is director of Hispanic research at the Pew Research Center. He studies the attitudes and opinions of Latinos, Hispanic views of identity, the political engagement of Latinos in the nation's elections, and Latino youth. Dr. López also coordinates the Hispanic Trends Project's National Survey of Latinos, an annual nationwide survey of Latinos. He is an author of reports about the Hispanic electorate, Hispanic identity, and immigration.

Dario Moreno and James Wyatt

Cuban-American Partisanship: A Secular Realignment
Dario Moreno is Associate Professor in the Department of Politics & International at Florida International University. Dr. Moreno conducts research on Miami politics, Florida politics, and Cuban-American politics. He has published over 20 scholarly articles, book chapters, and two books. Dr. Moreno is a nationally recognized expert on Florida and Miami politics and is often quoted in both the national and local media.

Lisa García Bedolla

Change and Cuban-American Politics
Lisa García Bedolla is Professor in the Graduate School of Education and Chair of the Latino Policy Research at the University of California, Berkeley. Her research focuses on how marginalization and inequality structure the political and educational opportunities available to members of ethnoracial groups, with a particular emphasis on the intersections of race, class, and gender. She is author of the books, Fluid Borders: Latino Power, Identity, and Politics in Los Angeles (California, 2005) and Latino Politics (Polity, 2009). She also is coauthor (with Melissa Michelson) of Mobilizing Inclusion: Transforming the Electorate through Get-Out-the-Vote Campaigns (Yale, 2012).

Guillermo J. Grenier

Trends in the Political Ideology of the Cuban-American Voter

Cubans in Florida: Exile and Integration
Guillermo J. Grenier is Professor of Sociology in the Department of Global & Sociocultural Studies at Florida International University. His research interests include Cuban-American political and labor issues, interethnic relations in Miami, immigration, and Cuba/Latin America. Coauthor of The Legacy of Exile: Cubans in the United States (Allyn & Bacon, 2003), he has contributed several essays on Cuban-American political culture to edited collections.

Rodolfo de la Garza and Alan Yang

Are Cubans Conservative?
Rodolfo de la Garza is Professor of Political Science at Columbia University. Professor de la Garza combines interests in political behavior and public policy. In political behavior, he specializes in ethnic politics, with particular emphasis on Latino public opinion and electoral involvement. His primary interests in public policy include immigration and immigrant settlement and incorporation. He has edited, coedited, and coauthored numerous books, including The Future of the Voting Rights Act; Muted Voices: Latinos and the 2000 Election; Sending Money Home: Hispanic remittances and Community Development; Latinos and U.S. Foreign Policy: Lobbying for the Homeland?; and Latino Voices: Mexican, Puerto Rican and Cuban Perspectives on American Politics.

Alan Yang is a Lecturer in the School of International and Public Affairs at Columbia University, where he teaches quantitative techniques and analysis. He also holds a Ph.D. in Political Science from Columbia University.

Holly Ackerman

Flight, Dilution, and Solidarity: Cubans in Venezuela
Holly Ackerman is the Librarian for Latin American, Iberian, and Latino Studies at the Perkins Library of Duke University. She is the coauthor of The Cuban Balseros: Voyage of Uncertainty (1995) and several articles related to the Cuban diaspora and Caribbean migration in the journals Cuban Studies, Encuentro de la Cultura Cubana, and Latino Studies. She is a contributing editor and author in the recently published collection of essays Cuba (Charles Scribner's Sons, 2011).

Jorge Duany

Cuba-Ricans: The Rise and Decline of the Cuban Community in Puerto Rico
Jorge Duany is Director of the Cuban Research Institute and Professor of Anthropology at Florida International University. He has written extensively about Caribbean migration, ethnicity, race, nationalism, and transnationalism. One of his latest books is Blurred Borders: Transnational Migration between the Hispanic Caribbean and the United States (2011).

Mette Louise Berg

Diasporic Generations among Cubans in Spain
Mette Louise Berg is Lecturer in Social Anthropology at the University of Oxford. She has carried out research on Cuba and the Cuban diaspora since 1998. Her research interests include diasporas, migration and transnationalism; cosmopolitanism and multiculturalism; and the politics of memory and generational dynamics. Her book Diasporic Generations: Memory, Politics, and Nation among Cubans in Spain was published by Berghahn Books in 2011.

Ernesto Rodríguez Chávez

Cubans in Mexico: International Mobility and Socio-Demographic and Labor Participation Patterns
Ernesto Rodríguez Chávez is Professor in the Department of International Studies at the Autonomous Technological Institute of Mexico (ITAM). He previously headed the Migrant Policy Unit of Mexico's Ministry of Internal Affairs. His publications include the books Construyendo estadísticas: Movilidad y migración internacional en México, coedited with Luz María Salazar and Graciela Martínez (2012); Los extranjeros en México: Continuidades y nuevas aproximaciones (2010); Los nuevos rostros de la migración en el mundo, coedited with Carlos Miranda Videgaray and Juan Artola (2006); and La emigración cubana actual (1997).

Yolanda Prieto

Beyond Miami: The Concentration of Cuban Migrants in New Jersey, 1950-2000
Yolanda Prieto is Professor Emerita in the School of Social Sciences and Human Services of Ramapo College in New Jersey, where she taught courses on the sociology of community, women and development, family, and religion. She has written extensively on the Cuban migration to the United States, in particular about the role of women and religion in the migration process. She is the author of the book The Cubans of Union City: Immigrants and Exiles in a New Jersey Community (2009).

Silvia Pedraza

Assimilation or Transnationalism? Evidence from the Latino National Survey 2006
Silvia Pedraza is Professor of Sociology and American Culture at the University of Michigan. She holds a B.A. from the University of Michigan and a Ph.D. in Sociology from the University of Chicago. Her research interests include the sociology of immigration, race and ethnicity in America, and the sociology of Cuba's revolution and exodus. She is the author of three books and numerous articles.

Rafael Rojas

La soledad constitucional del socialismo cubano
Rafael Rojas is the Director of the Department of History of the Center for Research and Teaching of Economics (CIDE) in Mexico. Dr. Rojas is the author of various prize-winning texts on the intellectual and political history of Mexico, Cuba, and Latin America. His books include El estante vacío: Literatura y política en Cuba (Barcelona, Anagrama, 2009) and Las repúblicas de aire: Utopía y desencanto en Hispanoamérica (Madrid, Taurus, 2010). He is also a contributor to the compilation El otro paredón: Asesinatos de reputación en Cuba (Miami, Eriginal Books, 2010).

Manuel Orozco

On Remittances, Markets and the Law: The Cuban Experience in Present Times
Manuel Orozco is Senior Associate and director of the program on remittances and development at the Inter-American Dialogue. He has conducted extensive research, policy analysis, and advocacy on issues relating to global flows of remittances, and migration and development worldwide. Dr. Orozco is chair of Central America and the Caribbean at the U.S. Foreign Service Institute. He is also adjunct professor at Georgetown University, where he is senior researcher at the Institute for the Study of International Migration.

Adrian H. Hearn

Cuba and China: Lessons and Opportunities for the United States
Dr. Adrian H. Hearn is a Research Fellow at the School of Social and Political Sciences at the University of Sydney. He has conducted research in Cuba (three years) and China (ten months), and has studied Chinese engagement with Latin America. He is the author of Cuba: Religion, Social Capital, and Development (Duke University Press, 2008), coeditor of China Engages Latin America: Tracing the Trajectory(Lynn Rienner, 2011), and editor of Cultura, tradición y comunidad: Perspectivas sobre el desarrollo y participación en Cuba (Imagen Contemporánea and UNESCO Center for Human Development, 2008).

Eusebio Mujal-León

Exceptionalism and Beyond: The Case of Civil-Military Relations in Cuba
Eusebio Mujal-León is Professor of Government at Georgetown and director of its Cuba XXI Project. He is the author of numerous articles and books. Among them is a coauthored chapter on "Is Castroism a Political Religion?" and several articles, including "Much Ado About Something? Regime Change in Cuba" in Problems of Post-Communism and "Can Cuba Change? Tension in the Elite" in the Journal of Democracy.

Silvia Pedraza

Church and State in Cuba's Revolution
Silvia Pedraza is Professor of Sociology at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. She was born and raised in Cuba, from where she immigrated with her family at the age of 12. Long a Wolverine, she was an undergraduate at the University of Michigan. Her Ph.D. in Sociology is from the University of Chicago. Dr. Pedraza's research interests are in the areas of the sociology of immigration, race, and ethnicity in America, as well as the sociology of Cuba's revolution and exodus.

Gustavo Pérez Firmat

Havana Mañana: Cuba in the American Imagination
Gustavo Pérez Firmat is the David Feinson Professor in the Humanities at Columbia University. A writer and scholar, he is the author of many books of cultural and literary criticism, among them The Cuban Condition (1989), Life on the Hyphen (1994), Cincuenta lecciones de exilio y desexilio (2000), and Tongue Ties (2003). He is also the author of a memoir, Next Year in Cuba (1995), and of several volumes of poetry, including ScarTissue (2005).

Xavier Utset

The Cuban Democracy Movement: An Analytical Overview
Xavier Utset is an independent consultant with many years of experience in the fields of international development and democracy and governance. Xavier holds a Master of Arts in International Development from The George Washington University and a Bachelor of Arts in International Relations from Florida International University.

Jorge Domínguez

Does Fidel Have More Lives Than a Cat?: Implications for President Raúl Castro
Jorge Domínguez is Clarence Dillon Professor of International Affairs and Director of the Weatherhead Center for International Affairs at Harvard University. He has authored, coauthored, and edited numerous books and articles, among them The United States and Mexico: Between Partnership and Conflict (Routledge, 2001); Toward Mexico's Democratization: Parties, Campaigns, Elections, and Public Opinion (Routledge, 1999); and Democratic Politics in Latin America and the Caribbean (Johns Hopkins University Press, 1998).

Nicolás Quintana

Havana and Its Landscapes - A City into the Future: A Sustainable Approach to Urban Design
Architecture Professor Nicolas Quintana was the director of the project "Havana and its Landscapes" at FIU's School of Architecture. The project's goal was to create a series of environmental and architectural guidelines that would protect the city’s character during the transition period, while addressing critical issues such as the acute housing shortage. Professor Quintana, who specialized in urbanism, collaborated closely with architects of the caliber of Charles-Edouard Jeanneret, widely known as Le Corbusier, and Walter Adolph Gropius.

Margaret E. Crahan and Ariel Armony

Does Civil Society Exist in Cuba?
Dr. Margaret E. Crahan is a Senior Fellow at the Center for the Study of Democracy, Toleration, and Religion and Senior Research Scholar at the Institute for Latin American Studies at the School of International and Public Affairs, Columbia University. Dr. Crahan has authored, coauthored, edited, and coedited over one hundred articles and books, including Africa and the Caribbean: Legacies of a Link (with Franklin W. Knight); Human Rights and Basic Needs in the Americas; The City and the World: New York's Global Future (with Alberto Vourvoulias-Bush); Religion, Culture and Society: The Case of Cuba, and The Wars on Terrorism and Iraq: Human Rights, Unilateralism, and U.S. Foreign Policy (with Thomas G. Weiss and John Goering).

Ariel C. Armony is the former Director of the Center for Latin American Studies and the Weeks Professor in Latin American Studies and Professor of International Studies at the University of Miami. An expert in comparative democratization and civil society, he is the author of The Dubious Link: Civic Engagement and Democratization (Stanford University Press, 2004), among other publications. He was a residential fellow at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars. In 2008-2009, he was a Fullbright scholar at Nankai University, People's Republic of China.

Antonio José Ponte

La Habana: ciudad y archivo
Antonio José Ponte (Matanzas, Cuba, 1964). Poeta, ensayista y narrador. Ha publicado, entre otros títulos, Las comidas profundas (Deleatur, Angers, 1997), Asiento en las ruinas (Renacimiento, Sevilla, 2005), In the Cold of the Malecón & Other Stories (City Lights Books, San Francisco, 2000), Cuentos de todas partes del imperio (Deleatur, Angers, 2000), Un seguidor de Montaigne mira La Habana. Las comidas profundas (Verbum, Madrid, 2001), Contrabando de sombras (Mondadori, Barcelona, 2002), El libro perdido de los origenistas (Renacimiento, Sevilla, 2004), Un arte de hacer ruinas y otros cuentos (Fondo de Cultura Económica, México, D.F., 2005) y La fiesta vigilada (Anagrama, Barcelona, 2007). Fue codirector de la revista Encuentro de la Cultura Cubana, publicada en Madrid.

Marifeli Pérez-Stable

Cuban Politics After 1990
Marifeli Pérez-Stable is Professor of Sociology in the Department of Global and Sociocultural Studies at Florida International University. She served as Interim Director of the Latin American and Caribbean Center at FIU and vice president for democratic governance at the Inter-American Dialogue in Washington, D.C. She is the author of The Cuban Revolution: Origins, Course, and Legacy (Oxford University Press, 3rd edition, 2011) and editor of Cuba en el siglo XXI: Ensayos sobre la transición (Editorial Colibrí, 2006).

Alejandro M. de la Fuente

Racism, Culture, and Mobilization
A Professor of History at Harvard University, Alejandro M. de la Fuente focuses on Latin American and Caribbean history and comparative slavery and race relations. An expert on race relations in Cuba, he is the author of A Nation for All: Race, Inequality, and Politics in Twentieth-Century Cuba (University of North Carolina Press, 2001).

Juan J. López

Alternative Futures in Cuba
Juan J. López is a former Director of Research at Florida International University's Latin American and Caribbean Center. Among his scholarly publications is Democracy Delayed: The Case of Castro's Cuba (The Johns Hopkins University Press, 2002).

Jonathan Benjamin-Alvarado

The Current Status and Future Prospects for Oil Exploration in Cuba
Jonathan Benjamin-Alvarado is an Associate Professor of Political Science and Assistant Director for Research and Outreach of the Office of Latino/Latin American Studies at the University of Nebraska at Omaha. He has authored numerous books, articles, and reports on various dimensions of energy development policy in Cuba since 1990 and has visited the island over 20 times in that period.

Cecilia Bobes

Sucesión del poder en Cuba: Repensando el escenario del cambio
Velia Cecilia Bobes León is a Professor of Social Sciences at the Facultad Latinoamericana de Ciencias Sociales (FLACSO) in Mexico City. An expert on Cuban civil society, she is the coeditor of La transición invisible: Sociedad y cambio político en Cuba (Océano Press, 2004) and the author of Los laberintos de la imaginación: Repertorio simbólico, identidades y actores del cambio social en Cuba (El Colegio de México, 2000).

Ted Henken

Dirigentes, diplogentes, indigentes, and delincuentes: Official Corruption and Underground Honesty in Today's Cuba
Ted Henken is an Associate Professor of Black and Hispanic Studies and Sociology at Baruch College, City University of New York. He is the author of the book Cuba: A Global Studies Handbook (ABC-CLIO, 2008).

Juan Antonio Blanco

Reconciliation and Its Actors
Juan Antonio Blanco holds a Ph.D. in History and pursued graduate studies in conflict transformation. He has worked as a university professor, diplomat, political analyst, and executive director at a human rights Canadian nongovernmental organization. Dr. Blanco has made presentations at prestigious think tanks and universities in several countries in the Americas and Europe, and is the author of numerous articles and essays. In 1992 he founded in Havana the Centro Félix Varela on ethics and sustainable development. His book (Third Millenium: An Alternative View of Postmodernity, Havana, 1993) had three editions in Cuba and one in Spain.

Cristina Venegas

Cuban Filmmaking: Assessing Challenges and Opportunities
Cristina Venegas is Associate Professor in Film and Media Studies at the University of California, Santa Barbara. Her teaching and writing focus on transnational and global media with an emphasis on Latin America, Spanish-language film and television in the U.S., and digital technologies. Her book Digital Dilemmas: The State, the Individual, and Digital Media in Cuba was published by Rutgers University Press in 2010. She has also written about film and political culture, revolutionary imagination in the Americas, telenovelas, contemporary Latin American cinema, Cuban cinema, and international film co-productions.

Guillermo J. Grenier

The Establishment of the Cuban-American Community
Guillermo J. Grenier is Professor of Sociology at Florida International University. He is the coauthor of A History of Little Havana (2015) and The Legacy of Exile: Cubans in the United States (2003).

Guillermo J. Grenier and Alex Stepick

Poverty in Cuban Miami
Alex Stepick is Professor Emeritus of Anthropology at Florida International University. He is the coeditor of Churches and Charity in the Immigrant City (2009) and Immigrant Faiths: Transforming Religious Life in America (2008).

Lisandro Pérez

A Cuban Transition... in Miami?
Lisandro Pérez is Professor and Chair of the Department of Latin American and Latino/a Studies at John Jay College, City University of New York. He was the founding director of the Cuban Research Institute at FIU. He is a former editor of the journal Cuban Studies and coauthor of the book The Legacy of Exile: Cubans in the United States (Allyn & Bacon, 2003).

Damián J. Fernández and Katrin Hansing

Damián J. Fernández is the Head of School of the Ethical Culture Fieldston School in Riverdale, N.Y. He is a former Vice Provost, Director of the Cuban Research Institute, and Professor of International Relations at Florida International University. He is the author, editor, or coeditor of several books on Cuba and its diaspora, including Cuba Transnational (2005) and Cuba, the Elusive Nation: Interpretations of a National Identity (2000).

Katrin Hansing is currently a visiting scholar at the Humboldt University in Berlin. She previously served as Associate Professor of Anthropology and Sociology at Baruch College (CUNY) and as Associate Director of the Cuban Research Institute at Florida International University.

Social Justice in Cuba: Now and in the Future

Damián J. Fernández

The Politics of Youth in Cuba: Patterns, Dynamics, and Future Challenges
Appendix B in Cuba after Castro: Legacies, Challenges, and Impediments, edited by Edward González and Kevin F. McCarthy. Prepared for the National Defense Research Institute, May 2004.