By Cheris Brewer Current
Using an interdisciplinary technique, present deals a clean method of a subject that has bought a good volume of recognition. She questions conventional narratives on first and moment wave Cuban immigration that build a monolithic Cuban event and identification. This conventional singular identification and adventure is the root of the Exile version, which provides Cubans as openly political, hugely expert, universally white, economically profitable, citizens of Miami, and martyrs of Castro's revolution. This oversimplification ignores the structural information that facilitated the Cuban luck tale, the racial and monetary plurality of Cuban immigration, and the lifestyles of Cuban groups open air of Miami.
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Additional info for Questioning the Cuban Exile Model: Race, Gender, and Resettlement, 1959-1979
Comparing Cubans to the influx of Eastern European immigrants at the turn of the century, a Reader’s Digest article clearly positioned Cubans as more desirable: But a huddled mass? Not these people. There are no stooped shoulders, no babushka-over-the-head resignation here. Their self respect is a quiet, unspoken, physical part of them. 58 Presumably, this troubling reference to babushkas was intended both to malign Eastern European immigrants and to promote Cubans as ethnically, racially and economically superior.
65 In order to make the plight of Cuban refugees “real”, the CRP’s publicity campaign regularly engaged the public with heroic escape tales of daring and idealistic refugees who put their lives on the line to ensure their asylum in a democratic nation. Articles featured in Reader’s Digest epitomize melodramatic Cold War adventure stories. For example, references to communism permeate the article “Carnage off Key West,” which literally compares the refugees’ escape across the Florida Straights to East Germans breaking through the Berlin Wall.
While the acceptance of Cuban refugees marked a number of significant deviations in US immigration policy, the US government 10 Questioning the Cuban Exile Model and the media alike ignored those differences and instead chose to construct Cubans as the newest “freedom fighters” and ideal Americans. These dual concepts proved useful for both the entrance and integration of Cubans into the US, as mainstream discussions of Cubans stressed the commonalities that Cubans and Americans shared. Constructing a national understanding of who the Cuban refugees were was not as difficult as one might assume.
Questioning the Cuban Exile Model: Race, Gender, and Resettlement, 1959-1979 by Cheris Brewer Current