Cubans are usually regarded as a relatively recent immigrant group in the United States, dating to the exodus that followed the rise of the 1959 revolution. That wave of emigration and the government that first triggered it are still ongoing, giving the Cuban presence in the United States a contemporaneity that belies the long history of Cuban migration to this country. To be sure, the bulk of today's more than two million Cuban Americans trace their presence in the United States to the postrevolutionary emigration. But both the fact and the perception of Cubans as recent immigrants have led to a tendency in the literature to overlook the earlier communities whose political, economic, social, and cultural connections to the homeland took place within the broader context of the increasingly close relations between the United States and Cuba starting in the early nineteenth...

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