Cubans in exile

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Cubans in exile are Cubans who are mostly in exile for political reasons . The largest group can be found in the south of the US state of Florida in the metropolitan area of Miami .

In addition to the Cubans in exile, there is also a significant Cuban emigration , as the severe economic crisis around 1993 in particular led to massive emigration from Cuba.

In the USA, Cuban immigrants enjoy a special status for political reasons that distinguishes them from all other immigrants. You will receive financial support from the state and will soon become an American citizen .


During the independence struggle 1868–1898

The first exiles from Cuba came to the United States after the independence movement against Spain began in 1868. In the further course of the 30-year struggle against Spain, many Cubans fled to the nearby United States, both for economic reasons and to save themselves from Spanish persecution. In Key West , Florida, in particular, many tobacco workers settled, many of whom supported the Cuban independence movement. These tobacco workers, as well as Cuban business people, formed an influential interest group in US politics. Numerous armed expeditions with fighters, weapons and ammunition were sent from the USA to support the Cuban guerrilla movement .

Some important exiles from this period are:

First half of the 20th century

During the reign of the dictators Gerardo Machado (1925–1933) and Fulgencio Batista (1952–1959), political opponents of the dictatorships, especially in Mexico and the USA, took refuge in order to continue the struggle from there. Some important exiles from this period are:

The dictators themselves and their helpers ( secret police , military, etc.) also went into exile:

After the 1959 revolution

The Cuban exile organizations in Miami that were formed there after Batista was overthrown in 1959 and that are still fighting against the Cuban revolution and what it has become are of great importance to this day .

Their partly also terrorist activities ( attacks on Fidel Castro , the attack on a civil aircraft of the Cuban airline company, bombings on travel agencies in Spain, Canada etc. and on tourist facilities in Cuba up to the 1990s) were e.g. Partly supported by the CIA directly.

In 1998 a group of Cubans ( Miami Five ) was arrested on behalf of the Cuban government to monitor certain Cuban organizations in exile.

One of the best-known actions by Cuban exile groups is the failed invasion of the Bay of Pigs by Brigade 2506 under the leadership of the CIA in 1961. Among the Cubans in exile captured in Cuba were numerous former torturers of the Batista dictatorship, who were recognized and accused by their victims ( interrogation by Havana ).

Numerous landowners, entrepreneurs and politicians left Cuba because of the impending or existing expropriations . Many were able to move larger assets out of the country and are still among the largest financiers of Cuban exile organizations. Large parts of the Cuban state treasure (approx. 500 million US dollars in terms of its value at the time) were also taken away during the hasty escape of Batista and his confidants.

Well-known exiles were z. B. Jorge Mas Canosa and Huber Matos .

In addition to the groups in Miami, there have also been larger groups of Cuban exiles in Spain since the late 1990s.

A poll in December 2008 showed that 55 percent of Cubans in exile or their descendants vote in favor of lifting the trade embargo, v. a. the younger generation. While 68 percent of those over 65 voted in favor of maintaining the embargo , 65 percent of those aged 18 to 44 were in favor of ending the embargo.

Political lobbyism

Given the long Cuban-American history and the great asymmetry between the US and Cuba, the question arises whether Cuban interest groups in the United States can influence foreign policy decisions. The latter studies show how Cuban-American groups integrate themselves into the political process of the USA in order to let their interests become those of the entire American foreign policy and to influence the current political preference-building process in the USA. In the USA, Cubans in exile have founded interest groups such as the Cuban-American National Foundation (CANF), which advocate a strict anti-Castro policy by the USA and exert political pressure for this purpose (“ Cuban-American Lobby ”). Quite a few Cuban exiles are also represented in the US Congress and the federal government. The Cuban exile Otto Reich , who held high government offices under Presidents Ronald Reagan , George HW Bush and George W. Bush and was involved in both the Iran-Contra affair and the failed military coup against Hugo Chávez , achieved greater prominence .

In addition to the CANF founded by Jorge Mas Canosa in 1981 , the following organizations exist, which are mainly or entirely supported by Cubans in exile:

See also

Web links

supporting documents

  1. ^ Georg Hohmann: US election campaign: With Cuba into the White House , Süddeutsche Zeitung , July 8, 2004
  2. Knut Henkel: Relations between the USA and Kuba taz, the daily newspaper, Berlin December 6, 2008
  3. Wilson Cardozo: The Eternal Cold War. Cuban Interest Groups and US Foreign Policy, Wiesbaden 2010
  4. Letter of the Comptroller General to the Chairman of the Committee on Government Operations (pdf; 967 kB) (historical document, put online by the National Security Archive )
  5. ^ Ed Vulliamy: Venezuela coup linked to Bush team , The Observer , April 21, 2002