Document Type


Publication Date


Publication Citation

467 Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science 116 (1983)


Migration from Cuba to the United States since Castro assumed power, and the haracterization of those leaving as refugees, have been strongly affected by U.S. foreign policy concerns. During the 1959-62 migration wave, particularly prior to the failure of the Bay of Pigs invasion, Cubans were welcomed as temporary exiles, likely to topple Castro and return home. The second major migration wave began in 1965, in the midst of a U.S. campaign for systematically isolating and economically depriving Cuba and its citizens. When thousands of those citizens left Cuba, primarily to improve their economic circumstances and rejoin family members, they were welcomed as refugees because of the symbolic value of their rejection of Latin America's only communist state. The third migration wave occurred in 1980, after a decade of detente and gradually improving U.S.-Cuban relations. It served no clear U.S. foreign policy ends and was perceived as helping Cuba rid itself of undesirables. Consequently those arriving received little public support.