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Cuban History: Cycles of Hopes and Heartaches

Evening Lecture/Seminar

Thursday, March 9, 2023 - 6:30 p.m. to 7:45 p.m. ET
Code: 1H0761
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This online program is presented on Zoom.
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More than 20 years ago, scholar Damián Fernández posited that Cuban history moves in cycles of “desire and disenchantment.” From the Cuban wars for independence through the Cuban Revolution and beyond, Cubans have often felt on the verge of fulfilling their nation’s destiny, only to find their hopes were misplaced or betrayed.

Michael J. Bustamante, associate professor of history and Emilio Bacardí Moreau Chair in Cuban and Cuban-American Studies at the University of Miami, charts the broad course of these ups and downs from 19th-century Cuba to the present. He interrogates several foundational “what if” moments in modern Cuban history and the disparate pathways and timelines by which Cuban citizens have experienced “desire and disenchantment” in their lifetimes.

Bustamante also reflects on a particularly intense recent iteration of this cycle: the dramatic pivot from the hope inspired by the normalization of U.S.-Cuban relations between 2014 and 2016 to the disillusionment that followed the return to bilateral conflict, internal economic crisis, and the repression of historic anti-government protests in July 2021.

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