From Exiles to Immigrants

Courtesy Reuters

Every diaspora judges itself, whether secretly or ostentatiously, to be both unique and uniquely sinned against. In this, the three-quarters of a million Cuban-Americans of South Florida are anything but exceptional. But like the Jews, the Armenians, and the White Russians before them, the Miami Cubans have tended to see themselves, both in their qualities and in their historical grievances, as sui generis. The common currency of exile is memory, above all the memory of wounds. But what may be necessary for group survival within the context of an exile group inevitably will appear to many outsiders, who share neither the memories nor the wounds, as touchy, clannish self-absorption. This has been the case with the Cuban exile community in South Florida in its relations with non-Cuban Miami, and, more broadly, with U.S. public opinion at large ever since Cuban refugees first started arriving in Miami after the victory

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