Michael J Bustamante

Michael J Bustamante

Profesor asistente de Historia Latinoamericana en la Universidad Internacional de la Florida (FIU)

Facing the return: the 1979 “community visits”

Facing the return: the 1979 “community visits”

Help us keep OnCuba alive here In a previous text, we described the rather logistical development of the 1979 “community visits” and some of the reactions they provoked. In these macrosocial elements of history, we identify the roots of several problems that still weigh on the relationship between the island and its nationals abroad. It would be unfair to limit that historical account to the structure of the tourist packages used, or the exchange of goods that challenged the codes of the socialist material order and its egalitarianism in the 1970s. After all, not all the exiles who visited at that time bragged about their successful lives in the United States, because many did not. Not every Cuban on the island lost their sense of identity or political belonging just by contemplating a made in USA product made. The significance of the moment was also at a personal and political level. The “community” exiles personified the past that the Revolution had supposedly left behind. At the same time, their memories of (and their nostalgia for) the last Cuba they had seen started coming into contact with memories among the islanders of the experiences they had lived under socialism, which many...

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