Open Access Articles- Top Results for Cuban American

Cuban American

Cuban American
Template:Image array
Total population

0.63% of the U.S. population (2013)[1]

Location of Cuba
Regions with significant populations
Predominantly in Miami, Tampa Bay Area, Northern New Jersey, New York. Growing populations in California, Texas, North Carolina and Georgia.
Spanish, English

Roman Catholicism

Protestantism, Santería, Irreligion
Related ethnic groups
Spaniards, Italians, Portuguese, Hispanics
Afro-Cuban, Jewish Cuban, Chinese Cuban

Cuban Americans (Spanish: cubano-americanos,[2] norteamericanos de origen cubano or estadounidenses de origen cubano) are Americans who trace their national origin to Cuba; and even though they identify themselves as Cubans. Cuban Americans form a distantly third largest Hispanic group in the United States, but nonetheless the largest group of Hispanics of European ancestry (predominantly Spanish) as a percentage but not in numbers.[3][4][5]

Many communities throughout the United States have significant Cuban American populations.[6] Florida has the highest concentration of Cuban-Americans in the U.S.,[7][8] standing out in part because of its proximity to Cuba.

South Florida is followed by the Tampa Bay Area and North Hudson, New Jersey, particularly Union City and West New York.[6] With a population of 141,250, the New York metropolitan area's Cuban community is the largest outside of Florida. Nearly 70% of all Cuban Americans live in Florida.[8]


See also: Cuban exile

Early migrations

Prior to the Louisiana Purchase and the Adams–Onís Treaty of 1819, Spanish Florida, and when divided during British occupation, East Florida and West Florida, including what is now Florida and the Gulf Coast west to the Mississippi River were provinces of the Captaincy General of Cuba (Captain General being the Spanish title equivalent to the British colonial Governor). Consequently, Cuban immigration to the U.S. has a long history, beginning in the Spanish colonial period in 1565 when St. Augustine, Florida was established by Pedro Menéndez de Avilés, and hundreds of Spanish-Cuban soldiers and their families moved from Cuba to St. Augustine to establish a new life.

Thousands of Cuban settlers also immigrated to Louisiana between 1778 and 1802 and Texas during the period of Spanish rule.[citation needed] Since 1820 the Cuban presence was more than 1,000 people. In 1870 the number of Cuban immigrants increased to almost 12,000, of which about 4,500 resided in New York, about 3,000 in New Orleans, and 2,000 in Key West. The causes of these movements were both economic and political, which intensified after 1860, when political factors played the predominant role in emigration, as a result of deteriorating relations with the Spanish metropolis.

The year 1869 marked the beginning of one of the most significant periods of emigration from Cuba to the United States, again centered on Key West. The exodus of hundreds of workers and businessmen was linked to the manufacture of tobacco. The reasons are many: the introduction of more modern techniques of elaboration of snuff, the most direct access to its main market, the United States, the uncertainty about the future of the island, which had suffered years of economic, political and social unrest during the beginning of the Ten Years' War against Spanish rule. It was an exodus of skilled workers, precisely the class in the island that had succeeded in establishing a free labor sector amid a slave economy.

The manufacture of snuff by the Cuban labor force, became the most important source of income for Key West between 1869 and 1900.

Tampa was added to such efforts, with a strong migration of Cubans, which went from 720 inhabitants in 1880 to 5,532 in 1890. However, the second half of the 1890s marked the decline of the Cuban immigrant population, as an important part of it returned to the island to fight for independence. The War accentuated Cuban immigrant integration into American society, whose numbers were significant: more than 12,000 people.[9]

File:Jose marti in ybor.JPG
Statue of Jose Martí at the Circulo Cubano (Cuban Club), Ybor City

Key West and Tampa, Florida

In the mid-to late 19th century, several cigar manufacturers moved their operations to Key West to get away from growing disruptions as Cubans sought independence from Spanish colonial rule. Many Cuban cigar workers followed. The Cuban government had even established a grammar school in Key West to help preserve Cuban culture. There, children learned folk songs and patriotic hymns such as "La Bayamesa", the Cuban national anthem.

In 1885, Vicente Martinez Ybor moved his cigar operations from Key West to the town of Tampa, Florida to escape labor strife. Ybor City was designed as a modified company town, and it quickly attracted thousands of Cuban workers from Key West and Cuba. West Tampa, another new cigar manufacturing community, was founded nearby in 1892 and also grew quickly. Between these communities, the Tampa Bay area's Cuban population grew from almost nothing to the largest in Florida in just over a decade, and the city as a whole grew from a village of approximately 1000 residents in 1885 to over 16,000 by 1900.

Both Ybor City and West Tampa were instrumental in Cuba's eventual independence.[10] Inspired by revolutionaries such as Jose Martí, who visited Florida several times, Tampa-area Cubans and their sympathetic neighbors donated money, equipment, and sometimes their lives to the cause of Cuba Libre.[11] After the Spanish–American War, some Cubans returned to their native land, but many chose to stay in the U.S. due to the physical and economic devastation caused by years of fighting on the island.[12]

Other early waves (1900–1959)

Several other small waves of Cuban emigration to the U.S. occurred in the early 20th century (1900–1959). Most settled in Florida and the northeast U.S. The majority of an estimated 100,000 Cubans arriving in that time period usually came for economic reasons (the Great Depression of 1929, volatile sugar prices and migrant farm labor contracts),[citation needed] but included anti-Batista refugees fleeing the military dictatorship, which had pro-U.S. diplomatic ties. During the '20s and '30s, emigration from Cuba to U.S. territory, basically comprised workers looking for jobs, mainly in New York and New Jersey. They were classified as labor migrants and workers, much like other immigrants in the area at that time. Thus migrated more than 40,149 in the first decade, encouraged by U.S. immigration facilities at the time and more than 43,400 by the end of the 30s.[citation needed]

Subsequently, the flow of Cubans to the United States fluctuated, due to both the domestic situation in the 40s and 50s in Cuba, and U.S. immigration policies, plus intermittent anti-immigrant sentiment. Cuban Migration in those years included, in addition to workers, a small mass of the population who could afford to leave the country and live abroad. The U.S. was considered a favored destination by the Cuban bourgeoisie and the middle classes of society, to send their children to school, take vacations and bring some of their capital to establish small and medium-sized businesses.[citation needed]

The Cuban population officially registered in the United States for 1958 was around 125,000 people including descendants. Of these, more than 50,000 remained in the United States after the revolution of 1959.[9]

Post-Castro revolution (1959-)

After the Cuban revolution led by Fidel Castro in 1959, a Cuban exodus began as the new government allied itself with the Soviet Union and began to introduce communism. The first Cubans to come to America after the revolution were those affiliated with former dictator Fulgencio Batista, next were Cuba's professionals. Most Cuban Americans that arrived in the United States initially came from Cuba's educated upper and middle classes centered in Cuba's capital Havana. This middle class arose in the period after the Platt Amendment when Cuba became one of the most successful countries in Latin America. Between December 1960 and October 1962 more than 14,000 Cuban children arrived alone in the U.S. Their parents were afraid that their children were going to be sent to some Soviet bloc countries to be educated[citation needed] and they decided to send them to the States as soon as possible.[citation needed]

This program was called Operation Peter Pan (Operacion Pedro Pan). When the children arrived in Miami they were met by representatives of Catholic Charities and they were sent to live with relatives if they had any or were sent to foster homes, orphanages or boarding schools until their parents could leave Cuba. From 1965 to 1973, there was another wave of immigration known as the Freedom Flights. In order to provide aid to recently arrived Cuban immigrants, the United States Congress passed the Cuban Adjustment Act in 1966. The Cuban Refugee Program provided more than $1.3 billion of direct financial assistance. They also were eligible for public assistance, Medicare, free English courses, scholarships, and low-interest college loans.[citation needed]

Some banks pioneered loans for exiles who did not have collateral or credit but received help in getting a business loan. These loans enabled many Cuban Americans to secure funds and start up their own businesses. With their Cuban-owned businesses and low cost of living, Miami, Florida and Union City, New Jersey (dubbed Havana on the Hudson)[13][14] were the preferred destinations for many immigrants and soon became the main centers for Cuban American culture. According to author Lisandro Perez, Miami was not particularly attractive to Cubans prior to the 1960s.[15]

It was not until the exodus of the Cuban exiles in 1959 that Miami started to become a preferred destination. Westchester, Florida within Miami-Dade County, was the area most densely populated by Cubans and Cuban Americans in the United States, followed by Hialeah, Florida in second.[16]

Communities like Miami, Tampa, and Union City, which Cuban-Americans have made their home, have experienced a profound cultural impact as a result, as seen in such aspects of their local culture as cuisine, fashion, music, entertainment and cigar-making.[17][18]


Another large wave (an estimated 125,000 people) of Cuban immigration occurred in the early 1980s with the Mariel boatlifts. Most of the "Marielitos" were people wanting to escape from communism, and have succeeded in establishing their roots in the US.[citation needed]

Fidel Castro sent some 20,000 criminals directly from Cuban prisons, as well as mentally ill persons from Cuban mental institutions, with the alleged double purpose of cleaning up Cuban society and poisoning the USA. Those people were labeled "unadmissible" by the US government, and with time, through many negotiations, have been returned to Cuba.[citation needed]

Mid-1990s to 2000s

Since the mid-1990s, after the implementation of the "Wet feet, dry feet" policy immigration patterns changed. Many Cuban immigrants departed from the southern and western coasts of Cuba and arrived at the Yucatán Peninsula in Mexico; many landed on Isla Mujeres. From there Cuban immigrants traveled to the Texas-Mexico border and found asylum. Many of the Cubans who did not have family in Miami settled in Houston; this has caused Houston's Cuban American community to increase in size.The term "dusty foot" refers to Cubans emigrating to the U.S. through Mexico. In 2005 the Department of Homeland Security had abandoned the approach of detaining every dry foot Cuban who crosses through Texas and began a policy allowing most Cubans to obtain immediate parole.[19]

Jorge Ferragut, a Cuban immigrant who founded Casa Cuba, an agency that assists Cuban immigrants arriving in Texas, said in a 2008 article that many Cuban immigrants of the first decade of the 21st century left due to economic instead of political issues.[20] By October 2008 Mexico and Cuba created an agreement to prevent immigration of Cubans through Mexico.[21][22]

In recent years, Puerto Rico has become a major drop-off point for Cubans trying to reach the United States illegally. As a U.S. Commonwealth, Puerto Rico is seen as a stepping stone for Cubans trying to get to the continental U.S., though Puerto Rico itself is home to a number of Cubans.[23]

Immigration policy

Before the 1980s, all refugees from Cuba were welcomed into the United States as political refugees. This changed in the 1990s so that only Cubans who reach U.S. soil are granted refuge under the "wet foot, dry foot policy". While representing a tightening of U.S. immigration policy, the wet foot, dry foot policy still affords Cubans a privileged position relative to other immigrants to the U.S. This privileged position is the source of a certain friction between Cuban Americans and other Latin citizens and residents in the United States, adding to the tension caused by the divergent foreign policy interests pursued by conservative Cuban Americans. Cuban immigration also continues with an allotted number of Cubans (20,000 per year) provided legal U.S. visas.[citation needed]

According to a U.S. Census 1970 report, Cuban Americans as well as Latinos lived in all 50 states. But as later Census reports demonstrated, the majority of Cuban immigrants settled in south Florida. A new trend in the late 1990s showed that fewer immigrants arrived from Cuba than previously. While U.S. born Cuban Americans moved out of their enclaves, other nationalities settled there.[citation needed]

In late 1999, U.S. news media focused on the case of Elián González, the 6-year-old Cuban boy caught in a custody battle between his relatives in Miami and his father in Cuba, after the boy's mother died trying to bring him to the United States. On April 22, 2000, ICE (now USCIS) agents took Elián González to the Cuban Interests Section in Washington, D.C. From there, his father took him back to Cuba.[citation needed]


Many Cuban Americans have assimilated themselves into the American culture, which includes Cuban influences.

Cuban Americans live in all 50 states, Washington, D.C. and Puerto Rico, which received thousands of anti-Castro refugees as well in the 1960s. Since the 1980s, Cuban Americans have moved out of "Little Havana" and "Hialeah" to the suburbs of Miami, such as Kendall, as well in the more affluent Coral Gables and Miami Lakes.[citation needed] Many new South and Central Americans, along with new Cuban refugees, have replaced the Cuban Americans who have relocated elsewhere in Florida (Fort Lauderdale, Orlando, Tampa Bay and West Palm Beach) and dispersed throughout the nation.[citation needed]

More recently,[when?] there has been substantial growth of new Cuban American communities in places like the Research Triangle area of North Carolina,[24] Katy, Texas, and Downey, California; the latter city now having the second highest percentage of Cubans and Cuban Americans in the Western United States at 1.96% of the population.[25]

Cuban Americans have been very successful in establishing businesses and developing political clout by transforming Miami from a beach retirement community into a modern city with a younger demographic base with a distinct Caribbean flavor. Cuban-Americans have also contributed to and participated in many areas of American life including academia, business, acting, politics, and literature.[citation needed]


In the census in 2000 there were 1,241,685 Cuban Americans, and in the 2010 census there were 1,785,547 (both native and foreign born), and represented 3.5% of all Hispanics, and 0.58% of the US population. About 85% of Cuban Americans identify themselves as being White, mostly Spanish, which is the highest proportion of all other major Hispanic groups. In Florida, Cuban Americans have cultural ties with the state's large Spanish American or European Spanish community. In the 2007 American Community Survey (ACS), there were 1,611,478 Americans with national origins in Cuba. 983,147 were born abroad in Cuba, 628,331 were U.S born and of the 1.6 million, 415,212 were not U.S citizens.[26] In the 2013 ACS, there were 2,013,155 Cuban Americans.

U.S. states with largest Cuban populations

The Top 10 US states with the largest Cuban populations are: [27]

State/Territory Cuban-American
Population (2010 Census)[28][29]
Percentage[note 1][30]
23x15px Alabama 4,064 0.1
23x15px Alaska 927 0.1
23x15px Arizona 10,692 0.2
23x15px Arkansas 1,493 0.1
23x15px California 88,607 0.2
23x15px Colorado 6,253 0.1
20x17px Connecticut 9,490 0.3
23x15px Delaware 1,443 0.2
23x15px District of Columbia 1,789 0.3
23x15px Florida 1,213,438 6.5
23x15px Georgia 25,048 0.3
23x15px Hawaii 1,544 0.1
23x15px Idaho 825 0.1
23x15px Illinois 22,541 0.2
23x15px Indiana 4,042 0.1
23x15px Iowa 1,226 0.0
23x15px Kansas 2,723 0.1
23x15px Kentucky 9,323 0.2
23x15px Louisiana 10,330 0.2
23x15px Maine 783 0.1
23x15px Maryland 10,366 0.2
23x15px Massachusetts 11,306 0.2
23x15px Michigan 9,922 0.1
23x15px Minnesota 3,661 0.1
23x15px Mississippi 2,063 0.1
23x15px Missouri 4,979 0.1
23x15px Montana 421 0.0
23x15px Nebraska 2,152 0.1
23x15px Nevada 21,459 0.8
23x15px New Hampshire 1,349 0.1
23x15px New Jersey 83,362 0.9
23x15px New Mexico 4,298 0.2
23x15px New York 70,803 0.4
23x15px North Carolina 18,079 0.2
23x16px  North Dakota 260 0.0
File:Flag of Ohio.svg Ohio 7,523 0.1
23x15px Oklahoma 2,755 0.1
23x15px Oregon 4,923 0.1
23x15px Pennsylvania 17,930 0.1
20x17px Rhode Island 1,640 0.2
23x15px South Carolina 5,955 0.1
23x15px South Dakota 265 0.0
23x15px Tennessee 7,773 0.1
23x15px Texas 46,541 0.2
23x15px Utah 1,963 0.1
23x15px Vermont 510 0.1
23x15px Virginia 15,229 0.2
23x15px Washington 6,744 0.1
23x15px West Virginia 764 0.0
23x15px Wisconsin 3,696 0.1
23x15px Wyoming 275 0.0
USA 1,785,547 0.6

US metropolitan areas with largest Cuban populations

The largest populations of Cubans are situated in the following metropolitan areas (Source: Census 2010):[31]

  1. Miami-Fort Lauderdale-Pompano Beach, FL MSA - 982,758
  2. New York-Northern New Jersey-Long Island, NY-NJ-PA-CT MSA - 135,391
  3. Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater, FL MSA - 81,542
  4. Los Angeles-Long Beach-Santa Ana, CA MSA - 49,702
  5. Orlando-Kissimmee-Sanford, FL MSA - 36,724
  6. Chicago-Joliet-Naperville, IL-IN-WI MSA - 20,633
  7. Las Vegas-Paradise, NV MSA - 20,569
  8. Houston-Sugar Land-Baytown, TX MSA - 19,130
  9. Atlanta-Sandy Springs-Marietta, GA MSA - 17,648
  10. Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, DC-VA-MD-WV MSA - 14,527

U.S. communities with high percentages of people of Cuban ancestry

The top 25 US communities with the highest percentage of people claiming Cuban ancestry are (the top 24 of which are in Miami-Dade County):[16]

  1. Westchester, Florida 65.69%
  2. Hialeah, Florida 62.12%
  3. Coral Terrace, Florida 61.87%
  4. West Miami, Florida 61.61%
  5. University Park, Florida 59.80%
  6. Olympia Heights, Florida 57.65%
  7. Tamiami, Florida 56.63%
  8. Hialeah Gardens, Florida 54.31%
  9. Medley, Florida 51.91%
  10. Sweetwater, Florida 49.92%
  11. Palm Springs North, Florida 43.59%
  12. Miami Lakes, Florida 42.28%
  13. Kendale Lakes, Florida 38.58%
  14. Fontainebleau, Florida 37.29%
  15. Miami, Florida 34.14%
  16. Miami Springs, Florida 31.83%
  17. Richmond West, Florida 29.30%
  18. Coral Gables, Florida 28.72%
  19. Virginia Gardens, Florida 26.11%
  20. South Miami Heights, Florida 25.70%
  21. Kendall, Florida 21.31%
  22. Miami Beach, Florida 20.51%
  23. Surfside, Florida 20.15%
  24. Country Club, Florida 19.97%
  25. West New York, New Jersey 19.64%

U.S. communities with the most residents born in Cuba

For total 101 communities, see the reference given. Top 20 U.S. communities with the most residents born in Cuba are (all of which are located within Miami):[32]

  1. Westchester, Florida 55.8%
  2. Hialeah, Florida 53.5%
  3. Coral Terrace, Florida 51.9%
  4. West Miami, Florida 50.5%
  5. South Westside, FL 48.3%
  6. University Park, Florida 48.1%
  7. Hialeah Gardens, Florida 47.5%
  8. Medley, Florida 46.0%
  9. Tamiami, Florida 45.7%
  10. Olympia Heights, Florida 45.2%
  11. Sweetwater, Florida 45.2%
  12. Westwood Lakes, Florida 44.9%
  13. Sunset, Florida 32.7%
  14. Fountainbleau, Florida 32.3%
  15. North Westside, FL 30.4%
  16. Miami, Florida 30.3%
  17. Miami Lakes, Florida 30.1%
  18. Palm Springs North, Florida 29.8%
  19. Kendale Lakes, Florida 28.9%
  20. Kendale Lakes-Lindgren Acres, FL 24.3%


Official Immigration to the U.S[33][34] </font>
Year of
White Black Other Asian Number
1959-64 93.3 1.2 5.3 0.2 144,732
1965-74 87.7 2.0 9.1 0.2 247,726
1975-79 82.6 4.0 13.3 0.1 29,508
1980 80.9 5.3 13.7 0.1 94,095
1981-89 85.7 3.1 10.9 0.3 77,835
1990-93 84.7 3.2 11.9 0.2 60,244
1994–2000 85.8 3.7 10.4 0.7 174,437
Total 87.2 2.9 9.6 0.2 828,577
Race by Cuban national Origin, 2000[4]
Country of Origin White Black Other
Cuba 85.0% 3.6% 7.1%
Total: 1,241,685 1,055,432 44,700 88,159

The ancestry of Cuban Americans comes primarily from Spain.[35] During the 18th, 19th and early part of the 20th century, large waves of Castilians, Basques, Canarians, Catalans, Andalusians, Asturians and Galicians emigrated to Cuba. Canary Islanders immigrated to many countries along the Caribbean from Louisiana to Venezuela. But Cuba was the Latin American culture most influenced by the emigration of Canary Islanders (they developed the production of sugar in Cuba), and Cuban Spanish is closest to that of the Canary Islands. Canary Islanders were viewed by other Spanish-Cubans as superstitious but also hard-working. Some of Haiti’s white population (French) migrated to Cuba after the Haitian War of Independence in the early 18th century. Also, minor but significant ethnic influx is derived from diverse peoples from Middle East places such as Lebanon and Palestine.

There was also a significant influx of Jews, especially between the World Wars, from many countries, including Sephardi Jews from Turkey and Ashkenazi Jews from Poland, Germany and Russia. Other Europeans that have contributed slightly include Italians, Germans, Swedes, and Hungarians. Many Chinese also settled Cuba as contract laborers and they formerly boast the largest Chinatown in Western Hemisphere as most Chinese Cubans left for Florida.

Cuban American culture


Being of primarily Spanish extraction, most Cuban Americans are Roman Catholic, but some Cubans practice African traditional religions (such as Santería or Ifá), which evolved from mixing the Catholic religion with the traditional African religion. Cuban Catholicism was also influenced by the Catholicism practiced by the Canarian people. However, there are many Protestant (primarily Pentecostal) with small numbers of syncretist, nonreligious or tiny communities of Jewish and Muslim Cuban Americans. The Protestant movement in Cuba started after the Spanish–American War when many Americans came to Cuba.

Food and drink

See also: Cuban cuisine

Cuban food is varied, though rice is a staple and commonly served at lunch and dinner. Other common dishes are arroz con pollo (chicken and rice), pan con bistec (steak sandwich), platanos maduros (sweet plantains), lechon asado (pork), yuca (cassava root), flan, batido de mamey (mamey milkshake), papayas, and guava paste.

A common lunch staple is the Cuban sandwich (sometimes called a mixto sandwich), which is built on Cuban bread and was created and standardized among cigar workers who traveled between Cuba and Florida (especially Ybor City) around the turn of the 20th century[36][37][38]

Cuban versions of pizza contains bread, which is usually soft, and cheese, toppings, and sauce, which is made with spices such as Adobo and Goya onion. Picadillo, ground beef that has been sauteed with tomato, green peppers, green olives, and garlic is another popular Cuban dish. It can be served with black beans and rice, and a side of deep-fried, ripened plantains.


Cuban coffee is popular in America. Cubans often drink cafe cubano: a small cup of coffee called a cafecito (or a colada), which is traditional espresso coffee, sweetened with sugar, with a little foam on top called espumita. It is also popular to add milk, which is called a cortadito for a small cup or a cafe con leche for a larger cup.

A common soft drink is Materva, a Cuban soda made of yerba mate. Jupiña, Ironbeer and Cawy lemon-lime are soft drinks which originated in Cuba. Since the Castro era, they are also produced in Miami. Other famous Cuban drinks include guarapo de caña.

A popular drink of Cuban origin is the Cuba Libre, a mix of Cuban rum and cola, usually Coca Cola.

Political beliefs

Cuban Americans have tended to be more Republican than other Hispanic groups. The failed Bay of Pigs invasion, and its association with John F. Kennedy, left many Cubans distrustful of the Democratic Party.[39] Many Cuban Americans believe that Kennedy deliberately denied Cuban exiles air support, leading to a rout by Castro forces. The trauma of this event has led to speculation about possible Cuban-American involvement in the assassination of President Kennedy. Cuban exiles began an alliance with the Republic Party of Florida. In Florida, Cuban-American congressman have tended to be Republican beginning with Representative Ileana Ros-Lehtinen. But in New Jersey, another state with many Cuban-Americans, Cuban-Americans congressman have tended to be Democrats, for example Representative Albio Sires. Ronald Reagan is particularly popular in the Cuban exile community (there is a street in Miami named for Reagan).[citation needed]. And George W. Bush received 75 and 78 percent (in 2000 and 2004 respectively) of the Cuban-American vote. The Cuban-American lobby has also lobbied both parties on causes important to Cuban-Americans.

In recent years, the Cuban-American vote has become more contested between the parties. In the 2008 presidential election, Democrat Barack Obama received 47% of the Cuban American vote in Florida.[40] According to Bendixen's exit polls, 84% of Miami-Dade Cuban American voters 65 or older backed McCain, while 55% of those 29 or younger backed Obama.[41] In 2012, Barack Obama received 49 percent of the Cuban American vote in Florida, compared to 47 percent for Mitt Romney according to Edison Research exits polls.[42] By the spring of 2014, this increasing trend among Cuban-American voters having a preference for Democratic Party candidates increased particularly for younger voters aged 18–49, increasing to some 56% for the younger voter demographic, versus Cuban-American voters over 50 years of age having just a 39% preference for Democratic candidates.[43]

Cuban Americans in the United States Congress

Eight Cuban Americans currently serve in the United States Congress, making them the 2nd most over-represented group in U.S Federal Government, second only to Jewish-Americans, this is yet another reason why Cubans are often described as the “Jews of the Caribbean”, They have had incredible success regardless of their small population size and low concentration outside of Florida. There have been seven Cuban-American U.S congressmen elected from Florida, two from New Jersey, and one from Texas and West Virginia. A testament to their sheer determination, in a state like Texas, where Mexican-Americans form the near entirety of the Hispanic community, their first Hispanic-American Senator is Republican Ted Cruz, the Canadian-born son of a Cuban exile and an American mother.

Three United States Senators:

Five are United States Representatives:

Former Congressmen:

Cuban Americans in State Government

Cuban-Americans have had much success at the State-level, in Florida, where Cuban-American legislators hold more seats than anywhere else in the nation, Pro-Democracy, Anti-Castro, and Anti-Chavez legislation is often promoted and passed even though States cannot dictate U.S Foreign Policy. Even in states where Cuban-Americans are not concentrated in large numbers they have had successes especially in New Jersey, where albeit a tiny minority concentrated in Union City, Elizabeth, and Newark, they have had enormous political successes.


  • Carlos Lopez-Cantera, Republican, Lieutenant Governor of Florida, (2014–Present)
  • Anitere Flores, Republican, Member of the Florida Senate from the 37th district
  • Miguel Díaz de la Portilla, Republican, Member of the Florida Senate from the 40th district
  • René García, Republican, Member of the Florida Senate from the 38th district
  • José Félix Díaz, Republican, Member of the Florida House of Representatives from the 116th district
  • Manny Díaz, Jr., Republican, Member of the Florida House of Representatives from the 103rd district
  • Eduardo Gonzalez, Republican,Member of the Florida House of Representatives from the 111th district
  • Jeanette Núñez, Republican, Member of the Florida House of Representatives from the 119th district
  • Carlos Trujillo, Republican, Member of the Florida House of Representatives from the 105th district
  • Erik Fresen, Republican, Member of the Florida House of Representatives from the 114th district
  • Frank Artiles, Republican, Member of the Florida House of Representatives from the 118th district
  • José R. Oliva, Republican, Member of the Florida House of Representatives from the 110th district
  • Mike La Rosa, Republican, Member of the Florida House of Representatives from the 42nd district
  • José Javier Rodríguez, Democrat, Member of the Florida House of Representatives from the 112th district

New Jersey:

  • Vincent Prieto, Democrat, Speaker of the New Jersey General Assembly (2014–Present), Member of the New Jersey General Assembly from the 32nd Legislative District (2004–Present)
  • Angelica Jimenez, Democrat, Member of the New Jersey General Assembly from the 32nd Legislative District (2012–Present)
  • Angel Fuentes, Democrat, New Jersey
  • Carmelo Garcia, Democrat, New Jersey
  • Marlene Caride. Democrat, New Jersey

New York:

  • Nicole Malliotakis, Republican, Staten Island, Member of the New York General Assembly from the 64th district


  • Art Linares, Republican, Westbrook, Member of the Connecticut State Senate from the 33rd district


Eduardo Aguirre (R) served as Vice Chairman of the Export-Import Bank of the United States in the George W. Bush administration and later named Director of Immigration and Naturalization Services under the Department of Homeland Security. In 2006, Eduardo Aguirre was named US ambassador to Spain. Cuban-Americans have also served other high profile government jobs including White House Chief of Staff John H. Sununu (R) Florida-based businessman and Cuban exile Elviro Sanchez made his multi-million dollar fortune by investing the proceeds of his family's fruit plantations. He is one of the most low-profile philanthropists in the Southern States. Cuban-Americans also serve in high ranking judicial positions as well. Danny Boggs is currently a judge on the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit and Raoul G. Cantero, III, served as a Florida Supreme Court justice until stepping down in 2008.


Many Cuban exiles and their children have done very well economically as they came with social, political, and economic capital from Cuba and have a strong work ethic. From 1959 to 1962, as many as 30 percent of Cuban immigrants to the United States were professionals or managers.[44] By 1990, the percentage of U.S.-born Cuban Americans with household incomes over 50,000 was double that of Anglo-Americans.[45]

The median household income for Cuban Americans is $36,671, a figure higher than all other Hispanic groups, but lower than that of non-Hispanic whites.

In contrast, U.S.-born Cuban Americans have a higher median income than even non-Hispanic whites, $50,000 as compared to $48,000 for non-Hispanic whites.[4]

Although Cuban-Americans constitute only 5 percent of the U.S. Hispanic population, they make up 32 of the 80 wealthiest Hipanic Americans. [46] Among these Cuban-Americans are the Bacardi, Fanjul, and Goizueta families. As sociologist Lisandro Perez first suggested, the real Cuban success story “may rest more on a generalized family work ethic than on the individual cases of meteoric social mobility.”[47] In terms of social capital, Cuban households have a number of social characteristics that became economic advantages in the United States. Compared to other United States Hispanic groups, a smaller proportion of Cuban families have young children, a higher proportion have older adults (such as grandparents) residing in the household who can provide child care, and a higher proportion of married women work. According to the 1980 U.S. census, the proportion of relatives older than sixty-five years within exile families was an incredibly high 30.7 percent (the national norm was 8.9 percent) many of whom qualified for Social Security benefits and the Cuban Refugee Program’s assistance and could take over many child-rearing chores and instill culture, freeing parents to work unencumbered by such responsibilities. And the proportion of women holding jobs was higher for Cubans than for any other minority group in the United States and almost equal to that of Anglo women; not surprisingly, Cubans lead all other groups in the percentage of family units with two or more workers, a pattern that has been maintained over the years. The higher rate of labor-force participation among females produces a median income for married Cuban couples that is about one-third higher than that of other United States Latins. In general, Cuban households have a relatively large number of workers, high rates of female employment, and high levels of school and enrollment.[48]


25% of Cuban Americans have a college education, about twice the average of all other Hispanic groups, and lower than that of non-Hispanic whites, of which 30% are college graduates.[4]

39% of U.S.-born Cuban Americans have a college degree or higher, as compared to only 30% of non-Hispanic whites.[4]

According to a 2002 analysis, over 90 percent of Cuban American students between the ages of eighteen and twenty-four were enrolled full time in college, reportedly the highest of any ethnic group in the country.[45]

See also

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  1. ^ Percentage of the state population that identifies itself as Cuban relative to the state/territory" population as a whole.


  1. ^ a b US Census Bureau 2012 American Community Survey B03001 1-Year Estimates HISPANIC OR LATINO ORIGIN BY SPECIFIC ORIGIN retrieved September 20, 2013
  2. ^ Cubanoamericano López-Cantera es el nuevo vicegobernador de Florida Invalid language code.
  3. ^ "Detailed Hispanic Origin: 2007" (PDF). Pew Hispanic Center. Retrieved 2009-04-13. [dead link]
  4. ^ a b c d e Tafoya, Sonya (2004-12-06). "Shades of Belonging" (PDF). Pew Hispanic Center. Retrieved 2008-05-07. 
  5. ^ Microsoft Word - SomeOtherRace-Final 12-04.doc
  6. ^ a b Cuban Ancestry Maps,, accessed March 31, 2011.
  7. ^
  8. ^ a b U.S. Census Fact Finder[dead link]
  9. ^ a b Cuba vs Bloqueo (In Spanish). Posted by Dr. Antonio Aja Díaz - CEMI (Centro de Estudios de la Migración Internacional- Center for the Study of International Migration) July 2000
  10. ^ Westfall, Loy G. (2000). Tampa Bay: Cradle of Cuban Liberty. Key West Cigar City USA. ISBN 978-0-9668948-2-0. 
  11. ^ "Ybor City: Cigar Capital of the World-Reading 3". Retrieved 2010-08-08. 
  12. ^ Lastra, Frank (2006). Ybor City: The Making of a Landmark Town. University of Tampa Press. ISBN 978-1-59732-003-0. 
  13. ^ Gettleman, Jeffrey (February 5, 2006). "ON POLITICS; A Cuban Revolution, Only It's in New Jersey". The New York Times.
  14. ^ Bartlett, Kay. [,3136176 "Little Havana on the Hudson, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, June 28, 1977 Archived at Google News, accessed March 31, 2011.
  15. ^ Grenier, Guillermo J. Miami Now!: Immigration, Ethnicity, and Social Change. Archived at Google Books. Retrieved March 31, 2011.
  16. ^ a b "Ancestry Map of Cuban Communities". Retrieved 2007-12-23. 
  17. ^ Martin, Lydia (August 9, 1995). "Cuban cool" The Star-Ledger. pp. 41 and 54.
  18. ^ Juri, Carmen (August 9, 1995). "Jersey's Cuban flavors" The Star-Ledger. p, 41 and 54.
  19. ^ Russell Cobb and Paul Knight. "Immigration: Cubans Enter U.S. at Texas-Mexico Border", Houston Press, January 9, 2008
  20. ^ "Immigration: Cubans Enter U.S. at Texas-Mexico Border." Houston Press. 3.
  21. ^ Knight, Paul. "Cuba, Mexico Look To Block The Texas Entrance To The U.S.", Houston Press, October 20, 2008
  22. ^ Olsen, Alexandra. "Cuba: Mexico to fight illegal migration to US", Associated Press via The Monitor, October 20, 2008
  23. ^ "Cubans using Haitian, Dominican soil to reach Puerto Rico concerns the U.S.", Dominican Today, accessed 20 April 2007
  24. ^ [Raleigh's Cuban community: Their stories, their views on Obama's new diplomacy]
  25. ^ Cuban Ancestry Search - Cuban Genealogy by City -
  26. ^ Cuban Americans in 2007
  27. ^ 2010 Census
  28. ^ "2010 Census". Medgar Evers College. Retrieved 2010-04-13. 
  29. ^ US Census Bureau: Table QT-P10 Hispanic or Latino by Type: 2010 retrieved January 22, 2012 - select state from drop-down menu
  30. ^
  31. ^
  32. ^ "Top 101 cities with the most residents born in Cuba (population 500+)". Retrieved 2008-07-14. 
  33. ^ Cuba 1953 UN Statistics; Ethnic composition. Page: 260.May take time to load page
  34. ^ Cuba Statistics Demographic and Immigrants to the USA. Page 156.
  35. ^ CIA - The World Factbook - Cuba
  36. ^ Andrew Huse. "Welcome to Cuban Sandwich City". Cigar City Magazine, Volume 1, Issue 2. 
  37. ^ Linda Stradley (2004). "History of Cuban Sandwich, Cubano Sandwich". What's Cooking America website. 
  38. ^ Enrique Fernandez (9 August 2007). "Our search for a good Cuban sandwich takes a surprising turn" (PDF). The Miami Herald. 
  39. ^ Benjamin G. Bishin and Casey Klofstad. "The Political Incorporation of Cuban-Americans". Political Research Quarterly. September 30, 2011. 
  40. ^ Cave, Damien (April 21, 2009). "U.S. Overtures Find Support Among Cuban-Americans". The New York Times. 
  41. ^
  42. ^
  43. ^ "More U.S. Cubans Are Shifting To Democratic Party". NBC News. June 24, 2014. Retrieved June 25, 2014. 
  44. ^ [1] from
  45. ^ a b [2] from
  46. ^ *De La Torre, Miguel A. La Lucha for Cuba: Religion and Politics on the Streets of Miami, University of California Press, 2003.
  47. ^ [3] from
  48. ^ [4] from

Further reading

  • De La Torre, Miguel A. La Lucha for Cuba: Religion and Politics on the Streets of Miami, University of California Press, 2003.
  • Diaz, Carmen (2008). Siete jornadas en Miami (in Spanish) (1ra ed.). Miami, FL: Alexandria Library. ISBN 978-1-934804-26-1.  Interviews with Cuban-American women in Miami about Cuban-American identity.
  • Kami, Hideaki, “Ethnic Community, Party Politics, and the Cold War: The Political Ascendancy of Miami Cubans, 1980–2000,” Japanese Journal of American Studies (Tokyo), 23 (2012), 185–208.

External links