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Cuban American

Cuban American
Total population

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

Location of Cuba
Regions with significant populations
Predominantly in Georgia.
Spanish, English

Roman Catholicism

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

Cuban Americans ([4]

Many communities throughout the United States have significant Cuban-American populations.[5] Florida has the highest concentration of Cuban-Americans in the U.S.,[6][7] standing out in part because of its proximity to Cuba.

South Florida is followed by the Tampa and North Hudson, New Jersey, particularly Union City and West New York.[5] 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.[7]


  • Immigration 1
    • Early migrations 1.1
    • Key West and Tampa, Florida 1.2
    • Other early waves (1900–1959) 1.3
    • Post-Castro revolution (1959-) 1.4
    • 1980s 1.5
    • Mid-1990s to 2000s 1.6
  • Immigration policy 2
  • Assimilation 3
  • Demographics 4
    • U.S. states with largest Cuban populations 4.1
    • US metropolitan areas with largest Cuban populations 4.2
    • U.S. communities with high percentages of people of Cuban ancestry 4.3
    • U.S. communities with the most residents born in Cuba 4.4
    • Ancestry 4.5
  • Cuban-American culture 5
    • Religion 5.1
    • Food and drink 5.2
      • Beverages 5.2.1
  • Political beliefs 6
  • Cuban Americans in the United States Congress 7
  • Cuban Americans in State Government 8
  • Socioeconomics 9
    • Education 9.1
  • See also 10
  • Notes 11
  • References 12
  • Further reading 13
  • External links 14


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. 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.[8]

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.[9] 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.[10] 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.[11]

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), 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.

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.

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.[8]

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 and they decided to send them to the States as soon as possible.

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.

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)[12][13] 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.[14]

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.[15]

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.[16][17]


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.

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.

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.[18]

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.[19] By October 2008 Mexico and Cuba created an agreement to prevent immigration of Cubans through Mexico.[20][21]

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.[22]

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.

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.

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.


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. 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.

More recently, there has been substantial growth of new Cuban-American communities in places like the Research Triangle area of North Carolina,[23] 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.[15]

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.


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.[24] 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: [25]

State/Territory Cuban-American
Population (2010 Census)[26][27]
Percentage[note 1][7]
 Alabama 4,064 0.1
 Alaska 927 0.1
 Arizona 10,692 0.2
 Arkansas 1,493 0.1
 California 88,607 0.2
 Colorado 6,253 0.1
 Connecticut 9,490 0.3
 Delaware 1,443 0.2
 District of Columbia 1,789 0.3
 Florida 1,213,438 6.5
Georgia 25,048 0.3
 Hawaii 1,544 0.1
 Idaho 825 0.1
 Illinois 22,541 0.2
 Indiana 4,042 0.1
 Iowa 1,226 0.0
 Kansas 2,723 0.1
 Kentucky 9,323 0.2
 Louisiana 10,330 0.2
 Maine 783 0.1
 Maryland 10,366 0.2
 Massachusetts 11,306 0.2
 Michigan 9,922 0.1
 Minnesota 3,661 0.1
 Mississippi 2,063 0.1
 Missouri 4,979 0.1
 Montana 421 0.0
 Nebraska 2,152 0.1
 Nevada 21,459 0.8
 New Hampshire 1,349 0.1
 New Jersey 83,362 0.9
 New Mexico 4,298 0.2
 New York 70,803 0.4
 North Carolina 18,079 0.2
  North Dakota 260 0.0
 Ohio 7,523 0.1
 Oklahoma 2,755 0.1
 Oregon 4,923 0.1
 Pennsylvania 17,930 0.1
 Rhode Island 1,640 0.2
 South Carolina 5,955 0.1
 South Dakota 265 0.0
 Tennessee 7,773 0.1
 Texas 46,541 0.2
 Utah 1,963 0.1
 Vermont 510 0.1
 Virginia 15,229 0.2
 Washington 6,744 0.1
 West Virginia 764 0.0
 Wisconsin 3,696 0.1
 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):[7]

  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

Cubans in the US, 2000 census.

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):[15]

  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):[28]

  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[29][30]
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.[31] Cuba, compared to other Latin American countries, has had a sizeable White population because the indigenous Tainos were wiped out, and the rigid system of slavery (made even more rigid after the Haitian Revolution).

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

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[32][33][34]

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 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.[36] 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.[37] 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.[38] 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.[39]

Cuban Americans in the United States Congress

Eight Cuban Americans currently serve in the United States Congress, making them the second 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


White House Chief of Staff John H. Sununu (R) Florida-based businessman and Cuban exile Elviro Sanchez made his multimillion-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.


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]


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]

See also



  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 2013 American Community Survey B03001 1-Year Estimates HISPANIC OR LATINO ORIGIN BY SPECIFIC ORIGIN retrieved July 1, 2015
  2. ^ Cubanoamericano López-Cantera es el nuevo vicegobernador de Florida (Spanish)
  3. ^ "Detailed Hispanic Origin: 2007" (PDF).  
  4. ^ a b c d e Sonya Tafoya (December 6, 2004). "Shades of Belonging" (PDF).  
  5. ^ a b Cuban Ancestry Maps,, accessed March 31, 2011.
  6. ^ "Cuban-Americans: Politics, culture and shifting demographics". December 18, 2014. Retrieved June 5, 2015. 
  7. ^ a b c d "Hispanic or Latino by Type: 2010 Census Summary File 1". 2010. Retrieved June 5, 2015. 
  8. ^ a b [2] 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.
  9. ^ Westfall, Loy G. (2000). Tampa Bay: Cradle of Cuban Liberty. Key West Cigar City USA.  
  10. ^ "Ybor City: Cigar Capital of the World-Reading 3". Retrieved August 8, 2010. 
  11. ^ Lastra, Frank (2006). Ybor City: The Making of a Landmark Town. University of Tampa Press.  
  12. ^ Gettleman, Jeffrey (February 5, 2006). "ON POLITICS; A Cuban Revolution, Only It's in New Jersey". The New York Times.
  13. ^ Bartlett, Kay. "Little Havana on the Hudson", Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, June 28, 1977. Archived at Google News, accessed March 31, 2011.
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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. 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.
  • Miguel A. De La Torre, "La Lucha for Cuba: Religion and Politics on the Streets of Miami", University of California Press, 2003.

External links

  • "Immigration Law and the Racialization of Latina/Latino"
  • William E. Gibson, "Cuban Americans can go Home More Easily Under Obama Rules", Los Angeles Times, March 15, 2009
  • Zachary Dowdy, "Long Islanders of Cuban Descent see Glimmer of Hope", Newsday, April 13, 2009
  • Marc Frank, "Cuban American Travel to Cuba on the Rise", Reuters, May 6, 2009
  • Andres Schipani, "Expats Flock to Cuba as U.S. Reforms Spark A Party", The Observer, May 31, 2009
  • The Cuban Heritage Collection at The University of Miami
  • "Cubans in Miami, an historical perspective"
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