Graduate Review



The story of mass migration, violence, and human rights violations in Cuba since 1959 is not a simple one. It is an extremely complex web of local and international politics, economics, psychology, sociology, culture, and history. Studies of the Cuban diaspora have been dominated by failures and cyclical crises in the economy, Castro’s adherence to an Eastern European based communist ideologies and policies, and international politics and migration policies. However, Castro’s calculated use of instilling an endemic fear of the State’s use of violence and cruelty to enforce laws, ideologies, and policies is much less studied as a critical migration push among Cubans. Published interviews, government documents, memoirs, radio transmission transcripts, news articles, video documentaries, and other primary and secondary sources all provide trace evidence that fear of State violence and cruel punishment at the hands of the Cuban State has become ingrained in all structural aspects of daily life in Cuba including politics, creative expressions of art and culture, leisure activities, education, and economics. As such, fear serves as a primary or keystone push in the decisions of individual Cubans to seek both legal as well as illegal means of leaving their homeland.



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