Publication Date

Spring 2024


Immigrant inequality becomes most apparent with the privileges granted to the Cuban-American expatriate community. Cuban exceptionalism was fostered most explicitly through the Cuban Adjustment Act of 1966 and has remained in effect since. The preservation of this exceptionalism brings forth the question of the conditions continuing to support it. Previous studies give theoretical approaches, including “policy capture” and “new Cuban” negligence, to exceptionalism, as well as argue for human rights considerations by the United States. However, they fail to observe the collective influence of anti-Communist sentiments, comparisons to Venezuelans, attitudes of Cuban-Americans, and lobbying. This study achieves just that. It examines policies amongst Cubans and Venezuelans, attitudes of Cuban expatriates, and lobbying efforts and how these work for each other in developing Cuban exceptionalism. The implications of this research challenge the influence of Cold War legacies supported by the United States and examine the political conditions that perpetuate Cuban privilege today.


International and Area Studies