Lillian Guerra is an expert of Cuban and Caribbean history. She is a professor in the Department of History in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. She currently directs the university’s Cuba Program of academic exchange with two institutions in Cuba.
Areas of Expertise (5)
Latino Culture & Politics in the U.S.
Latin American Studies
Caribbean Diasporas and Caribbean History
Central American and Caribbean Immigration
Media Appearances (5)
Opinion: Demographics were expected to push Florida left. Instead, they nudged it to the right.
The Washington Post online
Republicans often win votes from Cuban Americans and Venezuelan Americans by portraying Democrats as socialists or communists. Many Cuban Americans either fled the Castro regime in Cuba or know someone who did, and many new arrivals from South America have similar experiences. As Lillian Guerra, a historian of Cuba at the University of Florida, told me, “the Cold War seems to be over everywhere else, but it’s never been in Florida.”
The Return of Cuba’s Security State
The New York Times online
The Cuban performance artist Luis Manuel Otero Alcántara’s home in San Isidro, one of Old Havana’s poor and majority-Black barrios, lies steps away from Cuba’s National Archive and the childhood home of José Martí, Cuba’s exalted 19th-century hero and fighter for racial justice. The promises of history and the grinding realities of life after 62 years of Communist rule collide in San Isidro.
Raul Castro Has Stepped Down. What's Next For Cuba?
Ever since the 1959 revolution, there has been one name at the helm of power in Cuba. That name is Castro - first Fidel and then his brother Raul. On Friday, Raul Castro, at 89, confirmed his formal resignation as the head of the Communist Party, saying he had, quote, "fulfilled his mission, and he was confident in the future of the fatherland." Joining us now to talk about what that means is Lillian Guerra. She's a professor of Cuban and Caribbean history at the University of Florida. Welcome to the program.
Fear and Loathing in Havana and Miami
The New York Times online
As most people who have grown up Cuban in the United States over the last six decades would attest, asking their parents about the Cuban Revolution tends to elicit one of three reactions: silence, suspicion or enthusiastic invocations of gratitude that you are not in Cuba.
Trump Tells Puerto Ricans to be “Proud” that They Aren’t Dead
This past week President Donald Trump visited Puerto Rico, almost two weeks after Hurricane María devastated the island to such a degree that it may have paralyzed life for months to come. Today, an estimated 91% of Puerto Rico’s 3.4 million US citizens face another day with no electricity, unclean water, scarce food and a $40 cash limit for those lucky enough to join hours-long lines at an open ATM.
Radical Virtuosity: Ana Mendieta and the Black Atlantic, by Genevieve HyacintheNew West Indian Guide
Olga Viso’s edited volume, Ana Mendieta: Earth/Body; Sculpture and Performance, 1972–1985 (2004) is widely considered a definitive analysis of this Cuban American artist’s pioneering work. Genevieve Hyacinthe’s interpretation of Mendieta’s art seems as provocative and innovative as it is paradoxical and, at times, speculative and unconvincing.
Poder Negro in Revolutionary Cuba: Black Consciousness, Communism, and the Challenge of SolidarityHispanic American Historical Review
This article analyzes the personal experiences of African American refugees in Cuba and the ways in which the Cuban government sought to mitigate and frequently repress the appeal of the movement of Black Power/poder negro. By universalizing Communist standards of culture, state agents ranging from the Ministry of Education and the media to Fidel Castro and Cuba's top intelligence chiefs anticipated and co-opted historical memories of slavery and cultural expressions of black pride.
Former Slum Dwellers, the Communist Youth, and the Lewis Project in Cuba, 1969–1971Cuban Studies
This article examines a three-year oral history project focusing on former slum dwellers, that US anthropologists Oscar and Ruth Lewis directed in Buena Ventura (pseudonym), a new public housing development, beginning in 1969 and ending in 1971.