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online – Haiti & Cuba: The Politics of US Immigration Policy
June 15 @ 5:00 pm - 6:00 pm
Haiti & Cuba: The Politics of US Immigration Policy
Thu June 15 @ 8:00 pm – 9:00 pm EDT
Haiti & Cuba
The Politics of US Immigration Policy
June 15, 2023, 8:00 pm
Haiti and Cuba, two Caribbean countries with a history of revolution–one in 1804 and the other in 1959–that the United States went to extreme lengths to undermine and destroy.
It is hard to remember the efforts made by the U.S. government to undermine Haiti’s efforts to establish sovereignty and independence, since it was so long ago, but it involved embargos, sanctions in partnership with Haiti’s former colonial owner France, and enforcement of France’s claims for millions in reparations.
U.S. efforts to undermine and overturn the Cuban Revolution are more recent. But in both instances these efforts led to extreme economic hardship, and to successive waves of emigration and attempts at resettlement by Cubans and Haitains in the United States.
Nearly 220 years after Haiti’s revolution, the country continues to struggle, dealing simultaneously with foreign meddling and natural disasters, as well as with its own economic, political, and social challenges. Sixty-four years after the Cuban Revolution, Cuba also struggles to cope with a combination of economic challenges and natural disasters that are exacerbated by the ongoing U.S. embargo, sanctions, and meddling. In both cases, extreme economic hardship has been made worse, in Haiti by political upheaval and street violence, and in Cuba by a round of newly extreme U.S. sanctions and restrictions.
The situation in both countries has led to unprecedented waves of emigration to the United States. Yet the reception by the US government of these two Caribbean immigrant groups vastly differs. How, and in what ways? And how might we understand the politics and motives behind these differences?
We have asked these questions of two leading experts on immigration, one the Boston University sociologist Susan Eckstein and the other, Haitian rights and immigration leader Guerline Jozef, Director of the Haiti Bridge Alliance. On June 15, they will address these questions, in a discussion moderated by Marc Prou, Professor in the Africana Studies Department at the University of Massachusetts Boston and director of the University’s Haiti Language and Culture Center.