In search of Cuban nationalism: transcending borders
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Nationalism prevails both inside and outside of what is known to be the geographic boundaries of the nation, as seen by immigrants in the United States, for instance, who recreate sociocultural environments that remind them of home. This study focuses on one such case: Cuban nationalism. How is it that nationalism is found among Cubans born and raised in the island and those born and raised outside? What is at the core of this nationalism that connects persons of different national upbringings? It has something to do with a love for the people, but such a hypothesis needed further explanation. Thus, I collected surveys from 46 Cuban Americans and 48 Cubans in the island who answered basic national history and cultural questions, and engaged in thought experiments. Each respondent was assigned a nationalist score (1 to 4) based on their responses, and the mean score values of both samples were calculated. The responses confirmed that Cuban nationalism is indeed an admiration not only for the people, but more for their sociocultural way of being. Moreover, nationalism is thought to be influenced by domestic factors, but it is equally impacted by international ones. Cuba’s involvement in Angola from 1975 to 1989, where more than 500,000 Cubans served, demonstrates this. As it impacted so many Cubans, it is important to ask: to what extent did this foreign affair affect national identities? To address this question, I interviewed 27 internationalists and examined how this event informed national identities among those involved. Overall, the following study provides an in-depth account of Cuban nationalism as a case study to better understand nationalism as a concept.