A New Chapter in US-Cuba Relations

Part of the series Studies of the Americas pp 85-99

Post-17D and Processes of Cuban National Reconciliation

  • Holly Ackerman

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The announcements by Presidents Castro and Obama on December 17 (17D) produced a torrent of media coverage and academic analysis that, understandably, centered on diplomatic negotiations. This chapter examines a less discussed, but equally important, theme: reconciliation among Cubans. Looking at the processes of Cuban national reconciliation from the individual and societal levels, both within Cuba and between the island and diaspora, this chapter identifies likely facilitators and lingering obstacles to processes of accommodation. It complicates the conceptualization of “exile” and “island” by challenging both common stereotypes of a sharply divided nation with an intractably vengeful exile, and of a unified socialist island. It also acknowledges that although the pace of national reunification is accelerating, it is a process that has been in play for almost forty years.