Mexico and Inter-American Solidarity in the Age of Cuban Independence

Sunday, January 5, 2014: 11:00 AM
Columbia Hall 4 (Washington Hilton)
Dalia A. Muller, University at Buffalo (State University of New York)
This paper explores the history of inter-American solidarity through the late nineteenth-century Cuban Independence struggle, a national movement that had truly international and inter-American resonance. I demonstrate how far-flung, yet well-organized Cuban exile communities became anchors for transnational collaboration, particularly through the creation of transnational social and political spaces where Cubans and other Americans came together. While my project is hemispheric in scope, I ground my work in one case study: Mexico. I examine not only the physical spaces where Cubans and Mexicans forged inter-American solidarity, but also the discourses that were articulated in those spaces. In particular, I explore how Cubans and Mexicans used transnational discourses to reflect on national politics and to construct national movements. I argue that Cubans, Mexicans and other Latin Americans in solidarity with the Cuban independence struggle [re]claimed an American identity as they [re]imagined the hemisphere as a whole, the place of independent nations within it, and the defense of republicanism and democracy that they believed should the responsibility of all Americans.
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