The primary and secondary sources you are required to use for this paper have been assigned as course materials in Week 11.
Primary sources: [available on Blackboard, under Week 11]. CHOOSE 2 OF 3.
Three Cubans, dir. Robert Cohen (1964), Part 1 (“The Exile”).
The Plight of Pepito, WTVJ (Miami) Special Report (1961).
The Lost Apple, United States Information Agency (1962-1963).
Secondary sources: [available on Blackboard, under Week 11, or in class]. USE AT LEAST 1.
María Cristina Garcia, “Exiles Not Immigrants: Cuban Immigration to the United States, 1959-1973,” Chapter 1 from Havana USA: Cuban Exiles and Cuban Americans in South Florida, 1959-1994 (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1996). [THIS IS THE PREFERRED SECONDARY SOURCE.]
Michael J. Bustamante, “Welcome Exiles, Unwanted Aliens: Cold War Immigration Policy,” Lecture, Modern U.S. History, Florida International University, Miami, FL, November 1, 2017.
American Yawp, Chapter 25.
Prompt: Following Fidel Castro’s 1959 Revolution, thousands of Cubans opposed to his rule flocked to the United States. For the most part, they were greeted with open arms, allowed to enter U.S. territory freely. But since then, a debate has raged: did the U.S. government grant the Cubans special treatment under U.S. immigration laws out of genuine humanitarian concern, or to make an example out of them for Cold War propaganda? Drawing on María Cristina García’s writing and the two short films assigned, formulate your own answer to this question. Consider the following variables. Who among the Cuban population fled, and what conditions provoked their departure? How were they treated in the United States? In information materials like the short films assigned, how was the plight of Cuban refugees depicted for the U.S. public? And what might that depiction suggest about the symbolism of the Cuban migrant in the politics of the Cold War?
The argument of your paper should be a detailed and specific answer to the above question, rooted in a close analysis of the primary sources and a clear explanation of the historical context drawn from the assigned secondary source readings.
Note that this question does not ask you to evaluate which of the primary sources you agree with, nor does it necessarily require you to formulate an either/or response. Your task is to assess the evidence provided to put forth a reasonable interpretation of why Cubans received the relatively welcoming treatment in U.S. society that they did.
Your paper must include an introduction, several distinct body paragraphs, and a conclusion.
Your introduction should not begin with broad, overly general statements, but instead should introduce the specific time, place, and topic you are writing about. Do not assume that your reader knows anything about the history you are describing. Your introduction should also include a) a thesis statement that interprets your primary sources within the historical context, and b) an overview of how the remainder of your paper will be organized (a “roadmap” for your reader).
Your body paragraphs should each be organized around a main idea, and should offer evidence to support that main idea. Be sure that your paragraphs each have a topic sentence. Check to be sure that all of the evidence you offer in the paragraph relates to and supports that topic sentence.
Your conclusion should summarize your ideas and suggest connections to course themes.
Getting Help on the Assignment
Unless you happen to live with a history professor or graduate student, you probably won’t be able to get good help at home. Your cousin, uncle, mom, or best friend might be able to tell you whether you have spelling and typographical errors. They may be able to help you pinpoint places where your organization could be improved. But in all likelihood they will not know what makes a good history paper. For that reason, your first stop should be the Teaching Assistant, Student Assistant, or Professor of this class.
Remember that a good history paper does not necessarily look like a good paper for an English, Criminology, Philosophy, or Psychology class. Every discipline has its own conventions. To succeed on this paper, you should re-familiarize yourself with what history papers are like. For descriptions of how to approach assignments like this, revisit Mary Lynn Rampolla, A Pocket Guide to Writing in History, excerpts from Chapter 4 (posted on Blackboard under Writing Resources).
The History Department offers free tutoring for students working on history papers. This is available 5 days per week. Call 305-348-2328 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
You may also visit the professor and teaching/student assistants during their drop-in office hours