Michael J. Bustamante, Ph.D.

Cindy Seip

Michael J. Bustamante, Ph.D., is associate professor of history and the Emilio Bacardí Moreau Chair in Cuban and Cuban-American Studies at the University of Miami, where he teaches courses on Cuban, Latin American, Caribbean, Latinx, and U.S. histories. He previously served as assistant professor of Latin American history at Florida International University. With Jennifer Lambe, Bustamante is co-editor of, and contributor to, The Revolution from Within: Cuba, 1959-1980 (Duke University Press). In Cuban Memory Wars: Retrospective Politics in Revolution and Exile (University of North Carolina Press), by excavating Cubans’ contested memories of the revolution’s roots and results over its first 20 years Bustamante unsettles a familiar schism. The revolution represented deliverance from a legacy of inequality and national disappointment versus Cuba’s turn to socialism – which made the pre-revolutionary period look like a paradise lost. Those battles over the past, Bustamante argues, not only defied simple political divisions; they also helped shape the course of Cuban history itself. Drawing on troves of archival materials, including visual media, he tracks the process of what he calls “retrospective politics” across the Florida Straits. In doing so, he drives Cuban history beyond the polarized vision seemingly set in stone today and raises the prospect of a more inclusive national narrative.