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Abstract

When Fidel Castro rose to power on 1January1959, Cubans left their Caribbean island in a mass exodus with hopes of returning in the near future. Miami, Florida's geographic location made it the logical point of entry into the United States. Today, forty-two years after the triumph of the Cuban revolution, Miami-Dade County contains the largest concentration of Cubans living in exile, approximately seven hundred thousand. With Hispanics comprising 49 percent of Miami-Dade County's population, Cubans by far outnumber all other Hispanics and are a majority across more than half the county's residential areas. Along with demographic growth and occupational mobility, many members of the Cuban American community made the Hispanic presence evident in local politics. Over the past twenty years, residents of Miami, South Miami, Sweetwater, Hialeah, and Coral Gables have elected candidates of Cuban origin to prominent positions in city and county governments. Cuban Americans represent Miami's districts in both the state legislature and the U.S. Congress.

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