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Cuba: Crossroads of the Americas

Notre Dame student Armani Porter said a chance encounter with a native Cuban at a salsa dancing club opened his mind to the unique history of this island in confronting questions of race and freedom.

As an African American with Cuban ancestry, Porter was intrigued to hear that racial divisions are less sharp in this nation rebuilt on an ideology of equality. His acquaintance did acknowledge limits on Internet access, speech and travel, but claimed that Cubans have “everything that matters.” These statements pushed back against typical preconceptions of the communist country with which President Obama has recently re-opened diplomatic relations after more than 50 years of a U.S. policy of isolation.

“This is the first time I’ve ever been able to learn about my history, to go to a place and say ‘This is where I’m from,’” said Porter, a fluent Spanish speaker studying theology and neuroscience.

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Categories: International, Faith

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