Famous Cuban Americans
History › Cuban Americans
Cubans are a mix of etnic and racial origins, mostly decendants of the Spanish immigrants and colonizers; imported negro slaves from Africa and Chinese labourers.
The living on the island and the sugar plantations was hard, the economic prospects meagre.
After the Cuban Revolution between 1959 - 1979 hundreds of thousand of citizens left the island for the United States.
In 1980 the Cuban Authorities allowed a massive exodus of people, known as the Mariel Boatlift
. More than 100,000 Cubans left the local harbor Mariel with hundreds of crowded boats towards Miami.
For economic reasons and in search of a more prosperous life thousands of Cubans escaped from the island by rafts or speedboats mostly with only their clothes on.
Several died on the sea, this led to the US
Wet foot - Dry foot policy
where'by Cubans can stay in the United States if they can reach dry U.S. soil.
Over time all this people were integrated in the U.S. society and many became respected U.S. citizens.
Nowadays more than one million Cuban Americans live in the United States,
many in places like Miami, (for this reason also called "Little Havana"), Texas, Chicago, New Jersey and New York.
Famous Cuban Americans
In the Entertainment Business
Many people would be surprised how many of them have achieved fame in the world of entertainment. While there are many more who fit this category, below are just a few of the most well known.
Desi Arnaz may be one of the most famous Cuban Americans to achieve fame. Born in Santiago, Cuba, Arnaz moved to the United States to be a part of the big band movement. While his original career was in music, his break into film came when he met and married Lucille Ball. Soon thereafter, the couple became the stars of the television show “I Love Lucy.” In addition, Arnaz and his wife established Desilu Productions. In modern times, the well-known actor, Andy Garcia is a another famous Cuban American. Garcia was born in Havana, with the name of Andres Arturo Garcia Menendez. He moved to the United States at a young age and eventually became a well established actor, starring in such films as “The Godfather Part III,” “When a Man Loves a Woman,” and “The Lost City.”
Further famous Cuban Americans include Eddie Cibrian, Rosario Dawson, Daisy Fuentes, Eva Mendes, Cesar Romero, and Jamie-Lynn Sigler.
In the Music Industry
Gloria Estefan began her career in her home of Havana Cuba. However, she went on to become one of the most established Latin singers in the United States. Throughout her career, Estefan has taken home seven Grammy’s, and her songs have reached top one hundred billboards time and again. Her music, which includes a significant Latin influence, includes such well known pieces as “Rhythm is Gonna Get You” and “Anything for You.”
Other famous Cuban Americans include musicians Jon Secada, Fantasia Barrino, Irene Cara, and Jorge Moreno
In the Sports
Because of the tight control of the regime, many people chose to move to the United States in order to take part in various sports. This means that there are a number of famous Cubans in the world of American sports.
Jose Canseco was born in Regla, Cuba, but was brought to Miami when he was just a baby. In 1985, he was drafted into Major League Baseball by the Oakland Athletics. During his baseball career, he achieved all-star status on several occasions.
Other well known Cuban Americans include Tony Gonzales, Bronson Arroyo, Yunel Escobar, James Hernandez, Rafael Palmeiro, and Jennifer Rodriguez.
In the Political World
As more and more people from Cuba have made their home in the United States, it is no wonder that they have begun to make a presence in the politics of the country.
Some of the political members of the United States government who are from Cuba include James Devereux, Joe Garcia, Mel Martinez, John Sununu, Al Cardenas, Emilio Gonzalez, and Marco Rubio.
Cuban Americans have served as members of the United States House of Representatives and the United States Senate. In addition, they have served as foreign ambassadors, cabinet members, and state attorney generals.
In the Business World
One may be surprised at the number of Cuban Americans who have become successful businessmen in the country. For example, Ralph Alvarez was born in Cuba. He has since become an American citizen and now serves as the President of the McDonalds Corporation.
Other well-known Cuban American business people include the Bacardi family, famous for the line of Rum, Alex Aguila, who is the co-founder of the software group Alienware, and Carlos Gutierrez, CEO of Kellogg.
Because of they vast number of Cubans who have found freedom and made their home in the United States, a number have achieved a level of fame in many different United States industries, including entertainment, sports, politics and business. The aforementioned names are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to Cubans in America.
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