Charlas con Café (virtual): "Southern Cone Exiles in Cuba, 1972-1990"

Center for Latin American Studies, Fall 2021 virtual Charlas con café – a weekly space to hear lectures from a wide variety of experts and discuss topics relevant to the Latin American region, Fridays from 1-2 p.m. (unless otherwise specified)

"Southern Cone Exiles in Cuba, 1972-1990"

Friday, Dec. 3, 1-2pm (AZ Time)

With Tanya Harmer (The London School of Economics and Political Science)

This talk examines the refuge and solidarity revolutionary Cuba offered left-wing exiles from Chile and Uruguay in the 70s and 80s. Fleeing dictatorial rule at the height of the Cold War in Latin America, thousands arrived in Cuba in the years after 1972. Cuba represented a bastion of revolution in the Americas suffused with promises of internationalism and socialist modernity. It was conceived by many as a route of return: a transitory stop-over and a means of acquiring the experience, training and support to fight authoritarian regimes back home. However, these expectations did not always match reality. Exiles maintained their revolutionary identities but not always in ways they had hoped. Cuba provided sanctuary from persecution in a revolutionary society, but experiences differed depending on affiliations to different left-wing parties. Exploring Cuba’s significance as a place of exile for Chilean and Uruguayan exiles, this talk contrasts expectations with reality and charts the diversity of the exile experiences in Cuba. It draws on first hand testimonies of exiles to ask how refuge in revolutionary Cuba was experienced, remembered, and what this tells us about the complexities of the left within Latin America’s Cold War.

Tanya Harmer is a specialist on the Cold War in Latin America with a particular interest in the international, transnational and global dynamics of the struggle. She has written widely on Chile’s revolutionary process in the 1970s, the Cuban Revolution’s influence in Latin America, counter-revolution and inter-American diplomacy, solidarity networks, women, and gender. Her latest book tells the story of Beatriz Allende and Chile’s Revolutionary Left that came of age in the shadow of the Cuban Revolution.


1 p.m. to 2 p.m. Dec. 3, 2021

Event Contacts

Andrea Bennett