1. Background

The 1950s-1960s are shaking ages for Cuba– revolutions, invasions, subversive policies, etc. Part of the national events include:

1957: Castro’s 26 July Movement

1959: Success of the Cuban Revolution

1960 Cuban Nationalization of U.S. Property

1961 Bay of Pigs Invasion

1962 Cuban Missile Crisis

1967 Che Guevara Execution

1968 Closedown of All Private Bars and Restaurants

Our research showcases this shaking period through the eyes of individual Cuban Chinese. The following is part of our findings.

2. Family as a main theme

Our LDA analysis and the visually captivating results illustrate that the theme of home life maintains a significant presence throughout the entire time span, consistently ranking among the top three topics for thirteen years. From the Word Cloud, frequency of keywords like hometown, family, etc. stays high as well.

3. Focus shifts

Our LDA analysis and the visualization results also demonstrate the rise of topics like politics, financial exchange and education. The Word Cloud implies that the Chinese in Cuba paid more attention to government, the political environment and their financial resources entering the 1960s, echoing the turmoil and property nationalization witnessed by Cuba in the 1960s. The increasing concerns about the future outlook in the late 1960s also reflect the realistic voice of struggling Cuban Chinese.

4. Conclusion

The results from the LDA analysis and visualizations of about 200 family letters from Mr. Luis Ping Fan present a multifaceted representation of the Chinese community in Cuba spanning from 1955 to 1967. They walk us through the vivid history of Cuba again in their own stories, experiencing the family bond, focus shifts and much more untold secrets. By delving into these letters penned over 70 years ago, their lives resurface anew, reverberating across the other end of the ocean.