Student NameMauricio Perez
Faculty Mentor NameLillian Guerra
CollegeCollege of Liberal Arts and Science
MajorPolitical Science
MinorInnovation
Research InterestsHistory
Academic AwardsAdvanced Placement Scholars Award, Parent Teacher Association Scholar Award, Dean's List
Hobbies and InterestsMy main pastime is my involvement wherein I organize events for my community to feel engaged as well as socialize and mobilize for action.

Research Project

The Camarioca Boatlift of 1965

The Camarioca Boatlift of 1965 is a critical moment in Cuban and US history and an unfortunately understudied one. It was one of the earliest mass migrations of Cubans to the United States in modern exile history bringing about new political and socioeconomic diversity to the Cuban exile. This new exile was the source of many of the first foreign perceptions of the ongoings of the Cuban Revolution within the island. The boatlift also served as the political trigger for the “Freedom Flights” program (1965-1972) and represented the first encounter between the Castro administration and the exile community since the 1961 Bay of Pigs invasion. At the time of Camarioca, an ever-deepening economic crisis, material austerity, and the increasing consolidation of a citizen-state apparatus for policing criticisms and discontent shaped society. My research asks why Fidel Castro ordered the closure of the port, ending the boatlift, in only four weeks and what might have been if it had remained open: How many Cubans wanted to leave? This project would help illuminate the development of the Cuban exile and the details of 1965 as a turning point in Cuban history.