Alejandro Portes

Alejandro Portes is the Howard Harrison and Gabrielle Snyder Beck Professor of Sociology and the director of the Center for Migration and Development at Princeton University.

Recent Articles

Morning in Miami

It's not only the pope who believes the U.S. should lift its embargo. A growing number of Cuban Americans think the old hard-line strategy to oust Castro just isn't working.

T he recent visit of Pope John Paul II to Cuba gave the world an unusual glimpse of the last officially communist nation in the West. The implausible location of that country, just a short hop from American shores, was highlighted by the thousands of American pilgrims on the island for the occasion. The two old men who warmly greeted each other on the tarmac of José Martí International Airport could not be more different, but they also know each other. The pope knows communism intimately from his Polish and Eastern European days; Fidel knows the Church intimately from being brought up Catholic by Jesuit priests. They dueled with great finesse during those five days, trading subtle barbs at each other's ideology. Only on one point did they firmly coincide—the immorality of the United States's economic encirclement of Cuba and the need to bring it to an end. It was this common point that actually opened the doors of the island to the pope, creating a political turning...