Born into a Cuban-American family and raised in South Florida, Michael is an Assistant Professor of Latin American history at Florida International University in Miami. His research, writing, and teaching focus on the history of Cuba and the Cuban-American community. He is a frequently sought-after commentator on contemporary Cuban and Cuban-American affairs for U.S. and international media. He received his Ph.D. from Yale University.
Michael is the author of Cuban Memory Wars: Retrospective Politics in Revolution and Exile and co-editor of The Revolution from Within: Cuba 1959-1980. Additional academic writing has appeared in journals such as Journal of American Ethnic History and Latino Studies. His writing on contemporary Cuban politics has been featured in Foreign Affairs and The Washington Post, among other publications. He serves on the editorial board of the journal Cuban Studies. Prior to his career in academia, Michael served as Research Associate for Latin America Studies at the Council on Foreign Relations, a foreign policy think tank.
He has been traveling to Cuba since 2005, at which time he connected with relatives on the island that no one in his immediately family had seen in decades. Since 2013, Michael has served as a study-leader for diverse educational trips to Cuba. A gifted storyteller, Michael’s quick wit and infinite source of anecdotes gives him the ability to convey detailed history in a lively and fascinating manner. He remains a firm believer in the power of cultural exchange, and welcomes the opportunity to introduce new visitors to Cuba’s contentious history, the contradictions of its present, and the resilient people who navigate both.