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In the years after Fulgencio Batista’s 1952 military coup, the University of Havana was a hotbed of anti-government organizing.

Miami-based poet Angel Cuadra was in the middle of this, and the decisions he made during this time cost him 15 years in prison.

Now, he’s a leading intellectual in the Cuban exile Community. His great niece, Vanessa Rancaño, brings us his story and his reflections on changing U.S.-Cuba relations, beginning with the moment Cuadra and his fellow students realized the democracy they’d been fighting for would never happen as long as Fidel Castro was in power.