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Through an imbrication of autobiographical anecdotes and critical readings of Cuban American cultural production of the 1990's, this study attempts to parse the rhetorical structures and strictures that have come to define Cuban Americans in terms of the contentious discourses of Cold War ideological conflict. I argue that Eduardo Aparicio's "Fragmentos de narraciones cubanas," Elizabeth Mesa-Gaido's "Upon the Arrival of My Family" and Cristina García’s Dreaming in Cuban revolt against restrictive definitions of Cuban American identity by reenacting and working through traumas in order to posit new understandings of cubanidad and cubanía. Yet Aparicio's photographs, Mesa-Gaido's installation and García’s novel engage "Cuba" as an undefined, polysemic object of melancholic loss suggesting that these works remain entrenched in problematic repetitions of the very discourses against which they revolt.