Dr. Luis Martinez-Fernandez

Episode 52: Latinx's Role in Protecting Democracy in the U.S.

Meet Dr. Luis Martinez-Fernandez, a professor of history who experienced life events that demonstrated the fragility of democracy itself, and who now is committed to protecting it. Dr. Martinez-Fernandez was born in Cuba and two years later, his family migrated to Miami as a consequence of the Cuban Revolution. They moved to Lima, Peru afterward, only to flee another anti-democratic event, which led them to move to Puerto Rico, where he completed his Bachelor's and Master's degrees in History.  Years later, he embarked on yet another migration, this time by choice, to North Carolina, to pursue his Ph.D. in History at Duke University, and he has been living in the continental U.S. ever since.  Dr. Luis Martinez-Fernandez became a historian because he wanted to understand his life story, and this led him to specialize in the History of Latin America and the Caribbean. 

We talked about the various events that we have experienced, as citizens of Venezuela, and Cuba, and about the political trauma that we and our families have experienced throughout our lives, and how that trauma sometimes gets in the way of understanding the political situation in the U.S. for what it is, without adding extra color from our experiences. We also discussed the recent global events that, once again, indicate that democracy is fragile and in need of protection, and we talked about the role that Latinx like you and me, play in helping protect it. It boils down to practicing civil engagement and stepping into power, and the responsibility that comes with being the largest minority group in the U.S. and the fastest growing one.