Cuban students studying in the US
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Cuban 'misfits' in revolutionary US exchange

29 January 2014 Last updated at 00:49 GMT

The US city of Miami is home to the largest population of ex-patriate Cubans in the world. But a group of new arrivals, made up of people including lawyers, dissidents, and bloggers, is different.

They're the first Cuban exchange students to come to the US on J-1 visas since the revolution more than 50 years ago.

Hosted by Miami Dade College, and funded largely by donations from Cuban-Americans through a non-profit called the Foundation for Human Rights in Cuba, the exchange marks a rare moment of detente between the two countries.

The BBC joined a class to hear how two students, who have faced censorship and restrictions back in Cuba, are finding life in Florida.

Produced for the BBC by Leigh Paterson.

Altered States is a series of video features published every Wednesday on the BBC News website which examine how shifting demographics and economic conditions affect America on a local level.