Category: Cuba: A View From the Island

Cuban’s Memories of the 1960s: The Ecstasies and the Agonies

The 1960s was a tumultuous decade in Cuba. For islanders, the decade began in 1959 with the overthrow of the dictator Fulgencio Batista, the emblematic “triumph of the revolution.” It ended in 1970 with the disastrous sugar harvest, which ushered in the Sovietization of Cuba. In contrast to official history, a one-dimensional story of good versus evil, the three life histories related here portray close-up the ecstasies and the …

The Venceremos Brigade: A 60s Political Journey

In the spring of 1961, as a 14-year-old in Baltimore, Maryland, interested in current events, I read in the New York Times about Cubans fighting for freedom at a place called the Bay of Pigs, against a dictatorship that had hijacked a popular revolution. When the forces of good failed to triumph at the Bay of Pigs, I was shocked. A classmate of mine—a precocious member of the Young Socialist Alliance— told me that the …

The Institutionalization of the Cuban Revolution in the 1960s: The Failure of the Radical Experiment

“This time the revolution is for real!” Fidel Castro declared upon entering Santiago de Cuba on 1 January 1959. At that time few Cubans had pondered what a real revolution was and what its consequences would be. Almost all were elated with the downfall of Fulgencio Batista. Cubans from all walks of life exuberantly embraced the young Fidel and therebeldes. Two years later no one would doubt the revolution was, indeed,…

The Legacy of Che Guevara: His Significance in the Americas

English + Spanish
An October 2007 article in The Wall Street Journal intended to deprecate Ernesto “Che” Guevara on the 40th anniversary of his assassination in Bolivia. Instead, the article was an unintentionally eloquent description of his significance in the Americas. The article, headlined “Forty years after, the shadow of Che still falls over Latin America,” reveals why the empire pursued Che with so much malice and assassinated him with so much …

The Crisis of the Scissors: The Paradoxes of a Revolution in Progress

In January 1959, the rebels who expelled the dictator Fulgencio Batista came down from the Cuban mountains with their long flowing hair, ample beards and necklaces hung with religious motifs. The image of those who liberated the island by themselves—with an unconventional ideology not found in the dominant doctrines—became an integral part of “The Sixties.” Some understood the Cuban revolution as a subversive …

The Red Year: Politics, Society and Culture in 1968

English + EspañolAt the beginning of 1968, when Che Guevara had been dead in Bolivia for only three months and five years had gone by since the missile crisis, Cuba found itself practically alone in the hemisphere, menaced by triple threats: the impunity of the actions of the United States in the Vietnam War; ostracism by the rest of the governments in the region; and the pressures on the Revolution to align itself …

Loading

Filter Articles

  • Categories

  • Countries

  • Themes