The forth aspect of the Afro-Cuban experience which Helg mentions is the formation of the first black political party in the hemisphere, which, as I will address later, was destroyed between 1910-1912. When it is finally destroyed in 1912, official antiblack violence is what destroys it, and Helg shows that as the fifth particularity of the Cuban case. Lastly, Helg discusses the reconciliation of the "democratic ideologies versus racist practices" contradiction in Cuba for her final aspect of uniqueness. This last characteristic which Helg mentions played a huge role in the maintenance of racial hierarchies in Cuba.
Comparing the race problems with those in the United States, that the government uses as a tool to have Afro-Cubans feel that their situation is not as bad as their brothers in America, effectively lessens the feelings of racism in Cuba (131-132). Finally, Sawyer concludes that the advances made in racial relation post-Revolution has been compromised by all the conditions that I have documented previously, and I agree wholeheartedly with his assessments (131).
The study of race relations in contemporary Cuba indelibly requires an understanding of the dynamic history of race relations in this ethnically pervasive island of the Caribbean. Cuban society, due to its historical antecedents of European colonialism and American imperialism, has traditionally experienced anguished and even tumultuous race relations. Racial disharmony has plagued Cuban society ever since the advent of the Colonial institution of the plantation system. Thus, in order to acquire some understanding of Cuba’s dynamic race relations one must study and investigate the evolution of racial tensions and the quintessential
Cuban history, like many other countries in Latin America and the Caribbean which have experienced colonial subjugation and imperial interference, is highlighted by tumultuous rebellions. Ever since the revolt of Carlos Manuel de Cespedes in 1868, who took up arms with his slaves to liberate Cuba from Spain’s colonial grasp, the existence of insurrectionists and adamant government opposition in Cuba has flourished. Social revolution and a strong will and practice of nationalism has indelibly characterized Cuban history. Nevertheless, the outcomes of particular movements and struggles for social justice have consistently frustrated revolutionary and radical leaders. Government regimes throughout
Earlier this week President Obama made history by being the first American president in 90 years to visit Cuba. This visit will not only mark the monumental progress made in the American-Cuban relationship but it also began to shed light on the racial inequalities present in Cuba. While Americans haven’t been allowed to travel to Cuba and many embargos were placed on the country, it hasn’t been completely isolated from the western world. With almost all western cultures racial/ethnic inequalities are very much present throughout the society. Cuba is no exception. What makes Cuba special however, is the amount of effort put in to create a post-racial society. While after the revolution they tried incredibly hard to eradicate racial/ethnic inequality they “fell short” according to a recent NPR broadcast. With the Cubans relationship with the Americans growing, Cuban racial inequality is being slowly brought to the American spotlight.
Until sugar production made Cuba the wealthiest agricultural region on earth in the nineteenth century, the island was considered relatively diverse, compared to others in the Caribbean. The quality of soil was universally unparalleled, and gained countries interest. Although the French and Spanish were in feud over the island, merchants from Portugal, England, and Holland participated in trade, which brought diversity to Cuba. At the end of the eighteenth century, the Haitian Revolution changed the racial, social, and economical demographics on Cuba. Seeing that the Haitian revolution was a triumph of colossus proportions, the individuals who started it, embodied the spirit that initiated the great uprising. From the late eighteenth century, into the nineteenth century, formally freed slaved from Haiti migrated to Cuba in astonishing numbers. This not only altered the demographics on the island, it brought in a new workforce that proliferated local sugar production. Within a short period of time, Cuba became the biggest sugar cane producer in the world. The United States gained interest in capitalizing from the islands newfound wealth, and being close in proximity made the temptation of interfere with France and Spain irresistible. In the late nineteenth century, the United States interfered with Cuba’s fight for independence and increased their investments tenfold. By the beginning of the twentieth century, the US gained control of the island through ownership,
As Pérez-Stable says, "safeguarding the Cuban quota in the U.S. market was their priority" (16-17). Conflicts arose between industrialists who wished to diversify Cuba’s economy by encouraging growth of other industries, and sugar producers who desired to maintain sugar’s economic dominance. According to Pérez-Stable, industrialists argued that a diversity of products would improve the Cuban economy and "change only the composition of Cuba-U.S. trade, not its overall amount" (23). For its part, the sugar industry continued to insist that its interests were best for the nation (Pérez-Stable 23). Despite some attempts at sugar reform, the Cuban government, which was reluctant to weaken its economic ties with the United States for fear of losing its support, refrained from taking any serious steps. The discontent produced by the lack of economic diversification added fuel to the fire of the revolutionary cause.
Cuba, officially known as the Republic of Cuba (which it, most assuredly, is not), is a large island nation located in the northern part of the Caribbean Sea, closer to the United States than Latin America. Historically, Cuba was inhabited by indigenous Americans, of which the Taíno comprised the dominant culture on the island (Dacal Moure and Rivero de la Calle, 1996). From the time of Columbus until 1898, Cuba was governed by Spain, and its agricultural economy relied on the importation of African slaves (Suchlicki, 2002). The people of Cuba are, at this time, an intermixture of these three ethnic groups, though people with lighter colored skin are generally in the higher socioeconomic strata, meaning which in Cuba means either professionals
On January 8th, 1959, Fidel Castro and his rebel army marched triumphantly into Havana, Cuba, having overthrown corrupt dictator Fulgencio Batista the week earlier. It was the fruition of the Cuban Revolution, and the dramatic shift in power was about to radically alter the country’s political, social and economic course forever. The positive and negative effects of the revolution on the Cuban people, however, as well as the condition of Cuba’s economy pre and post-revolution, is subject to heated debate. Castro’s iron-fisted regime was the introduction of communism into the western hemisphere, and now, over fifty years later, the Cuban Revolution continues to be one of the most controversial events of the twentieth century. Despite the criticism levelled at Fidel Castro and his communist regime, however, the Cuban Revolution was necessary in improving the quality of life for the majority of Cuban citizens. The four fundamental categories on which to assess this are healthcare, education, economy and governance. By comparing the country’s overall performance under Fulgencio Batista versus under Fidel Castro in these areas crucial to a fully-functioning nation, it can be shown that the Cuban Revolution was a necessary and positive change in Cuban society which benefitted the majority of citizens.
As a result, Mintz completely transformed my ideas on industrial capitalism. As a consumer and lover of sugar, I have now given a considerable amount of thought to the sugar that I consumed so often. The extent to which the Caribbean people and land were exploited is unfathomable. When speaking of a “plantation”, Americans usually think and refer to the cotton plantations in the South. Even those Americans with roots in the Caribbean are completely unaware of the exploitation of their land and people. The long-term effects of this exploitation led to the underdevelopment of these Caribbean countries. These effects are still evident today as most of the Caribbean islands are labeled as “Third World Countries”.
Therefore, for the purpose of this essay, we will define “increased Spanish autonomy” in terms of the increased influx of Spanish citizens into Cuba seeking to exploit sugar production for financial gains. This definition will also explore the increased taxes and impositions placed on Cuba as a result of its increased importance to the Spanish empire as a sugar exporter and revenue producing colony. This is a change from its less significant economic role before the
Brittmarie Janson Perez, author of Political Facets of Salsa, writes, “Late at night, in a discotheque in a Latin American country whose political system is dominated by the military and is not particularly known for its respect for human rights, a crowd is dancing salsa, a generic term covering Caribbean dance music” (149). This has been and continues to be a very commonly accurate depiction of many Latin American countries. Since Cuba was founded in October 1492, its government and politics has been characterized by brutality, corruption and instability. Nonetheless, involvement from foreign nations and its deeply engrained Spanish roots has without a doubt had a significant impact on the transformation of what Cuba is today. In this paper, I will explore the pros and cons of the 1959 Cuban Revolution through the examination of the historical context of politics and how it impacted the social atmosphere.
In retrospect, the Cuban Revolution was more than a revolution of ideas, but a revolution of transforming the entire Cuban economy and society. Through Che’s idea of transforming the mind of each Cuban citizen into the “New Man” and the Agrarian Land Reform in the early stages of the revolution many were optimistic. Castro’s regime believed in giving power back to the peasants and in liberating the country from U.S. dominance. Many of these ideals seemed promising, but Castro and Che neglected the fact that the Cuban economy depended so much on sugar as a staple product, and the U.S. market. Castro, and Che lack what this paper will try to provide – hindsight. Through the analysis of secondary sources Che’s image, ideas, successes, and failures will be analyzed to prove why the Cuban Revolution was successful due to Che’s influence.
Cuba was one of the territories that United States imperialized. The US was a heavy consumer of the sugar produced in Cuba but didn’t meet the sugar industry demands. The international market collapsed, and the US used this opportunity to purchase the sugar mills in Cuba “Cuban sugar mills into bankruptcy … sensing an opportunity, investors from the United States
Despite these discriminatory practices, the white elite insisted that Cuban society was fair to all its members by hiding behind what Helg calls "the myth of racial equality". According to this myth, Cuba had attained racial equality because white masters had freed their slaves during the first war of attempted independence, blacks and whites had fought side by side in the war, and that if blacks were not successful, it was due to their own lack of merits (Helg 105-106). However, the myth failed to take into account that some masters had opposed the freeing of their slaves, that Afro-Cubans were over-represented in the independence army and in the lower ranks, and that slavery had deprived blacks of the opportunity to acquire the skills they needed to succeed in professional careers (105-106).