The Politics and Culture of Cuba
What does the future hold for Cuba? In order to answer this question, this class plumbs the past for clues. We evaluate the creation and persistence of myths about Cuban history, focusing on the War of 1898, the First and Second Republican periods, and the many phases of the Revolution. As one of the world’s few remaining socialist regimes and the only surviving socialist regime in Latin America, Cuba is unique. But Cuba is also subject to many of the forces that have shaped other countries in Latin America and the third world: a heritage of Spanish colonialism and slavery, a geography that contains a limited array of natural resources and a system of government that has evolved under the constant shadow of the United States. To that extent we can learn something about Latin American politics—and politics more generally—by studying Cuba.