Week 11: A Decade of Revolution in Cuba

Different political imaginaries are distinguished, among other ways, by the kinds of subject or agent that they produce or project. In less industrialized societies, where the proletariat is neither numerically large nor politically significant, revolutionary Marxism runs up against a problem: without sufficient gravediggers, who gives capitalism the burial it deserves?

Che Guevara outlines the birth of a new subject, the “new man.” This is for the most part a future subject, whose arrival is still to come; this is a “21st Century Man,” who will put behind him the “decadent and morbid” twentieth century. Indeed, there is something messianic about this figure, who will one day redeem a fallen history.

 

11. The Terror

Throughout the region, the military took centre stage, ushering in a reign of state violence and terror with the aim of securing social order and warding off the spectre of revolutionary change.

You should also watch the interview video with Max Cameron. Then there are the podcasts for this week, as well as student-made videos.

Note that each chapter of the textbook comes with online resources on the publisher's website. Simply click on the relevant tab for this week's reading.

Documents:

  • Ernesto "Che" Guevara, Letter from Major Ernesto Che Guevara to Carlos Quijano, editor of the Montevideo weekly magazine Marcha (March, 1965). (Dawson 259-272; translated as "Man and Socialism in Cuba"; Spanish original)
  • Senel Paz, “El Lobo, el Bosque, y el hombre nuevo” (excerpt). Trans. Robert Forstag. (Dawson 272-277)
  • Yoani Sánchez, “Architecture of the Emergency” (October 11, 2009). Trans. Mary Jo Porter and Yoani Sánchez. (Dawson 278-279) Originally posted at: http://lageneraciony.com/arquitectura-dela-urgencia/

Leading the Terror

Peru’s Civil War

This conversation with Max Cameron (Political Science, UBC) looks at Peru’s civil war of the 1980s in the context of a failed land reform and the state’s abandonment of the highlands. It also discusses Alberto Fujimori’s regime, and the war’s legacy today.

“The Terror”

Sendero Luminoso: Terror in Peru

Mannat Advani, Ximena Kuzma Mongrut, Silas Latchem, Kito Romero, and Carolina Rueda:

“The Terror”

Camila Sol and Miles Zhang:

Sendero Luminoso

Emily Townsend and Piero Castillo:

The Dirty Wars

Alec Dawson (Professor, History and International Studies, Simon Fraser University), author of Latin America Since Independence: A History with Primary Sources, considers the context and reasons for the Dirty Wars that took place in many parts of Latin America between the 1970s and 1990s.

This podcast complements chapter nine of his textbook.

The Cold War

Aerial Photograph of Medium Range Ballistic Missile Launch Site During Cuban Missile Crisis

Alec Dawson (Professor, History and International Studies, Simon Fraser University), author of Latin America Since Independence: A History with Primary Sources, discusses US policy towards Latin America during the Cold War.

This podcast complements chapter nine of his textbook, “The Terror” (though it also goes equally well with chapter six, “Commerce, Coercion, and America’s Empire”).

More Resources For Week 11 >>