The Origins of the Cuban Revolution: A New Look

April 23, 2004 - 4:30 pm

Samuel Farber, Brooklyn College and The Graduate Center, CUNY

Samuel Farber will discuss a new look, with the help of recently declassified information from U.S. and Soviet archives, into why the Cuban Revolution evolved from a multi-class, anti-dictatorial, political revolution into a social revolution. Did the U.S. push Fidel Castro and his government into the arms of the USSR and Communism? Were Fidel Castro and other revolutionary leaders merely reacting to U.S. foreign policy towards Cuba, or were they relatively autonomous actors carrying out their own political ideas? What role did the USSR and the old Cuban Communists play in the early stages of the revolutionary process? These questions are relevant to the larger issue of whether the social radicalism of the Cuban Revolution was rooted in the social and economic conditions of the country, or whether the Cuban Republic was politically reformable and developing economically.

Samuel Farber is currently working on the book, Rethinking the Origins of the Cuban Revolution (tentative title, under contract with the University of North Carolina Press). He has written extensively on Cuba, including his Revolution and Reaction in Cuba, 1933-1960.