- 8,49 €
A concise, readable and thoroughly revised overview of Cuba written by Cubans for anyone interested in quickly understanding the island country’s turbulent history.
Cuba: A Brief History covers the pre-Hispanic period, through Cuba’s struggle to maintain the revolution in the years following the collapse of the Soviet Union, to the period after Fidel Castro’s decision to step down from office, to the 2014 opening to Cuba by the Obama Administration, the retirement of Raul Castro and his replacement as president in 2018 by Miguel Diaz Canal, and finally to the reversal of Washington’s engagement with Cuba under President Trump. This slim volume provides the reader with an overview of the history and politics of the tiny Caribbean island that continues to appear at the center of world events.
Featuring a presentation and analysis of US intervention on the island, Cuba: A Brief History also includes footnotes and a bibliography for further reading. This is an essential introduction to Cuba for students, visitors, and others looking for a bird’s eye view of the turbulent history of the island that has captivated and enthralled its northern neighbors for decades.
In this thin and workmanlike account, University of Havana historians Vilaboy and Vega sketch Cuba's development from the arrival of Christopher Columbus in 1492 to the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic. Briskly recounting the archipelago's transition from a Spanish sugar plantation colony to an independent socialist state, the authors forego complexity and color in favor of dry economic data and bland euphemisms about the Mariel boatlift, the Elián González affair, and other controversies. Though Vilaboy and Vega provide accurate and persuasive details related to U.S. and Soviet meddling in Cuban affairs, their overwhelmingly positive depiction of Fidel Castro and his political legacy begs skepticism, as does their assertion that "the vast majority of the Cuban people cherish the gains of their revolution and continue to seek a prosperous and sustainable form of socialism." Economic struggles are consistently blamed on foreign interventions and disappointing sugarcane harvests, rather than government policies; "dogmatism and intolerance" are glossed over; and there is a noticeable lack of attention paid to racial issues within Cuban society. As a basic primer on Cuban history that takes a decidedly anti-imperialist and pro-socialist stance, however, this delivers. Readers seeking the perspective of those who remain committed to the Cuban revolution may want to have a look.