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The Guerrilla Legacy of the Cuban RevolutionClayfield, Anna; University of Chester (University Press of Florida, 2019-06-15)In this extensively researched book, Anna Clayfield challenges contemporary Western views on the militarization of Cuba. She argues that, while the pervasiveness of armed forces in revolutionary Cuba is hard to refute, it is the guerrilla legacy, ethos, and image—guerrillerismo—that has helped the Cuban revolutionary project survive. The veneration of the guerilla fighter has been crucial to the political culture’s underdog mentality. Analyzing official discourse, including newspapers, history textbooks, army training manuals, the writings of Che Guevara, and the speeches of Fidel Castro, Clayfield examines how the Cuban government has promoted guerrilla motifs. She traces this rhetorical strategy from the beginnings of the Rebel Army in the 1950s and the implementation of Soviet-style management in the 1960s and 1970s, through the shifting ideologies of the 1980s and the instability of the 1990s Special Period, until the present day. By weaving the guerilla ethos into the fabric of Cuban identity, the government has garnered legitimacy for the political authority of former guerrilleros, even decades after the end of armed conflicts. The Guerilla Legacy of the Cuban Revolution chronicles how guerrilla rhetoric has allowed the Revolution to adapt and transform over time while appearing to remain true to its founding principles. It also raises the question of just how long this discourse can sustain the Revolution when its leaders are no longer veterans of the sierra, those guerrillas who participated in that armed struggle that brought them to power so many years ago.
IntroductionClayfield, Anna; Kirk, Emily J.; Story, Isabel; Dalhousie University; University of Chester; Nottingham Trent University (Lexington Books, 2018-08-24)Cuba's Forgotten Decade provides a comprehensive assessment of the 1970s that challenges prevailing interpretations of the decade as simply a period of "Sovietization" characterized by widespread bureaucratization, institutionalization, and adherence to Soviet orthodoxy. Drawing from multidisciplinary perspectives and exploring a range of areas - including politics, international relations, culture, education, and healthcare - the contributing authors demonstrate that the 1970s were a time of intense transformation that proved pivotal to the development of the Revolution. Indeed, many of the ideas, approaches, policies, and legislation developed and tested during this decade maintain a very visible legacy in contemporary Cuba. In highlighting the complexity of the 1970s, this volume contributes to a greater understanding of the Cuban Revolution and how the country has faced the challenges of the twenty-first century.
Militarized by Moscow? Re-examining Soviet Influence on Cuba in the 1970sClayfield, Anna; University of Chester (Lexington Books, 2018-08-24)Cuba in the 1970s has long been characterized as the decade in which the Revolution became not only thoroughly “Sovietized” but, consequently, “militarized”. This apparent “militarization” supposedly put an end to the guerrilla ethos that had buttressed the Revolution until then, replacing it with a more methodical approach and the pervasive presence of the newly professionalized armed forces across the political and social landscape. This chapter challenges the notion that the Revolution was either completely “Sovietized” or “militarized” during the 1970s. Drawing on a range of materials published in Cuba during the period in question, it argues that, while the Revolution certainly transformed structurally, its underpinning guerrilla values, as expressed in official discourse, remained unchanged as it entered its second decade in power.