Cuba: A New History

Cuba: A New History

by Richard Gott



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Cuba: A New History by Richard Gott

This new look at the history of Cuba illuminates the island's entire revolutionary past as well as the most recent decades of the Castro regime. Events in Fidel Castro's island nation often command international attention and just as often inspire controversy. Impassioned debate over situations as diverse as the Cuban Missile Crisis and the Elian Gonzalez affair is characteristic not only in modern times but throughout the centuries of Cuban history. In this concise and up-to-date book, British journalist Richard Gott casts a fresh eye on the history of the Caribbean island from its pre-Columbian origins to the present day. He provides a European perspective on a country that is perhaps too frequently seen solely from the American point of view. The author emphasizes such little-known aspects of Cuba's history as its tradition of racism and violence, its black rebellions, the survival of its Indian peoples, and the lasting influence of Spain. The book also offers an original look at aspects of the Revolution, including Castro's relationship with the Soviet Union, military exploits in Africa, and his attempts to promote revolution in Latin America and among American blacks. In a concluding section, Gott tells the extraordinary story of the Revolution's survival in the post-Soviet years, and prospects for the future.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780300104110
Publisher: Yale University Press
Publication date: 08/30/2004
Pages: 384
Product dimensions: 6.13(w) x 9.25(h) x (d)

About the Author

Richard Gott, a British journalist and historian with many years’ experience in Latin America, first visited Cuba in 1963 and has reported from the island many times since. He is the author of the classic work on post-Castro revolutionary movements, Guerrilla Movements in Latin America, and most recently of In the Shadow of the Liberator: Hugo Chavez and the Transformation of Venezuela.

Table of Contents

Introduction: the Cuban people5
1Insecure settlement: slaughter, slavery and piracy, 1511-174011
Hatuey and Diego Velasquez: Indian cacique versus Spanish conquistador, 151111
What happened to Cuba's Indians?21
Importing a black slave population23
The beat of Drake's drum, 158626
Sugar and tobacco: the seventeenth-century development of the island's wealth36
2The Spanish empire under challenge, 1741-186839
Guantanamo falls to Admiral Vernon, 174139
Havana falls to the Earl of Albemarle, 176241
Spain's fresh interest in Cuba, 1763-179142
The slave rebellion in Saint-Domingue, 179144
The sharp increase in the slave population, 1763-184146
The first zephyrs of independence, 1795-182448
Powerful voices advocate white immigration52
The seeds of US intervention, 1823-185157
Cuban slavery comes under British attack, 1817-184259
Black rebellion: the conspiracy of La Escalera, 1843-184464
Narciso Lopez and the threat of US annexation, 1850 and 185167
3Wars of independence and occupation, 1868-190271
The Grito de Yara and the outbreak of the Ten Year War, 186871
General Lersundi and the Volunteers seize Havana, 1868-186974
Rebel arguments over slavery and annexation77
The Pact of Zanjon, and the Protest of Baragua, 187881
Jose Marti and the fresh dreams of independence84
The death of the Apostle, May 189588
Spain and Cuba again at war, 1895-189890
General Weyler's development of the concentration camp, 1896-189793
'Remember the Maine!': the US intervention in Cuba, 189897
General Wood and the US occupation of Cuba, 1898-1902104
Mortgaged independence: the Platt Amendment, 1902110
4The Cuban Republic, 1902-1952113
A Republic for Americans: Estrada Palma and Charles Magoon, 1902-1909113
A Republic for white settlers from Spain118
A Republic denied to blacks: Evaristo Estenoz and the black massacre of 1912120
A Republic for gamblers: Mario Menocal and Bert Crowder125
A Republic under dictatorship: Gerardo Machado, the tropical Mussolini, 1925-1933129
A Republic for revolutionaries: Antonio Guiteras and the Revolution of 1933135
A Republic designed for Fulgencio Batista, 1934-1952142
5Castro's Revolution takes shape, 1953-1961147
Castro's attack on Moncada, 26 July 1953147
The Granma landing and the revolutionary war, 1956-1958154
The dawn of the Revolution: January 1959165
Blacks in the Revolution, 1959172
The Revolution's impact abroad, 1959-1960175
The United States' reaction to the Revolution, 1959-1960178
The Soviet Union's reaction to the Revolution, 1959-1960181
'The First Declaration of Havana': the Revolution changes gear, 1960183
The economics of the Revolution, 1959-1961186
The campaign to eradicate illiteracy, 1961188
6The Revolution in power, 1961-1968190
The exile invasion at the Bay of Pigs, April 1961190
The missiles of October, 1962195
Castro's early honeymoon with the Soviet Union, May 1963209
The first exodus: Camarioca, 1965211
Exporting the Revolution: Latin America, 1962-1967215
Exporting the Revolution: Black Cuba's return to Africa, 1960-1966219
Exporting the Revolution: mobilising black Americans225
Exporting the Revolution: Che Guevara's expedition to Bolivia, 1966-1967231
7Inside the Soviet camp, 1968-1985235
The Prague Spring, and the decisive turn to the Soviet Union, 1968235
'Ten million tons': the failure of the sugar target of 1970240
'The Brezhnev Years': restructuring the country in the Soviet image, 1972-1982243
Opposition to the Soviet line, at home and abroad, 1968-1972246
An opening to the mainland: Castro's visit to Allende's Chile, 1971248
Cuba leaps to the defence of Angola, 1975250
The nomadic road to socialism: Castro and the Ethiopian revolution, 1977256
Havana, Washington and Miami in the Carter years, 1976-1979261
The second exodus: the Mariel boatlift, 1980266
Revolutions in Nicaragua and Grenada, 1979269
8Cuba stands alone, 1985-2003273
Mikhail Gorbachev: the new broom in Moscow: 1985273
Cuba's victory at Cuito Cuanavale, 1988276
The execution of Arnaldo Ochoa, 1989279
The 'Special Period in Peacetime', 1990286
The third exodus: the riot on the Malecon, August 1994298
The Torricelli and Helms-Burton Acts, 1992 and 1996300
Pope John Paul's visit to Havana, 1998306
The case of Elian Gonzalez, 1999310
Dissent and opposition, 1991-2003314
Cuba in the twenty-first century317
Appendix ALetter from John Quincey Adams, US secretary of state, to Hugh Nelson, the American minister in Madrid, 23 April 1823326
Appendix BThe Platt Amendment, 1902327
Appendix CExtracts from the Helms-Burton Act, 1996329
Guide to further reading360
Photograph credits363

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Cuba: A New History 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Richard Gott is a British journalist and historian with many yearsf experience of covering Latin America. He has written a very useful book on Cubafs long struggle for national independence and sovereignty. The first third of the book examines the Cuban peoplefs struggle against Spanish occupation from the 16th to the 19th centuries. The rest of the book looks at Cubafs 20th century struggle against the US empire. The USA intervened militarily in Cuba in 1906-09, 1912, 1917-23 and 1961, always on the pretexts of establishing democracy and order. In 1902 the US state imposed the Platt Amendment on Cuba. Its seventh paragraph gave the USA the erightf to establish permanent military bases on Cuba. It was repealed in 1934, but the dictator Batista signed a new treaty allowing the USA to keep its huge military base at Guantanamo Bay. Gott shows how in 1959 the people defeated the US-backed dictator by relying on their own forces. He observes that the British and Yugoslavian governments armed Batista to the last moment. Gott possibly devotes too little attention to the Cuban peoplefs successes in developing their country. He notes, without exploring, Cubafs remarkable achievements in health and education and he fails to mention its pioneering pharmaceutical industry. But he gives due prominence to Cubafs internationalism, particularly to its selfless military support to the Angolan people in 1988. Nelson Mandela later visited Havana to thank Fidel personally for Cubafs assistance in the struggle against apartheid, gThe decisive defeat of the racist army in Cuito Cuanavale was a victory for all Africa ... It made it possible for Angola to enjoy peace and establish its own sovereignty c and for the people of Namibia to achieve their independence. The decisive defeat of the aggressive apartheid forces destroyed the myth of the invincibility of the white oppressor. The defeat of the apartheid army served as an inspiration to the struggling people of South Africa.h Cuba has a proud record of upholding workersf nationalism and of practical internationalism. Whatever foreign observers hope or fear, the Cuban people will never surrender their national independence and sovereignty.
Guest More than 1 year ago
The history of cuba has been well interpreted by the author of this remarkable piece of litereture which contends itself to be the most truthful of the events that took place on the Cuban revolution