[Marxism] Thinking Past Fidel

Louis Proyect lnp3 at panix.com
Tue Jan 1 18:09:00 MST 2019

While Fidel Castro’s extraordinary influence and power can never be 
ignored, we still know far too little about how or why many thousands of 
ordinary Cubans participated in making the revolution. This is 
particularly true of the Cuban labor movement, which many observers have 
described as apathetic, passive, and demoralized by corrupt union 
bosses, and thus not particularly active in the revolutionary movement.

Steve Cushion’s new book, A Hidden History of the Cuban Revolution: How 
the Working Class Shaped the Guerrillas’ Victory, is a useful corrective 
to those assumptions and provides an important shift of historical 
perspective as Cuba moves beyond its historic leadership. Cushion argues 
persuasively that the island’s working class made a vital contribution 
to the revolutionary movement.

Without discounting the role of the rebel army or the urban middle 
class, he argues that there was also “a third arm to the rebel forces, a 
revolutionary labor movement.” In the first deeply researched historical 
study on this topic, Cushion shows how organized labor contributed both 
directly and indirectly to the revolutionary struggle.


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