26 Aralık 2013 Perşembe

Quotation: Princeton University A World History of The World, "Cuban Perspective of America"

Ernesto “Che” Guevara was one of the revolutionaries who helped to overthrow

Fulgencio Batista, and install Fidel Castro as leader of Cuba. Since he is a supporter of Castro and communism, and a vocal opponent of colonialism, Guevara was aware that,  even though the US had no actual power within Cuba or the rest of the third world, the West still controlled their economy. At a meeting for the Non-Aligned Movement, he stressed the importance of the necessity newly independent countries sticking together to
through off the shackles of colonialism. Furthermore, he heartily believed that revolution as inevitable in Latin America—that other countries would (and should) follow Cuba’s lead and revolt. As he says in the speech he gives at the meeting: “Cuba is not an isolated  event but rather the first signal of America’s awakening” (Guevara 44).

However, he strongly implies that his vision for Latin America’s future is the only acceptable one that there must be revolution and that capitalism should be traded for communism. Cuban writer Edmundo Desnoes’s novel Inconsolable Memories can help to shed light  on the mindset of the average mind of a civilian Cuban at the time of the Cuban Missile Crisis. The narrator has peculiar mix of both pride in his country and fear of the power of the neighboring United State—he is both pleased that Cuba is both free and powerful enough to cause such a conflict as the Cuban missile crisis but also scared about the potential consequences that Cuba’s newfound power could cause. “Never have we been more important nor more miserable,” he claims (Desnoes 549). With a sinister tone he acknowledges the equalizing nature of the atomic bomb: “Our power of destruction  makes us an equal for a moment of the two great world powers [of the US and the
USSR]” (Desnoes 548).

American Perspective of Cuba

After being victorious in the Spanish American War, the United States began to see itself as a superior

power in the world and viewed Cuban as inferiors. In many political cartoons in the U.S., the Cubans are depicted as barbaric people who dress oddly and look almost like monkeys or gorillas. In almost every cartoon, the U.S. is depicted as helping to civilize and guide the rowdy Cubans. Additionally, the Cubans are represented as having black skin, which also reflects the racial stereotypes and discrimination that was occurring in the States at that time. Like the notions that Americans had about blacks, people thought that the Cubans were violent, lazy, and unintelligent. These perceptions can especially be seen in the third cartoon in which the white and well-mannered Puerto Rican boy is starkly contrasted with the rowdy and wild black Cuban.

In an excerpt from Venceremos Brigades by Sandra Levinson, US citizens who go to Cuba during their revolution see the Cubans as constant partiers and people who find a constant source of celebration in the revolution. One person notes that “The Cuban are like superthyroid freaks; the men will make music and dance and screw around at the drop of a hat.” The idealistic Americans think that the Revolution gives them joy and again, the Cubans are portrayed as wild and rowdy people.

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