The 1959 Cuban Revolution remains one of the signal events of modern political history. A tiny island, once a de facto colony of the United States, declared its independence, not just from the imperial behemoth ninety miles to the north, but also from global capitalism itself. Cuba’s many achievements—in education, health care, medical technology, direct local democracy, actions of international solidarity with the oppressed—are globally unprecedented. And the United States, in light of Cuba’s humanitarian efforts, has waged a relentless campaign of terrorist attacks on the island and its leaders, while placing Cuba on its “State Sponsors of Terrorism” list.
In this updated edition of her classic, Cuba and the United States, Jane Franklin depicts the two countries’ relationship from the time both were colonies to the present. We see the early connections between Cuba and the United States through slavery; through the sugar trade; Cuba’s multiple wars for national liberation; the annexation of Cuba by the United States; the infamous Platt Amendment that entitled the United States to intervene directly in Cuban affairs; the gangster capitalism promoted by Cuban dictator Fulgencio Batista; and the guerrilla war that brought the revolutionaries to power.
A new chapter updating the fraught Cuban-U.S. nexus brings us well into the 21st century, with a look at the current status of Assata Shakur, the Cuban Five, and the post-9/11 years leading to the expansion of diplomatic relations. Offering a range of primary and secondary sources, the book is an outstanding scholarly work. Cuba and the U.S. Empire brings new meaning to Simón Bolívar’s warning in 1829, that the United States “appears destined by Providence to plague America with miseries in the name of Freedom.”
Whether one reads it as a history, or keeps it handy as a ready reference…this is a book that no serious student of U.S.-Cuba relations can afford to be without.
A marvelous work that puts the U.S. government’s outrageous aggression into stark and stunning context.
This chronology provides scholars with an essential and long overdue research tool.
Indispensable does not begin to describe how important Jane Franklin’s book has been for all of us involved in the efforts to change U.S. policy towards Cuba. It has been number 1 on Marazul’s recommended list of books for all our travelers since it first came out. Its chronology, cross-referenced index, and its ability to place in historical context all aspects of U.S.-Cuban relations has meant that, at least in this case, our side—and not the Empire—has written the history!
Informed and informative, and absolutely timely in view of the current reconciliation efforts of the Obama administration with the current Cuban government, Cuba and the U.S. Empire: A Chronological History is a very highly recommended addition to community, college, and university library International Studies collections.