Video | Cuba: The Next Revolution

In Cuba, Harvard professor, Henry Gates, reflects how the culture, religion, politics and music of this island are inextricably linked to the huge amount of slave labor imported to produce its enormously profitable 19th century sugar industry, and how race and racism have fared since Fidel Castro’s Communist revolution in 1959.

 

Throughout the hour long documentary, Dr. Gates suggested that Cuba would have been a country of racial equality had it not been for the intervention of the U.S. during its war of independence from Spain.  Along with attempting to include Cuba under its sphere of influence, the U.S. exported its ideas of racial hierarchy and the suppression of blacks.  Former slaves who had fought in the war of independence with Spain quickly found themselves considered to be second class citizens though there were no official segregation laws.

 

Gates spends a lot of time affirming that everything of African origin was repressed.  Even Fulgencio Batista, the dictator and military leader before being overthrown as a result of the Cuban Revolution and who was himself a mulatto, did not see fit to uplift blacks.  It was then left for Fidel Castro to attempt to create the long needed change.

 

Click here to watch PBS video.

 

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