castro: this page has links to the history of cuba and the castro revolution   

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   casahistoria - web site for students of modern history!

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Browse down the page or just click one of these sections....
1. Background to revolution: 1902-52
Castro biographies
1952-9: Road to Power
The Castro Revolution

Leadership | Race | Social Policies |

Economy | Dissidents

5. Ernesto "Che" Guevara
Castro's Cuba & World

Missile Crisis | Africa | Latin America

7. Conclusion & Critique on Castro´s Cuba

Cuba after 50 Years

8. General Sites on Cuba


casahistoria is recommended by many sites including:




1. Background to Revolution, 1902-52
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Cuba before Castro For links to sites on Cuba before the Castro period, go to this casahistoria site.







2. Castro
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There are many Castro sites, but of variable quality. Here are a selection: Biographies Speeches





3. 1952-59: Road to Power 

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4. The Castro Revolution

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  • Fidel Castro Useful US PBS "American Experience" site. TV film based but has useful background bios and articles, timeline, newsreel footage and more....
  • Fidel Castro - Year 1 Selections from Fidel Castro, by Robert E. Quirk 1993  §
  • Open verdict May 1961 archive article from The UK's Economist reports on Castro's announcement that Cuba would become a socialist state. Of note is its conclusion: "Even in his moment of triumph, it has to be noted, Dr Castro has done a couple of things that do not quite fit into the standard pattern of communist behaviour. He has been unexpectedly lenient with the survivors of the invasion, letting them argue with him about politics on television and telling them that they will not be executed unless they had committed crimes in Batista's time. He also offered last weekend to re-open negotiations with the United States; but the State Department, sticking firmly to the policy that led to last month's disaster, replied brusquely, if obscurely, that “communism was not negotiable.”
  • When the Daiquiris Ran Out March 1963 archive article from The UK's Economist Reports on the first indications of economic trouble and the growing exodus of Cubans. But it also mentions the 60,000 teenagers for whom Castro decreed secondary education as a reward for their efforts in 1961 to teach the peasants to read and write.
  • Three Days With Fidel Interesting account (with good images) of a three day visit to Cuba in 1964 by a New York Times reporter invited there by Castro.
  • Chronology of Cuban Affairs, 1958-1998 (US State Department)
  • Deena Stryker Photographs, 1963-1964  an excellent collection of approximately 1,850 photographs shot in Cuba between 1963 and 1964 and processed by Alberto Korda on the island. Politicinas and everyday life. Atmospheric. From Duke University.
  • Fidel Castro's Five Decades in Power – slideshow by The Washington Post
  • Cuban Revolution - This article, by L. Proyect, is rather long, but provides good detail on the leadership of Castro, and the changes made as a result of the revolution.
  • Glory to The Cuban Revolution A bilingual web page in support of Castro and the revolution. Includes important documents and images of leaders.
  • Race and the Cuban Revolution Lisa Brock and Otis Cunningham critique Carlos Moore's "Castro, the Blacks, and Africa" in great detail providing an analysis of race in Cuba.
  • Race and Government Policy in Revolutionary Cuba Lesson plan from PBS created in 2010 by Karen Michels, provides materials, methods and links to help approaching the issue of race in Cuba prior to 1959 and the initial phase of the Castro period. A useful read even if you are not teaching it!. Has videos and images as well as further links.
  • Marti, Race, & Cuban identity Article from Monthly Review, 2003 by Hebert Perez. Unfortunately now no longer free access but can be read here with a trial sub.
Social Policy Economy
See section 7 below for further links to US-Castro relations




5. Ernesto "Che" Guevara

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Again, like Castro sites, there are many, but of variable quality and very often strongly biased to the left. Here are a selection:
  • Che Guevara A biography from the Time 100 series by Ariel Dorfman
  • Che Guevara hero file from the more heroes, less villains site. Useful.
  • Brief Biography of Guevara, Argentine Marxist revolutionary and guerrilla leader May take a little time to load. Very dense textually...
  • Biographical Notes on Che Guevara  From the Biography project. Produced by a group called PopSubCulture(dot)com. Simply , but clearly written. Takes a largely factual line. Good section on cultural significance and links to other sites (But beware, the most interesting links are actually straight links to Amazon books... It is also slow to load)
  • Profile of Che Guevara BBC Audio Archive programme from 1997. Among those whose memories are discussed are: Jean-Paul Sartre; a fellow member of the 26 July Army; Castro's former lover and a journalist who was one of the last to see him before he was killed.
  • Interview on Che with Jon Lee Anderson, well known biographer of  Guevara is interviwed in 2010. Long interview, good Q&A's on key aspects of Che's life and relations with Castro/Cuba/Revolution.
  • Centro de Estudios Che Guevara Excellent Cuban center of Che Guevara studies. Good images, sound bites.
  • Ernesto “Che” Guevara  Special audio visual report From Argentina's Clarin on his life and work: A 35 anos de su muerte, este informe reconstruye etapas importantes de la vida de este mito hecho hombre. But turn off the music!!
  • Ernesto Che Guevara de la Serna Cultish site from Cuba's city of Cotorro, but one that includes much of primary source interest. Besides videos, songs (mp3) it includes the text of the Bolivian diaries and many other Che writings. This links to the archive of the site but the large site is almost totally archived and of value as a Cuban source. Use Google to translate pieces if you need English. §
  • Chronology of Che in Bolivia be patient - it takes ages to load, but is very thorough. (For final Bolivian campaign and death of Guevara, go to Death of Che Guevara in the casahistoria Bolivia site.)
Castro and Guevara
  • Fidel and Che: a revolutionary friendship Simon Reid-Henry talks about the contrasting personalities of the leading men in his groundbreaking dual biography, Fidel and Che. Short interview with images from UK Guardian
  • Castro visits home of Che Guevara Fidel Castro has made an emotional pilgrimage to the boyhood home of his fellow-revolutionary Che Guevara. BBC 2006 news video shows home of Che.
Articles by Che Guevara  
  • Making of a Marxist 2001 Extracts from previously unpublished letters and journals written at 25, when Che Guevara, a newly qualified doctor, set off through Central America. This was the journey that transformed him from tourist to revolutionary. Guardian newspaper.
  • The Militant Three articles written in 1958 from the Sierra Maestre.
  • Che Guevara's Writings, Selections Includes "Socialism and Man in Cuba," "Guerrilla Warfare: A Method," "Message to the Tricontinental," "Camilo," "The United Nations Speech, Dec. 11, 1964," "Che's Letter to Fidel  §   
  • Che Guevara Internet Archive A selection of extracts and abstracts. Good links to writings.
  • Che Guevara: Fundamentals of Guerrilla Warfare 1988 review of the writings of Che Guevara on the subject of revolutionary guerrilla warfare. Major Jackie Clarke, U.S. Marine Corps
  • Che the photographer See many of the photos taken by Guevara himself. The Spanish photography curator Josep Vicent Monzo discovered this collection, which had been preserved in the study centre Che Guevara in Havana, in 1995, and, after screening the material, he presented a selection of 211 photos for the first time in Europe in 2001. The site is no longer active, this is the Wayback version. Nearly all images are available but the text is German. English version is here, but fewer images seem stored. §
  • Che Guevara,  Biography, Speeches and Writings ( surrounded by ads for che paraphernalia...)
  • Che Guevara texts, speeches and letters A valuable collection, long dead but revived saved & now stored on the Wayback Machine - hence can be slow to load. But no ads for T shirts!   § 
"Che" as "Icon" 
Death of Che Guevara For final Bolivian campaign and death of Guevara, go to the casahistoria Bolivia site.

Finally:             Motorcycle diaries?   
  • Just a pretty face? For 40 years he has been a sex symbol, heroic victim and the ultimate poster boy of revolutionary chic. But behind the myth of Che Guevara lie darker truths. Sean O'Hagan reassesses the Sixties' most enduring icon The Observer  
  • The Motorcycle Diaries Channel 4 Film Site Walter Salles at the Cannes Film Festival speaking about the making of The Motorcycle Diaries. Granados interview. Diary extracts in English, chronology of journey. Full-size images from The Motorcycle Diaries. Slick Flash presentation (view trailer) !! 

Patrick Symmes: Chasing Che  

A Motorcycle Journey in Search of the Guevara Legend   
A very perceptive travel book: written (in 1996-8) before 2003 recent film - but perhaps used as a basis for the key scenes - the author follows the route of the diaries (Guevara & Granado) but provides a very perceptive commentary on the contextual history of the period from the 1950's through to the present.

This is not a sycophantic piece, and does cast a balanced look on the period. Well worth it!



6. Castro's Cuba & the World

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Early US - Castro relations &  Background to Cuban Missile crisis      Bay of Pigs
  • Bay of Pigs Aftermath, 1961 (1:17) Fidel Castro and soldiers examine Playa Girón at the Bay of Pigs after the failed invasion. Cuban Institute of Cinematographic Art and Culture Newsreel

The Missile Crisis

Cuban Missile Crisis For extensive and greatly increased links to the Missile Crisis & its global consequences, go to the new home for the crisis links in the casahistoria Cold War site on the Thaw

Consequences of Missile crisis for Cuba
    Stronger Cuba-USSR relations
  • Castro Visits the U.S.S.R., 1972 (0:55) Castro travels to the U.S.S.R. and meets with Soviet leader Leonid Brezhnev. Cuban Institute of Cinematographic Art and Culture Newsreel
     Uncertain US Relations with Cuba Africa


Latin America
Death of Che Guevara For final Bolivian campaign and death of Guevara, go to the casahistoria Bolivia site.


For something a little different:
  • Cuba: Lost in the Shadows 55 min 2006 documentary about the impact of U.S.-Cuba relations and intrigue. Currently trailer only....




7. Conclusions & Critiques on Castro's Cuba

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Early Analysis: After 40 years After 50 years A selection of sites to commemorate the 50th anniversary in 2009 Photos:
  • Magnum Photos 50th anniversary online exhibition. Very good images drawn from vintage and contemporary prints. Included are Eve Arnold’s pre-revolution images shot in 1954, the unfolding of events in 1959 by Burt Glinn, portraits of the main protagonists, Fidel and Che by Rene Burri and Elliott Erwitt and latterly of modern life under Castro in the crumbling beauty of Havana by Alex Webb, David Alan Harvey and Christopher Anderson. Also included are rarely seen photographs by Magnum correspondants Andrew Saint George and Bob Henriques. Henriques documentation of Castro's troops advancing into Havana are hugely evocative and evidence of Castro's timeless way with his people.
  • BBC - In pictures: Cuba at 50 and En Imágenes - Cuba: 50 años después
Analysis of legacy upon retirement
Cuba after Fidel Castro For links to the development and opening up of Cuba, post Fidel Castro, go to this casahistoria site.




8. Cuba: General Sites 

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The following are general and not too deep, but are a clear place to start for a visual overview.
  • Early History Read about Cuban history, from before the 16th century, when Cuba was inhabited by indigenous peoples, up to the present day. Use the links to work up to the 20th century. The last few centuries, from the 16th to the 20th, feature hyperlinked articles about numerous important events.  §
  • History of Cuba The "Ultimate Cuba" site. A good selection including extracts from secondary as well as primary sources.
  • A Short History of Cuba From Canadian TV History Television archives
  • Peoples & Personalities Read about the people that formed Cuban history, those who hoarded her resources, others who fought for her freedom.  §
  • Cuba: Lanic link page Very comprehensive  from the University of Texas at Austin.
  • Documents for the history of Cuba A good selection of documents on all aspects of Cuban history and society today. For current developments to the national history themes:
    • Yahoo Cuba news excellent resource for current news items (in English) on Cuba
    • Lanic Newsroom: Texas Univ site for links to the recent news themes on Latin America in general
and something different....
  • Manuel R. Bustamante Photograph Collection - 1890s-1999 Cuban Heritage Collection, University of Miami. Over 600 historical photographs available. A really worthwhile browse.
  • The Chairman Smiles: Cuba Site devoted to political posters. Good Cuban poster images, excellent descriptions of purpose and origin.
  • Art of Cuba A vast range of Castro era posters. Some articles but unfortunately very little commentary to posters.
  • Cuban Poster Art Provides a clear outline history of poster development including info on Lincoln Cushing's "Revolucion! Cuban Poster Art, Chronicle Books" a source of several of the poster images on this page.

the casahistoria cuba sites:  
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Cuba before Castro
Castro's Cuba
Thaw to Cuban Missile Crisis

Cuba after Fidel Castro



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