Author: Angelo Trento
On January 1, 1959, Castro’s followers entered Havana. The guerillas took power and the “socialism of the tropics” began. Today, although the Castro regime has introduced some openings to a market economy, the island continues to wage a battle for its survival as the only socialist regime in the Americas. This concise history, which begins with the seizing of independence in 1898 and reaches to the present day, synthesizes the events that have made Cuba a singular case in the history of communism: the choice of socialism by Fidel and the missile crisis of 1962; the internationalism of Ernesto “Che” Guevara and Havana’s maverick foreign policy; the adoption of the Soviet model and its effect on Cuba’s social and economic life; the forms of the poder poular; the period after the fall of the Berlin Wall and the break with Moscow; and the difficulties created by the continuing economic embargo and the historical hostility of the United States.