Cuba

History, Revolution, and Reform: New Directions for Cuba

Cuba, often at center stage in international affairs, is again the focus of global attention. Since Fidel Castro stepped down after nearly fifty years as Cuba's leader, his brother, Raúl Castro, has embarked upon a series of reforms that are gradually but fundamentally changing the country. The 2014 announcement to normalize Cuba-U.S. relations after over five decades during which the two countries had no diplomatic ties also signifies a historic shift. Outsiders have highly diverging views about Cuba and its history, particularly since the 1959 Revolution, which made major changes to Cuba's government, economy, and society. While the revolution brought opportunities and advances long denied to many Cubans, others lost property, jobs, and the positions they held in Cuban society. Cubans today have very different opinions about their country's history and its future direction.

History, Revolution, and Reform: New Directions for Cuba explores Cuba's history from the country's precolonial past to its most recent economic, social, and political changes. Students re-create the discussions Cubans on the island are having about their country's future.

Introduction: A Changing Cuba

Part I: Colonization and Independence

Part II: The Cuban Revolution

Part III: The Special Period and Cuba Today

Lessons Part I: Colonization and Independence

Lessons Part II: The Cuban Revolution

Lessons Part III: The Special Period and Cuba Today

Cuba: The Options Role Play

Lessons: Synthesis

Featured Scholars

Philip Brenner photo
American University
Michael Bustamante photo
Council on Foreign Relations
Odette Casamayor-Cisneros photo
University of Connecticut
Adrian Lopez Denis photo
Brown University