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Something About Cuba

II: Revolutionary Cuba (Cuba after 1959)


The Rise of the Cuban Revolutionary Government (1959-1961)

On New Year's Eve 1958, General Batista left Cuba, and the political vacuum was filled by Fidel Castro and his followers and supporters in the group that was called 26 of July Movement. The provisional government established by the rebels had wide support in Cuba and intellectuals like French philosopher Jean Paul Sartre supported it abroad too. One of the military leaders of the rebels, the Argentinian Ernesto Guevara (known as Che) became a hero to many. The Cuban Revolutionary Government rejected Cuban popular music of the 1940s and 1950s, which it associated with what it considered capitalist decadence, and supported the creation of a new type of Cuban song, called "la trova." It also supported artists like ballerina Alicia Alonso, and writers like Roberto Fernández Retamar, and created the cultural institute Casa de las Américas, whose annual literary prize Casa de las Américas, became influential in Latin American literature.


Portrait of Ernesto (Che) Guevara, by Korda.











 Fidel Castro in 1959. 








Alicia Prima Ballerina (New York, 2005)
Music Library Closed-Stacks DVD-814. Copy of DVD cover.




Betancourt Molina, Lino, La trova y el bolero: apuntes para una historia (Havana, 2011)
Wilson Library ML3486 .C82 B48 2011. Copy of cover.





Popular support for the Revolution.