Articles of interest
Book in Focus
Women, Pilgrimage, and Rituals of Healing in Modern and Ancient Greece
By Evy Johanne Håland
28th June 2023
Book in Focus
Cuba's Eternal Revolution through the Prism of Insurgency, Socialism, and Espionage
By Miguel A. Faria Jr.
Outstanding moments in the Cuban Revolution have fascinated readers for decades. But, a lesser-known insurgency also took place in Cuba in the 1960s that has not received as much attention. This is particularly true for English-speaking audiences and academicians who may not be familiar with much of the material in this monograph, which utilized as sources major tomes that have only been published in Spanish and not available to international audiences outside Spain and Latin America.
Cuba's Eternal Revolution through the Prism of Insurgency, Socialism, and Espionage not only relates the defining moments of the Cuban Revolution, including the Moncada Barracks attack and the assault on Batista’s Presidential Palace, but also delves into the lesser-known insurgency against the communist regime of Fidel Castro when Cuban farmers and rural peasants, led by former revolutionaries who felt betrayed by the communist turn of the Revolution and Cuba’s alliance with the Soviet camp, “returned to the hills” to wage war against Castro’s communist regime. Fidel Castro chose to label the conflict his “War Against the Bandits” (La Lucha Contra Bandidos), even though the popular uprising was nothing of the sort and the Cuban people were never “bandits.” The communist regime soon found itself embroiled in other crises as well, including the Bay of Pigs invasion and the October 1962 Cuban Missile Crisis.
To understand the rationale behind Fidel and Raúl Castro’s communist leanings, little-known events in the lives of two brothers—from their childhood to the moment they assumed full leadership of the Cuban Revolution and how they consolidated power—will be related, postulating that those events played a role not only in the psychosocial development of their revolutionary identity but also in forging their communist ideology. Episodes in the life of Ernesto “Che” Guevara, the Argentinean communist revolutionary, and his misadventures in Cuba as well as overseas in the Congo and Bolivia, are also detailed as well as a couple of side stories relating to Ernest Hemingway, and his political affinity for two leftist regimes that should be of interest to the readers, as they are inextricably entwined with the Cuban Revolution.
Life in Cuba—namely, the standard of living and health care—was greatly different before and after the Revolution. Towards that end, a comparison between life in Cuba prior to Castro’s Revolution and after the Revolution as well as information about the realities of life on the Caribbean island that has crept into the popular consciousness of many people worldwide is documented by facts and statistics. Important aspects of socialized medicine in Cuba today will also be explored, including the rendering of healthcare assistance to other third-world countries, referred to as Cuba’s “doctor diplomacy”; revelations about Cuba’s essential and very embarrassing sex-tourism industry; and the shameful “medical apartheid” that exists within Cuba’s two-tiered, socialized, health care system.
On the environmental front, Cuba has waged a “silent war against the environment” that is perhaps one of the lesser-known sordid happenings to transpire in the aftermath of the Revolution. Cuba’s environmental and ecological problems have not been discussed in any great detail by the media or academia—namely, the diversion of rivers and streams; the eradication of forests in a once lush and beautiful island; the destruction of flora and fauna by mismanagement; and the lack of effective agricultural and conservation policies, which receive only lip service from government authorities but are not actually enforced.
The degradation of the environment and the devastation of Cuba’s flora and fauna in the economic and political interests of the Revolution is material that will be of great interest to environmental scientists and researchers studying conservation and ecological problems in Cuba specifically and third-world countries in general as well as to readers and concerned citizens.
Many current travelers to Cuba are not aware that ecological mismanagement of this magnitude has taken (and continues to take) place in Cuba. The Potemkin villages surrounding the tourism industry ensure that tourists do not bear witness to this disagreeable feature of Revolutionary Cuba.
The final section of this monograph delves into foreign intelligence and the intriguing cloak and dagger aspects of the Cuban Revolution. With good reason, the Soviet KGB once referred to Cuba’s foreign intelligence apparatus—Directorio General de Inteligencia (DGI)—as one of their most effective “dangerous little brothers.”
Revelations concerning the frightening magnitude of the penetration of the DGI into America’s government and Fidel Castro’s possible prior knowledge of President John F. Kennedy’s tragic assassination in 1963 is based on information provided by Cuba’s most valuable defector during the Cold War. “Spies in High Places” brings us up to date on the Cuba-United States espionage saga, and the Epilogue brings us up to the present time on the state of affairs in Cuba today—especially the state of dissent in the population and the yearnings for freedom in the younger Cuban generation.
My purpose and objective in writing this monograph is to enlighten young social scientists, historians, interested readers, and political scientists about the realities of the Cuban Revolution—its purported achievements as well as its definite shortcomings; elucidate its impact on world events in the last seven decades; and correct the record where needed for historians, sociologists, and political scientists. I also provide a Selected Bibliography and a fully annotated Notes section to provide reference sources as well as to furnish explanations and additional information. I hope I have succeeded in this regard and will let the gentle reader be the judge, while enhancing his fount of knowledge about Cuba's Eternal Revolution through the Prism of Insurgency, Socialism, and Espionage.
Miguel A. Faria Jr, MD, escaped with his father from communist Cuba at age 13 and came to the United States after a three-month odyssey through several Caribbean islands. He grew up and was educated in Florida and South Carolina, where he completed his undergraduate studies, graduating magna cum laude in 1973. Dr Faria attended the Medical University of South Carolina, receiving the Merck’s Manual Award for scholastic achievement and earning his MD in 1977. He performed his neurosurgical residency at Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia, completing his training in 1983. He practiced neurosurgery in Macon, Georgia.
Presently, Dr Faria is Associate Editor in Chief in neuropsychiatry; history of medicine; and socioeconomics, politics, and world affairs for Surgical Neurology International (SNI), a peer-reviewed international journal for neurosurgeons and neuroscientists. He has written over 200 professional medical and public health articles and published several books.
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