Hugo Chavez, Bolivarian Revolutionary, Presidente, Comandante. After a failed military coup in 1992, Hugo Chavez managed to democratically come to power in Venezuela in 1999. This book from the Guardian’s chief South America correspondent, Irishman Rory Carroll, based in Venezuela, explores the intricacies of the Miraflores Palace. Inside the opulent walls lies a mystery of intrigue and uniqueness. Chavez lived an exalted life of a philosopher king and his self-styled approach to government made him a twenty-first century caudillo, leading a socialist revolution and upturning the status quo in Venezuela and becoming a major player on the international stage. The Revolution, financed on the whole by incredible oil wealth, upturned Venezuela. Initial progress eventually tumbled into relative chaos although I feel thatChavez on the whole was a success for the people, and turned their lives around, especially the poor. Chavez had a rigorous propaganda campaign,, using 21st century technology in innovative ways that captivated a largely captive audience. I loved the tales of his flagship TV show, Hello Presidente, and hearing of the devotion of Miraflores to the twittersphere was exciting. Ultimately many of the grandiose ideas that kept turning electoral victory after electoral victory for Chavez, proved to be neglected and unrealised goals. There was economic atrophy, unbridled crime, huge corruption and nepotism and unnecessary crackdowns on political opponents. However, the Revolution succeeded in wooing luminaries such as Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Noam Chomsky and had an incredible friend and supporter in Fidel Castro. This book reads fast and furiously and is entertaining if often unbelievable as it unfurls its ever imaginative hero’s escapades. Five star rating.
This book is based on a series of interviews given by Venezuelan leader, Hugo Chavez, to the daughter of Che Guevara, Aleida. Although the book doesn’t cover the entire period of Chavez’ rule up until his demise, it presents a wonderful tale and grasps fundamental insight into the way the mind works of one of the most popular Latin American leaders of the modern era. Chavez, a man of military background, discusses his rise to power in Venezuela, his roots and also the wider world of South America. His relationship with Fidel Castro is striking and his leftist tendencies are very apparent. His goals for the Venezuelan people and socialist objectives cover the first part of the story and he moves onto topics as diverse as the Gulf War and his family in the second, more broken series of short interview chapters. The book concludes with appendices of a TV interview with Hugo and Aleida and also with some of the insider details of the attempted military coup d’etat that took place against Chavez. I found the book to be very insightful and interesting on a subject that I previously understood very little.
[Introduction To Hispanic Studies – Coursework Essay] Discuss how textual and visual representations of the Rebel Army during and after the Cuban Revolution contributed to the myth of the heroic guerrilla in Latin America. The original iconic 1968 stylized ‘Guerrilla Heroico’ Che Guevara image created by Jim Fitzpatrick, based on Alberto Korda’s Original Photograph The Cuban Revolution was an earth-shattering event with huge consequences internationally, not just in Latin America, but further afield. I felt the impact myself whilst travelling across Scandinavia in 2005. I’d run out of clean underwear and, while scanning the aisles of a Göteborg department store, I came face to face with a nice, bright pair of red socks, graced with the iconic Guerilla Heroica motive. Half a century on from the Revolution and one of Fidel Castro’s chief Comandantes is creating fashion trends on the opposite side of the planet. What was the impact of the Cuban Revolution in the immediate temporal aftermath and across the local region? Revolutions ripple outwards and surely the focus and legacy of the fulfilled 26 Julio movement will have affected Latin America? We must first address the key facts of the revolution itself. Subsequently we can analyse the legacy of the rebel army propaganda and the images and texts that have been gifted to posterity. A critical view of the subsequent insurgency movements across Latin America will allow us to judge the true impact of the ‘Guerrilla Heroica’ myth. On 2nd December 1956, a ragtag bunch of 82 Cuban exiles, the vanguard of the 26 Julio movement, reached shore in their homeland, aboard the yacht Granma, having trained up in Mexico under the auspices of their leader, Fidel Castro. An initial assault by right-wing dictator Fulgencio Batista’s government forces almost wiped out the brigade. Batista claimed to have killed Castro and fewer than 20 of the Granma’s crew made it into the depths of the Sierra Maestra, to embed and regroup so that the path to victory could unfold. The arrival of the Granma provoked other civil unrest across the island and there were various other revolutionary movements who rose up against state oppression. With the aim of raising support among the island’s population and to foster the movement’s international image, Castro and his surviving comrades began a serious propaganda mission to complement their initially defensive military guerrilla campaign. New York Times journalist, Herbert Matthews, was given…
The Cuban Revolution: Origins, Course, and Legacy by Marifeli Pérez-Stable My rating: 3 of 5 stars I’m doing a university essay question on the Cuban Revolution so felt that this was a good text to read ahead of doing my assignment. The book certainly covers the Cuban Revolution and its aftermath in a lot of detail. It is a modern history of Cuba. However, whereas other works on the Cuban Revolution focus on perhaps the more glamorous side of the actual taking of the island and the chief protagonists, this book delves a little deeper and assesses the actual politics of the revolution and its real implications. Every finding is backed up with real data and the author, who initially was very supportive of the revolution, is clear in her latter condemnation of its impact. Cuba is, for sure, an anomaly among world states. I found the impact of ‘Fidel-Patria-Revolucion’ and the development of Cuban ‘conciencia’ very important in the whole ideology of the new Cuba. The anti-imperialism of the regime is clear, but Cuba’s almost solitary dependence on sugar left it open to all sorts of fundamental problems. It cosied up to the Soviet Union during the Cold War but this left its own impact as the Berlin Wall fell and the Soviet Union broke apart. It is very bizarre how Cuba the revolution has survived intact but what future lies ahead? This book gave me a lot greater understanding of what the revolution meant specifically to the Cuban people and its lasting legacy. It’s a thorough read and though occasionally it does bog you down in detail it is an academic text and this can be expected. View all my reviews