Facing Down Khrushchev: The Cuban Missile Crisis

Russians refer to the event as the “Caribbean Crisis.” Cubans refer to it as the “October Crisis.” Introduction The Cuban Missile Crisis was a confrontation during the Cold War between the Soviet Union and the United States regarding the Soviet deployment of nuclear missiles in Cuba. The missiles were placed to protect Cuba from attacks[…]

Fidel Castro and the Revolution That (Almost) Wasn’t

At first, the Cuban revolution seemed doomed to fail. Sixty years ago, Fidel Castro launched an audacious bid to liberate Cuba from the dictatorship of Fulgencio Batista – the American-backed strongman whose repressive regime was characterised by corruption and economic and social inequality. At the time, though, this effort appeared destined to be little more than a footnote in[…]

Rum, Hookers, and Smuggling: The Secret Story of Coolidge’s Visit to Cuba

By Christopher Woolf In 2016, Barack Obama became the first sitting US president to visit Cuba since Calvin Coolidge in 1928. Coolidge was known as Silent Cal, a dour New Englander; an old fashioned puritan and a dedicated enforcer of Prohibition. So what was he doing in fun-filled Havana? He had a two-fold mission: to[…]

El Ñáñigo: A Spirit Dancer Of Afro-Cuba

Attention to detail has led some scholars and historians to read the image for its value as an ethnographic document. By Dr. Linda RodriguezProfessor of AnthropologyNew York University Victor Patricio de Landaluze’s costumed dancer, known as El Ñáñigo, stands silent and still. The viewer almost expects a sudden breeze to ruffle the branches that hang[…]