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By Alejandro de la Fuente

After thirty years of anticolonial fight opposed to Spain and 4 years of army career through the us, Cuba officially grew to become an self sustaining republic in 1902. The nationalist coalition that fought for Cuba's freedom, a circulation within which blacks and mulattoes have been good represented, had predicted an egalitarian and inclusive country--a country for all, as Jos? Mart? defined it. yet did the Cuban republic, and later the Cuban revolution, dwell as much as those expectancies? Tracing the formation and reformulation of nationalist ideologies, executive guidelines, and varied kinds of social and political mobilization in republican and postrevolutionary Cuba, Alejandro de l. a. Fuente explores the possibilities and obstacles that Afro-Cubans skilled in such parts as activity entry, schooling, and political illustration. demanding assumptions of either underlying racism and racial democracy, he contends that racism and antiracism coexisted inside of Cuban nationalism and, in flip, Cuban society. This coexistence has continued to this present day, regardless of major efforts through the progressive executive to enhance the lot of the bad and construct a state that was once really for all.

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Additional resources for A Nation for All: Race, Inequality, and Politics in Twentieth-Century Cuba (Envisioning Cuba)

Sample text

This chapter discusses these formulations of race and nation, their di√erences and similarities. In order to facilitate the analysis, the first section traces the formation of the nationalist ideology of racial democracy and discusses its ambiguities and contradictions, which enabled various social groups to advance vastly di√erent interpretations of the same ideology. I have grouped these interpretations into two main categories: a conservative, elite version of race and Cubanness and a radical, popular view.

For this reason, elite expectations about black gratefulness were never fulfilled. If this was playing with fire, then blacks and other popular actors were nothing short of arsonists. Using the same foundational discourse, their interpretations challenged, point by point, every assertion of the elite vision of Cuban racial democracy. To the arguments that racial fraternity had been achieved during the independence struggle and that the Cuban republic had been created with all and for all, they countered that it was precisely for those reasons that blacks deserved full and equal participation in the economic, social, and political life of the country.

This case, recalled by Montejo, took place in Cienfuegos in 1899, when a number of mambises (members of the Liberation Army) attacked some American soldiers because of their disrespectful manner toward Cuban women. Montejo, who boldly stated that he ‘‘could not stand’’ the Americans, declared that they addressed Cuban women by saying ‘‘Fuky, Fuky, Margarita’’ and that he had never felt as angry at any time in the war as when he saw them in Cienfuegos. ∂∑ Afro-Cubans’ collective visibility and assertiveness was matched by the prominence of black military leaders whose names were intimately linked to the independence cause.

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