Free | Case Studies in Insurgency and Revolutionary Warfare: Cuba 1953 - 1959

This report on the recent Cuban Revolution is the first in a series of studies analyzing the rapid, often violent, change in political and socioeconomic order which is usually called revolution. Companion studies on the revolutions in Algeria (1954–1962) and in Vietnam (1941–1954) will be published in the near future, as will a related study on the Guatemalan situation between 1944 and 1954. Another study, Casebook on Insurgency and Revolutionary Warfare: 23 Summary Accounts, has already been published.This is a social science research study in which historical information is treated as data to be used in the examination of hypotheses about the causal factors of revolution. It is not, therefore, a historical study in the traditional sense of recreating the past. Our focus rather,is on understanding the varied aspects of a revolution. Hopefully this might lead to a methodology for forecasting revolutions and to essential knowledge about revolutionary movements and processes. From the many instances of modern revolution, the Cuban revolution was selected for these reasons: Cuban interests and those of the West are closely related and have so been for a long time. Second, events subsequent to the revolution have shown that the action or the lack of action by powers outside Cuba had a profound effect on the outcome of the revolution. Third, because the external powers involved in the postrevolutionary situation in Cuba are Communist, there is concern that the Cuban Revolution become a prototype for Communist revolutions elsewhere in Latin America. Lastly, the final form of the Cuban Revolution was so different from its initial manifestations. It appeared originally to be a political protest movement with moderate aims; it grew into a major upheaval which changed the foundations of Cuban life.


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