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By Alejandro de la Fuente

After thirty years of anticolonial fight opposed to Spain and 4 years of army profession via the U.S., Cuba officially grew to become an autonomous republic in 1902. The nationalist coalition that fought for Cuba's freedom, a flow during which blacks and mulattoes have been good represented, had predicted an egalitarian and inclusive country--a kingdom for all, as Jos? Mart? defined it. yet did the Cuban republic, and later the Cuban revolution, reside as much as those expectancies? Tracing the formation and reformulation of nationalist ideologies, executive rules, and diverse types of social and political mobilization in republican and postrevolutionary Cuba, Alejandro de los angeles Fuente explores the possibilities and boundaries that Afro-Cubans skilled in such components as task entry, schooling, and political illustration. hard assumptions of either underlying racism and racial democracy, he contends that racism and antiracism coexisted inside Cuban nationalism and, in flip, Cuban society. This coexistence has continued to today, regardless of major efforts via the progressive govt to enhance the lot of the negative and construct a kingdom that was once actually for all.

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

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27 who had fought to end slavery in the island. ‘‘Made by slaveowners, the revolution declared slaves free,’’ Martí asserted. Thanks to the revolution, ‘‘the Negro race’’ had ‘‘returned to humanity’’ and had been ‘‘rescued’’ from the ignominy of its previous existence. ’’ Afro-Cuban heroism and contributions to independence were not ignored, but emphasis was placed on blacks’ ‘‘virtues,’’ ‘‘generosity,’’ ‘‘prudence,’’ and love for ‘‘sensible’’ freedom. Ω This foundational discourse recognized the existence of di√erent races but included them within an encompassing notion of Cubanness that was supposed to supersede racial identities.

Good patriots, Masdeu implies, are not supposed to be racially conscious, much less discriminatory. How inclusive Cubanness would be was not just a question of ideological and discursive symbols, regardless of how powerful they might have been. Adding to the strength of the nationalist ideology was the presence of blacks in the leadership and ranks of the Liberation Army. Individually and collectively, Afro-Cubans had emerged from the war with a public presence and prestige they did not enjoy before the struggle began.

Others saw an opportunity to reverse whatever gains Afro-Cubans had made under the first republic, and they invented the notion that blacks had been the main supporters and beneficiaries of the fallen regime—and that thus they deserved to be excluded from the new order. Racial tensions escalated to the point of rupture, leading to di√erent forms of racially defined violence and mobilization. Through the 1930s, race remained an explosive political issue, and 16 : introduction Cuba oscillated between the hope of racial fraternity and the threat of racial confrontation.

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