The Historical Influence of Cuban Nationalism on the Resistance of U.S. Blockade

Raul Rodriguez Rodriguez
University of Havana, Cuba

Cuba’s struggle for nationhood and self- determination can be traced back to the last decades of the colonial era. As a result of the turn-of-the-century U.S. intervention the goal of full national sovereignty was not achieved for the next 60 years of the neo-colonial period. The year 1959 became a turning point in the history of the Cuban republic, the triumph of the Cuban Revolution marked the beginning of a process of profound socio-economic and political transformations on the island nation that were translated into a clean break with the socio economic and political pattern prevailing in the rest of the western hemisphere that had long been the United States hegemonic domain.

The demise of the Soviet Union and the rest of the erstwhile known as socialist had a profound and far reaching impact worldwide. For Cuba, it was the beginning of a period of one of the worst economic crisis in its history, apart from losing more that 80% of its foreign trade overnight. The east-west cold war confrontation disappeared and consequently Cuba’s place in it as well. A new world order in of international relations began to take shape. Nonetheless, Cuba began facing and increased hostility for the U.S. ruling elites and it surrogate class, the right wing of the Cuban American community in South Florida. The nation’s quest for sovereignty and self-determination was to endure its toughest period yet.

In that context, Robert Torricelli’s, a promoter of an increased blockade of Cuba almost gleefully told an academic audience in 1993, I want to “wreak havoc” on that island. That is essentially nothing new; the blockade has been the centerpiece of U.S. policy towards the Cuban government since the Eisenhower administration to try to ultimately destroy Cuba’s nationalist project and making it an experience not worth following for other underdeveloped nations.

This paper explores the idea that a unique combination of historical factors and a strong sense of nationalism Cuba is are very important to understand how Cuba has resisted U.S. century-long attempt to limit Cuba’s national sovereignty and self determination.