Anna Clayfield's primary objective in this book is to explain the longevity of the Cuban revolutionary regime, now going into its 62nd year. Following Michel Foucault, she examines the official discourse of the revolution's leadership since 1959 that emphasizes the guerrilla roots of Cuba's struggle against long odds. The author calls this guerrillerismo. That rhetoric, especially emanating from the speeches of Fidel Castro, locates these guerrilla roots even further back than the 1950s. He and his acolytes also include the resistance of the native Taino to Spanish conquerors. The nineteenth-century independentistas Carlos Manuel de Céspedes, José Martí, and Antonio Maceo carried out guerrilla warfare in the very same mountains and forests where Fidel's rebels fought.

Such an analysis ignores other explanations for the revolution's longevity. It says little about the security apparatus that the KGB (State Security Committee) helped set up,...

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