In 1968, Nicolás Guillén Landrián, Afro-Cuban filmmaker and nephew of poet Nicolás Guillén, was commissioned by the Cuban Film Institute to make a didactic documentary on the Havana Greenbelt agricultural campaign. Instead, Guillén Landrián used this film, Coffea arábiga, to argue that the exploitation of black labor from Cuba's colonial legacy was perpetuated under the revolutionary state's agricultural policies. Through appropriating a highly politicized filmic aesthetic used by the Castro government to critique racial discrimination abroad, Coffea arábiga ironizes the Cuban Revolution's racial politics, speaking brazenly into a period that produced a general textual silence on post-1959 racial inequalities and providing an enduring Afro-Cuban counterargument to Cuba's myth of racial democracy.

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