In the context of revolutionary Cuba, discourses of identity are veiled behind discussions and performances of nation and nationality. Consideration of the paradoxical relation of blackness and the Cuban Revolution must consider the historical relation of blackness to the Cuban nation, from its inception, to independence, through the Republic and immediately prior to the Revolution. In addition, a discussion of this relation must consider the discreet comments on race made via official policies, speeches, and discourses on the subject. Using Nancy Morejón’s critical analysis in her seminal 1982 work Nación y mestizaje en Nicolas Guillén as a springboard, the objective of this work is two-fold—to explore how the Cuban nation is reimagined in the poetry of Nicolás Guillén and to dissect the use of metaphors such as mestizaje as performances of nation that in turn highlight racial discourse.

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