Looking beyond Militarism
The introduction challenges the widely held view in Western scholarship that the supposed “militarization” of the Cuban Revolution is key to understanding its longevity. While the pervasiveness of the armed forces in revolutionary Cuba is hard to refute, this chapter argues that it is the Revolution’s guerrilla origins, rather than its “militarism,” that partly explains its survival and the political authority of its leaders. Specifically, it is the promotion of a guerrilla ethos in the Revolution’s official, hegemonic discourse that, through the creation of a new political culture since 1959, has afforded historic legitimacy to the ex-guerrilla fighters in power. This chapter explains how the author, through discourse analysis, draws on the works of Michel Foucault and Norman Fairclough to examine a range of texts that span the Revolution’s six decades in power. This analysis reveals a consistent endorsement of the values and attributes associated with the guerrilla fighter, a phenomenon introduced here as guerrillerismo.
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