Cuba has been in a constant state of struggle since the Spanish crown slaughtered the Taino Indians. Learning about the plight of Cubans since that time (over the last 500 years) is something that can’t help but evoke many emotions and thoughts about society, socialism, revolution, freedom, and justice.
I just finished the book titled “Bacardi and the Long Fight for Cuba”. I have to say it was terrific. It chronicled the last 150 years of Cuba’s history from the vantage point of the Barcadi family. Based on the level of detail in the book and the exhaustive amount of sources used to tell the story, you can only imagine it was ten to twenty years in the making for author Tom Gjelten. The book provoked much thought and provided many “jump off on tangent” points to go back to and dive into related historical events. I truly look forward to chasing down more detail on some of the anecdotes presented and have already done so in some cases.
I suppose the most interesting thing about Cuba’s history to me was how much has been propagandized by my upbringing in suburban Detroit. As a youth in metro Detroit, our school system didn’t touch on Cuba much. We’re raised to know that: #1 Castro is bad #2 Socialism is bad #3 Communism is bad. We’re also told that Castro seized people’s private property and murdered people without due process of the law. That’s it. Then we move on to the next subject. Heck, kids today might not even get that much of the story. So when I read the book, I must admit that my ignorance was profound. Perhaps my ignorance on the subject is what made this book so much more thought provoking. After all, a dry sponge soaks up more water than a wet one.