Published on December 23, 2007
CubaPast and Present: Cuba Past and Present By: Lawrence Gluckson Independence and Revolution: Independence and Revolution In 1895, Cubans led by Jose Marti continued fighting for their nation’s independence. Three years later in 1898, after the Spanish-American War, Cubans had gained their independence from Spain. However, The USA maintained great influence over the nation. Geographic Map of Cuba: Geographic Map of Cuba http://travel.yahoo.com/p-travelguide-577572-map_of_cuba-i U.S. Ties to Cuba: U.S. Ties to Cuba From 1899 to 1902, the U.S. Army stayed in Cuba to keep peace and help set up a new government. Cubans resented the fact that the U.S.A. had to act as a “big brother” and control most of its country. In 1902, the U.S.A. withdrew its troops from Cuba, which then became independent. Times of Revolution and Dictatorship: Times of Revolution and Dictatorship After independence Cuba had a series of leaders, which often governed as dictators. Cuba chose its capital city as Havana, which, offered tourists luxury hotels and casinos. However most Cubans, remained poor. Revolution Takes Hold: Revolution Takes Hold A young lawyer named Fidel Castro becomes influential in Cuban politics. Castro leads the revolution and in 1959, Cuba’s dictator, Fulgencio Batista flees the country. Later on in 1959, Castro becomes Cuba’s new dictator. Cuba in the Cold War: Cuba in the Cold War Castro took control of Cuba during the Cold War. The Cold War was a period of conflict between the United States and the Soviet Union. Castro thought it would be wise to become close with one of these superpowers and chose the Soviet Union as an ally rather than the USA. Cuba had an influential part in ending the Cold War. Cuba Becomes a Communist Country: Cuba Becomes a Communist Country Cuba not only sided with the Soviet Union during the Cold War but, it also decided to use the Soviet Union’s economic and political system known as Communism. Under this system, the government plans and controls a country’s economy. Essentially, the government owns the country’s farms, factories, and businesses. Cuba’s Economy: Cuba’s Economy Cuba’s economy revolves around one major resource, sugar. Sugar is the most important product in the world economy. Cuba’s sugarcane harvest is a key event for the economy. Economy cont.: Economy cont. Hauling sugar cane to the mill, ca. 1915. The Cuban sugar industry declined so severely in the 1920s that it still has not recovered. It lost much of its U.S. market share because the Americans began growing more sugar beets. In 1926 the last of Cuba's sugar mills was built; two years later, the U.S. Congress enacted the Hawley-Smoot Tariff which made sugar which had cost 1.79¢ per pound sell for 3.79¢ a pound in the U.S.; Cuba's share of that market was cut in half. Arts, Sports, and Holidays: Arts, Sports, and Holidays Both Castro’s government and earlier dictator’s have placed many limits on what writers, artists, and filmmakers may say in their work. Music has thrived in Cuba and it is a part of everyday life. Music styles that call Cuba home are the son, mambo, cha-cha, rumba and salsa. Sports are also very important in the Cuban society. The nation’s favorite sport is baseball. Cuba’s baseball team won a gold medal at the 1996 Olympic Games. Holidays: Holidays A favorite Cuban holiday is that of Carnival. Carnival takes place each year at the end of July. Cities and villages celebrate the end of the sugar harvest with festivals filled with music and dancing. Cuban Style Flan Recipe: Cuban Style Flan Recipe 5 eggs, beaten 1 14 ounce can sweetened condensed milk 1 cup of milk 1 teaspoon vanilla (can use up to 1 tablespoon) ½ cup of sugar 1 tablespoon water www.CubanRecipes.com In a small saucepan heat the sugar and water over low heat. Stir constantly, preferably with a wooden spoon until the sugar melts and just begins to turn a light caramel color. Immediately pour into a 1 quart mold. You may want to oil the mold ahead of time. Soufflé molds work well but I have also made this in an oven proof enameled covered iron saucepan. Blend all the remaining ingredients. Pour this mixture into the pan that contains the sugar mixture. Cover tightly with aluminum foil. Place in a water bath and bake in an oven preheated to 350 degrees. Bake for about 1 hour or until the tip of an inserted knife comes out clean. Chill overnight without removing the cover. Invert and serve. Black Beans and Rice: Black Beans and Rice Black Beans Black beans are a staple to Cuban cooking, and its amazing in how many dishes it can be used. But it is used everyday. The following serves 6 as a side dish. It can also be thinned with chicken stock to make black bean soup, another common Cuban staple. 1 pound dried black beans 4 cups of water 3 cloves of garlic, peeled and crushed 1 medium onion, peeled and chopped ¼ pound salt pork, chopped 1 pound smoked ham hocks, cut in 1 inch pieces 2 teaspoons paprika 3 teaspoons ground cumin 2 bay leaves 4 cups chicken stock ½ teaspoon chili powder 1 tablespoon vinegar salt and pepper to taste Place black beans and water in large stock pot. Cover and boil two minutes. Turn off heat and let stand covered for 1 hour. Remove the lid and add the rest of the ingredients, except the vinegar, salt and pepper. There should be enough water to just cover the beans, so if necessary add a bit or water. Cover and simmer until the beans are tender, about 2 hours. Take out the hocks and remove the bones. Return the meat to the pot. Add the vinegar, salt and pepper. Simmer long enough to heat the vinegar. Finished Product: Finished Product Black Beans and Rice www.blackbeansandrice.com Finished Product: Finished Product www.flan.com Review for Test and Movie onCuba: Review for Test and Movie on Cuba Works Cited: Works Cited Castro’s video Citation (MLA) Video Yearbook Collection: 1959. United Learning. 2004. unitedstreaming. 11 June 2006 http://www.unitedstreaming.com/ Havana movie clip Citation (MLA) Assignment: Cuba. United Learning. 1999. unitedstreaming. 11 June 2006 <http://www.unitedstreaming.com/> Sugarcane mill Citation (MLA) Hauling sugar cane to the mill, ca. 1915.. IRC. 2005. unitedstreaming. 11 June 2006 http://www.unitedstreaming.com/ Works Cited Cont.: Works Cited Cont. Carnival Image Citation (MLA) Carnival (1992) in Granada.. IRC. 2005. unitedstreaming. 11 June 2006 http://www.unitedstreaming.com/ Movie on Cuba (15:39) Citation (MLA) Assignment: Cuba. United Learning. 1999. unitedstreaming. 26 June 2006 http://www.unitedstreaming.com/ World Cultures and Geography; McDougal Littell, 2005, Illinois.