Raú l Castro in fact performed a central role in framing the revolution, making his 08 election perfectly logical, write Prof Par Kumaraswami plus Prof Antoni Kapcia
Your evaluation (11 August) of the BBC documentary collection Cuba: Castro vs The World rightly applauds its well-researched and detailed approach to a subject which is all too often bedevilled by highly polarised and simplistic assumptions. We on the Centre of Research on Cuba have spent many years trying to give a nuanced perspective of the subject, depending on sustained research beyond stereotypes.
How unfortunate, then, that the review reproduces some of those stereotypes plus inaccuracies. For example , despite Barack Obama’ s thawing of relations right after 2014, the US embargo was by no means lifted by him and, since the programme said, is still very much in position. Equally, the assumption behind the concept Raú l Castro was “ anointed” as Fidel’ s heir suggests a dynastic structure. Nevertheless , despite the documentary’ s emphasis on the particular revolution’ s two leaders (Fidel and Che Guevara), Raú t Castro in fact played a main role in shaping the trend, making his 2008 election (rather than anointing) perfectly logical. We are recommending the documentary series to the students.
Prof Par Kumaraswami and Prof Antoni Kapcia
Co- directors, Centre meant for Research on Cuba /Cuba Research Forum, University associated with Nottingham