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Cubanidad o desigualdad: the impact of post-revolutionary U.S.-Cuban relations on racial inequality in Cuba

Perillo, Mallory (2018) Cubanidad o desigualdad: the impact of post-revolutionary U.S.-Cuban relations on racial inequality in Cuba. Undergraduate Thesis, University of Pittsburgh. (Unpublished)

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The majority of recent academic interest on the topic of Cuban race relations have concluded that racial inequality in the country has increased over the last two decades for the first time since the Revolution. My paper expands on this consensus to consider the more specific question: to what extend have U.S.-Cuban relations impacted this rise in racial inequality? To fully answer this, my paper is divided into three sections. Section one provides an overview of how the Cuban government’s diverging economic policies of the 1990s to recover from an economic crisis caused by both the collapse of the USSR and the lack of trade with the United States resulted in the re-stratification of wealth by race using GDP/GNI data and previous research. Section two examines several forms of propaganda by the Cuban government, including speeches, pamphlets, and newspapers, to argue that the Cuban government’s frequent use of the United States as an inferior example of race relations discouraged Afro-Cubans from acknowledging persisting micro-level examples of racial discrimination. Finally, section three looks at the impact of African Americans as cultural ambassadors, particularly in terms of Hip-Hop music production. Through a lyrical analysis of several famous Afro-Cuban rap songs, I contend that the adoption and transformation of this form of music provided a new vehicle for the Afro-Cuban community to express their discontent with racial tensions and socioeconomic conditions. While in the cultural realm the United States has had a positive impact on race relations in Cuba, I argue that this can be better attributed to the connection between African American and Afro-Cuban communities rather than any efforts by the U.S. government. Furthermore, the U.S. government’s influence on racial inequality has actually been an overall negative, particularly in the spheres of economics and politics.


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Item Type: University of Pittsburgh ETD
Status: Unpublished
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Perillo, Mallorymrp83@pitt.edumrp83
ETD Committee:
TitleMemberEmail AddressPitt UsernameORCID
Committee ChairReid-Vazquez, Michelembr31@pitt.edumbr31
Committee MemberAlfonso Wells,
Committee MemberWarsh, Mollywarsh@pitt.eduwarsh
Committee MemberUrban, Kellyklu7@pitt.eduklu7
Date: 3 August 2018
Date Type: Publication
Defense Date: 13 July 2018
Approval Date: 3 August 2018
Submission Date: 31 July 2018
Access Restriction: No restriction; Release the ETD for access worldwide immediately.
Number of Pages: 82
Institution: University of Pittsburgh
Schools and Programs: David C. Frederick Honors College
Degree: BPhil - Bachelor of Philosophy
Thesis Type: Undergraduate Thesis
Refereed: Yes
Uncontrolled Keywords: Cuba, United States, Revolution, inequality, race, Special Period
Date Deposited: 03 Aug 2018 15:48
Last Modified: 08 Oct 2018 16:15


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