In the tumultuous first decade of the Cuban Revolution, Fidel
Castro and other leaders saturated the media with altruistic images
of themselves in a campaign to win the hearts of Cuba's six million
citizens. In Visions of Power in Cuba
, Lillian Guerra argues
that these visual representations explained rapidly occurring
events and encouraged radical change and mutual self-sacrifice.
Mass rallies and labor mobilizations of unprecedented scale
produced tangible evidence of what Fidel Castro called "unanimous
support" for a revolution whose "moral power" defied U.S. control.
Yet participation in state-orchestrated spectacles quickly became a
requirement for political inclusion in a new Cuba that policed most
forms of dissent. Devoted revolutionaries who resisted disastrous
economic policies, exposed post-1959 racism, and challenged gender
norms set by Cuba's one-party state increasingly found themselves
marginalized, silenced, or jailed. Using previously unexplored
sources, Guerra focuses on the lived experiences of citizens,
including peasants, intellectuals, former prostitutes, black
activists, and filmmakers, as they struggled to author their own
scripts of revolution by resisting repression, defying
state-imposed boundaries, and working for anti-imperial redemption
in a truly free Cuba.