Recuerdo: One Family's Experience Before and During the Castro Revolution
This project deals with questions about the makeup and priorities of the moneyed classes,and their role in the revolution. Such questions raise others that are relevant not only to Cuba, but also modern revolutions in general: why and how do the wealthy and educated support revolutions, and what happens to them after a revolution is successful? These questions are investigated here with the use of contemporary accounts by academics and journalists, as well as recent scholarship. The body of the project is a compilation of interviews conducted in the fall of 1986 with one Cuban family. Maria Josefa Lluria O'Higgins, her two sisters, brother and brother-in-law were interviewed about their lives in Cuba until the early 1960s, by which time most of them had left the country. My main source was Maria Josefa O'Higgins, who also provided me with information about the family's ancestors, which allowed me to study more than one generation of Llurias. The body of the project is in the style of a narrative, but I have also tried to place the Lluria family into some sort of context which pertains to the upper-middle class in general. From this, some conclusions may be drawn about that group's relationship to the United States, the influence of that relationship on the internal social structure of Cuba, and the subsequent role of the wealthy and educated in the revolution. The actions and experiences of the Lluria family, and their relevance to the actions and experiences of the upper-middle class as whole, can only be understood against a solid background knowledge of Cuba in the 1950s, its economic and social structure, and the nature of its relationship to the United States.
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