9/27 The Complex Ties Between The United States and Cuba w/ Ada Ferrer

September 27, 2021

Sam and Emma host Ada Ferrer, Professor of History and Latin American and Caribbean Studies at New York University, to discuss her recent book Cuba: An American History, on how the constant pressure of American Imperialism has threatened the people and territory since its independence. They jump off from this question of why she dubs her work “An American History,” and how it works to trace the development of Cuba since early colonialism, particularly focusing on moments of increased intervention, from the boom in the slave trade on the island following the Haitian Revolution to the early founding fathers’ desire to acquire it and the industries they could exploit. Moving into the mid-1800s, Professor Ferrer, Emma, and Sam look at the role of Cuban independence, which, despite its leaders seeing it as a check on American expansion, US officials attempted to claim affiliation with it, once again in hopes of exploiting the sugar and slave industries on the island, until the Civil War saw an end to much of that spirit. Exploring the transition into the 20th Century and an independent Cuba, Sam, Emma, and Ada dive into the Platt Amendment and how it cemented US intervention in Cuba whenever legislators saw fit, despite intense anti-imperialism and socialist views on the island, resulting in a variety of different periods of occupation culminating in another revolution to overthrow the Machado regime, and the democratic election of Batista, who, himself, would fall into a dictatorship bolstered by the US. Finally bubbling over with Castro’s revolution, they cover how finally grasping true independence allowed for incredible development in social programs and general infrastructure, before they explore the effects of the 1990s economic crash in Cuba and the state of the cultural ongoings today. Sam and Emma also cover the wild week we could have in Congress with impending decisions on the debt ceiling, bipartisan bill, and reconciliation all likely to occur with the looming threat of a government shutdown.

And in the Fun Half: Sam and Emma run through the various potential outcomes of the legislative agenda for this week, and how progressives can bolster their leverage and ensure the progression of their reconciliation bill. John from San Antonio calls in to discuss the lasting impact of the late MR Discord legend EJ on countless lives, Mike from Portland calls in to discuss de-Roganization, and Greg Abbott digs his feet into refusing exceptions for his abortion ban. They wrap up the fun half with a call from Yabadabadoo on the horrors of COVID, the conflicts of the vaccine, and the manifestation of anxiety into vaccine hesitancy, plus, your calls and IMs!

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