UCL Institute of the Americas


Book launch: 'A Hidden History of the Cuban Revolution' with author Steve Cushion

27 April 2016, 5:30 pm–7:00 pm

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UCL Institute of the Americas


UCL Institute of the Americas, 51 Gordon Square, London WC1H 0PN

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Steve Cushion - To both its supporters and detractors, the Cuban Revolution is almost universally understood as having been won by a small band of guerrillas. This book turns the conventional wisdom on its head, and argues that the Cuban working class played a much more decisive role in the Revolution's outcome than previously understood. It contends that significant portions of the Cuban working class launched an underground movement in tandem with the guerrillas operating in the mountains.

Developed during five research trips to Cuba under the auspices of the Institute of Cuban History in Havana, this book analyses a wealth of leaflets, pamphlets, clandestine newspapers, and other agitational material from the 1950s that has never before been systematically examined, along with many interviews with participants themselves.

The Hidden History of the Cuban Revolution uncovers widespread militant activity, from illegal strikes to sabotage to armed conflict with the state, all of which culminated in two revolutionary workers' congresses and the largest general strike in Cuban history. The book argues that these efforts helped clinch the victory of the revolution, and thus presents a fresh and provocative take on the place of the working class in Cuban history.

Steve Cushion is a retired university lecturer who lives in East London. Before his employment in the Department of Humanities at London Metropolitan University, he worked as a London bus driver for 20 years. He has been an active socialist and trade unionist all his adult life, serving as shop steward and branch secretary in both the Transport and General Workers Union (TGWU) and the National Association of Teachers in Further and Higher Education (NATFHE). He is currently Branch Secretary of the London Retired Members Branch of the University and College Union (UCU) and is also a member of the Executive Committee of Caribbean Labour Solidarity (CLS), the Committee of the Socialist History Society and the Committee of the Society for Caribbean Studies (UK).

The Hidden History of the Cuban Revolution: How the Working Class Shaped the Guerrillas' Victory bu Steve Cushion was published by Monthly Review Press in February 2016