By Julio Cortazar
His first political novel.
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Additional info for A Manual for Manuel
Yet when the revolution triumphed, although there was perhaps a desire to challenge the economic status quo and address the issue of dependence, completely extirpating the United States from Cuba was not an explicit, nor really even implicit, part of the 26th of July’s goals. Indeed, Castro’s movement generally invoked the rhetoric of social justice, clean government, and independence. At the time, “revolution” did not automatically equal communism. The triumphant rebel leaders expressed their objectives vaguely and in a way that would garner the broadest appeal possible.
Though affiliated with the Liberals, Machado ran with a progressive, nationalist platform: end the Platt Amendment, no presidential re-election, university autonomy, a new and more just commercial treaty with the United States, and greater control over corruption. Once in office, Machado won popular approval because of an enormous public works program for improving Havana. Yet corruption continued, and soon, Machado revealed his authoritarian impulses, restricting the freedom of political parties, repressing labor movements, and securing a series of illegal extensions of his term.
Yet in the aftermath of the violent and disruptive Machado period, political chaos reigned supreme: The government lacked support, intransigent plantation owners refused to abide by the government’s policies regarding labor rights and wages, and Batista further consolidated his authority over the Cuban armed forces. Antonio Guiteras—veteran of the student movement, well-known radical, associate of Julio Antonio Mella (co-founder of Cuba’s first Communist Party), and minister of the interior under the Grau government— played an important role.
A Manual for Manuel by Julio Cortazar