Latin American Studies

Stock up and Save on Latin American Studies Titles

SpringSale2017_900x200_72dpi

The annual meeting of the Latin American Studies Association begins tomorrow in Lima, Peru. Because of the distance, this year we will have books and journals on display at the congress but attendees will not be able to purchase them there. Fortunately, we are having a great sale that includes all our in-stock Latin American studies titles and we encourage both attendees and those who weren’t able to make it this year to take advantage of the discounts.

Head to our website and save 30% (our regular conference discount) on one or two books or journal issues, 40% on three or four titles, and 50% on five or more copies. Just enter coupon code SUMMER17 at checkout.

978-0-8223-6348-4_prNew Latin American studies titles include The Lima Reader: History, Culture, Politics, the latest in our Latin America Readers series. Covering more than 500 years of history, culture, and politics, The Lima Reader seeks to capture the many worlds and many peoples of Peru’s capital city, featuring a selection of primary sources that consider the social tensions and cultural heritages of the “City of Kings.” If you fall in love with Lima during LASA, pick up The Lima Reader to learn more about it’s past and present.

decolonizing-dialectics-coverOther titles we’ll be featuring at LASA that you can pick up during our online sale include Decolonizing Dialectics by George Ciccariello-Maher, which brings the work of Georges Sorel, Frantz Fanon, and Enrique Dussel together with contemporary Venezuelan politics to formulate a decolonized dialectics that is suited to the struggle against the legacies of slavery and colonialism while also breaking the impasse between dialectics and postcolonial theory. And An Aqueous Territory: Sailor Geographies and New Granada’s Transimperial Greater Caribbean World by Ernesto Bassi, which examines the lives of those who resided in the Caribbean between 1760 and 1860 to trace the configuration of a dynamic geographic space he calls the transimperial Greater Caribbean, where residents made their own geographies and futures while trade, information, and people circulated freely across borders.

Punk and RevolutionWe are also featuring some music titles including The Great Woman Singer: Gender and Voice in Puerto Rican Music by Licia Fiol-Matta, which traces the careers of four iconic Puerto Rican singers; Musicians in Transit: Argentina and the Globalization of Popular Music by Matthew B. Karush, which examines the transnational careers of seven of the most influential Argentine musicians of the twentieth century; and Shane Greene’s Punk in Revolution: Seven More Interpretations of Peruvian Reality, which radically uproots punk from its iconic place in First World urban culture, Anglo popular music, and the Euro-American avant-garde, situating it instead as a crucial element in Peru’s culture of subversive militancy and political violence.

ddhahr_95_1If you’ve missed any special issues of Hispanic American Historical Review (HAHR), you can order them at the discount, too (but subscriptions are not eligible). Check out recent issues of HAHR including “New Directions in Colonial Latin American History” and “The New Drug History of the Americas.” Special issues of Labor, Public Culture, Radical History Review, and all our other journal issues are also on sale.

This special sale runs through May 10. See the rest of the fine print here. After May 10 you can still order the above titles and other Latin American studies works at a flat 30% discount using coupon code LASA17. Happy shopping!

 

Poem of the Week

978-0-8223-6229-6To celebrate National Poetry Month, we’re sharing a poem a week throughout April. Today’s poem, by Roberto Fernández Retamar, can be found in Only the Road / Solo el Camino: Eight Decades of Cuban Poetry, edited and translated by Margaret Randall. Read on for the English translation.

Felices los normales

A Antonia Eiriz

Felices los normales, esos seres extraños.
Los que no tuvieron una madre loca, un padre borracho, un hijo delincuente,
Una casa en ninguna parte, una enfermedad desconocida,
Los que no han sido calcinados por un amor devorante,
Los que vivieron los diecisiete rostros de la sonrisa y un poco más,
Los llenos de zapatos, los arcángeles con sombreros,
Los satisfechos, los gordos, los lindos,
Los rintintín y sus secuaces, los que cómo no, por aquí,
Los que ganan, los que son queridos hasta la empuñadura,
Los flautistas acompañados por ratones,
Los vendedores y sus compradores,
Los caballeros ligeramente sobrehumanos,
Los hombres vestidos de truenos y las mujeres de relámpagos,
Los delicados, los sensatos, los finos,
Los amables, los dulces, los comestibles y los bebestibles.
Felices las aves, el estiércol, las piedras.

Pero que den paso a los que hacen los mundos y los sueños,
Las ilusiones, las sinfonías, las palabras que nos desbaratan
Y nos construyen, los más locos que sus madres, los más borrachos
Que sus padres y más delincuentes que sus hijos
Y más devorados por amores calcinantes.
Que les dejen su sitio en el infierno, y basta.

Happy Are the Normal Ones

To Antonia Eiriz

Happy are the normal ones, those strange beings,
Who didn’t have a crazy mother, drunken father, delinquent child,
A nowhere house, an unknown disease,
Who were never burnt to a crisp by an all-consuming love,
Who lived seventeen smiling faces and a little bit more,
Full of shoes, archangels with hats,
The satisfied, the fat, the beautiful,
Rintintín and his minions, who naturally, right here,
Who earn, who are loved to the hilt,
flautists accompanied by mice,
Salesmen and those who buy from them,
Slightly superhuman gentlemen,
Men dressed in thunder and women in lightning,
The delicate ones, the sensible, the refined,
The lovable, the sweet, the edible and drinkable.
Happy are the birds, the manure, the stones.

But let them make way for those who create worlds and dreams,
Illusions, symphonies, words that break us in two
And put us back together, those crazier than their mothers, drunker
Than their fathers, more delinquent than their children
And more devoured by all-consuming loves.
Leave them their place in hell, that’s all.

Learn more about Only the Road / Solo el Camino or read last week’s poem.

Collateral Afterworlds: Sociality Besides Redemption

ddstx_130The most recent issue of Social Text, “Collateral Afterworlds: Sociality Besides Redemption,” moves beyond the binary of life and death to explore how the gray areas in between—precarious life, slow death—call into question assumptions about the social in social theory. In these “collateral afterworlds,” where the line between life and death is blurred, the presumed attachments of sociality to life and solitude to death are no longer reliable.

The contributors focus on the daily experiences of enduring a difficult present unhinged from any redeeming future, addressing topics such as drug treatment centers in Mexico City, solitary death in Japan, Inuit colonial violence, human regard for animal life in India, and intimacies forged between grievously wounded soldiers. Engaging history, film, ethics, and poetics, the contributors explore the modes of intimacy, obligation, and ethical investment that arise in these spaces.

Read the introduction to the issue, made freely available.

Interview with Ethnohistory co-editor John F. Schwaller

We recently sat down with new Ethnohistory co-editor John F. Schwaller to discuss his background, how he’d like to shape the journal in the future, and plans for upcoming special issues. To learn more about Ethnohistory, visit dukeupress.edu/ethnohistory.

How did you come to be co-editor of this journal?

ddeh_64_1Matthew Restall [former co-editor of Ethnohistory] is a colleague and friend of mine and when he had served the journal for almost 10 years, he asked me if I would be interested in taking over the position from him. I’ve been a long-time follower and sometime author in Ethnohistory. My work in early colonial Mexico and especially my work in Nahuatl was very close to the journal, so it was a fun opportunity.

How would you like to shape the journal in the future?

What I really want to do is continue to emphasize high quality work on the rest of the Americas. Ethnohistory always has had very strong pieces on British and French North America. For the last ten to fifteen years the journal has included increasingly important pieces on what we now consider Latin America and I want to continue that tradition. Many of the articles have come from Mesoamerica—that’s Mexico and Central America. We have published a little bit in South America and we now have a couple of articles in the queue focused on South America. I would like to expand the offerings for Mesoamerica and South America significantly, so we have a really great presence for both continents in the journal.

What are some under-researched areas that you hope to publish about in the future?

I think, in terms of the profession at large it may not be as underserved, but there are certainly a lot of native peoples of South America that have not been covered sufficiently. We’re only beginning to see some really good studies of some of the native peoples of South America, and I would love to see more ethnohistories of peoples from South America.

Do you have any plans for upcoming special issues?

We have two proposals for special issues right now. One deals with Nahuatl speaking people, and I’m very excited about that. It’s an outgrowth of a panel at the American Society for Ethnohistory meeting in Nashville [November 2016] in which we looked at language and cultural identity in modern Mexico. We had several native Nahuatl speakers who were part of the panel. The organizers of the panel have asked if Ethnohistory would be interested in looking at the papers and the presentations for a special issue and I’ve told them absolutely. If it comes to fruition, at least one or perhaps two of the shorter presentations will be in Nahuatl with English translations.

What are you looking for in submissions?

I’m excited about everything. I really want people to think of Ethnohistory as an important place for their work to appear if they work on native peoples of the Americas.

Obviously with the revolution in languages that we’ve had since the 1970s, many of us are very excited by documentation and works based on documentation in native languages. We need not be blind to the fact that there still are valid and important sources that are only Spanish, Portuguese, English, or French, that can also enlighten us as to the history of native peoples.

To learn more about the journal or to subscribe, visit dukeupress.edu/ethnohistory. To submit your work to the journal, review the submission guidelines.

Native American Slavery and Genocide

ddeh_64_1The most recent issue of Ethnohistory, “Native American Slavery in the Seventeenth Century,” edited by Arne Bialuschewski, sheds new light on the role of Native American slavery in the development of colonial economies and in shaping the colonial world across cultural and political boundaries.

Though enslavement took various forms—from outright chattel to limited-term servitude—indigenous slavery was ubiquitous in the major colonial empires by the late seventeenth century. Focusing on five examples of Native American slavery in the early modern period, the contributors present important new frames for scholarship in this growing area of study. Articles address an early Spanish abolition campaign, buccaneers’ involvement in the enslavement of Maya groups, native slaves in the early plantation economy of Barbados, the enslavement of indigenous surrenderers after King Philip’s War, and the interactions between French explorers and indigenous slaves in the Lower Mississippi Valley.

Read the introduction, made freely available.

978-0-8223-5779-7The essay collection Colonial Genocide in Indigenous North America, edited by Alexander Laban Hinton, Andrew Woolford, and Jeff Benvenuto, expands the geographic, demographic, and analytic scope of the term genocide to encompass the effects of colonialism and settler colonialism in North America. Colonists made multiple and interconnected attempts to destroy Indigenous peoples as groups, and the contributors to this book examine these efforts through the lens of genocide.

Considering some of the most destructive aspects of the colonization and subsequent settlement of North America, several essays in the collection address Indigenous boarding school systems imposed by both the Canadian and U.S. governments in attempts to “civilize” or “assimilate” Indigenous children. Contributors examine some of the most egregious assaults on Indigenous peoples and the natural environment, including massacres, land appropriation, the spread of disease, the near-extinction of the buffalo, and forced political restructuring of Indigenous communities.

Assessing the record of these appalling events, the contributors maintain that North Americans must reckon with colonial and settler colonial attempts to annihilate Indigenous peoples.

Read more about Colonial Genocide in Indigenous North America on the book’s webpage.

A Peruvian Punk Playlist

Shane Greene’s new book Punk and Revolution: Seven More Interpretations of Peruvian Reality is about the rise of an underground arts and music scene during Peru’s period of massive political violence between the Maoist Shining Path and a repressive state apparatus. Here is his playlist of many of the songs mentioned, or analyzed in depth in the book.

While not a definitive list, this is an excellent sampling of “rock subterráneo” music from 1980s Lima, Peru.  With a couple of vinyl exceptions, most of the music circulated in “demo” cassette format, and the songs selected represent a variety of musical sounds inspired by punk, post-punk, and hardcore genres that arose in the late 1970s and evolved into the present.

Band: Anti
Song:  ¿A quien quieres engañar?

Band: Autopsia
Song:  Mayoría equivocada

Band: Ataque Frontal
Song:  Ya no formo parte de esto

Band: Delirios Krónikos
Song: Bingo

Band: Curriculum Mortis
Song:  Decapitando curas

Band:  El Cuervo Sucio
Song: Hacía las cárceles

Band: Erecto Maldonado
Song: Venga a vivir a Ayacucho

Band: Eutanasia
Song:  Ratas callejeras

Band:  Éxodo
Song: Rock en Lima la Podrida

Band:  G3
Song: Antisocial

Band:  Guerrilla Urbana
Song:  Eres una pose

Band: KAOS
Song: Ayacucho – centro de opresión

Band: Kaos General
Song:  Botas militares

Band: Leusemia
Song: Astalculo

Band:  María T-ta y el Empujón Brutal
Song: La Desbarrancada

Band:  Narcosis
Song:  Destruir

Band: Q.E.P.D. Carreño
Song: Mi vida agoniza

Band: Salón Dadá
Song:  Gente insaciable

Band: Sociedad de Mierda
Song:  Púdrete pituco

Band:  Voz Propia
Song:  Hacía las cárceles

Band: Zcuela Crrada
Song: La esquina es la misma

To save 30% on Punk and Revolution, use coupon code E16PUNK at checkout on our website.

 

Labor and Empire

ddlab_13_3_4In the most recent issue of Labor, “Land and Empire,” edited by Leon Fink and Julie Greene, contributors consider the question: “Who built the US empire?” By taking us into the world of working class people across North and South America, the Caribbean, and the Pacific, the essays in this double issue recount a history of empire building focused on the interconnections between capitalist and state expansionism.

Topics include labor and resistance in the US Army during the Civil War, Imperial politics of Filipino labor, Puerto Rican laborers in the Dominican Republic, and the decolonization of Korean labor under US occupation, among others.

From the introduction:

The articles in this double issue of Labor thus emerge from and reflect an exciting field of historical research and intellectual engagement, including new directions in transnational and imperial history and renewed engagement in both of these fields by labor historians. Together they demonstrate the inextricable connections between the history of US empire and the history of labor. The articles reveal dynamics in the logic of US empire that would not be visible in a top-down historical methodology. Furthermore, they demonstrate that what we think of as “US labor history” involved working people and sites of labor around the world. They challenge us not only to make global processes and interactions relevant to our narratives and interpretations of labor and working-class history but, more particularly, to realize the significance of imperial and colonial power relations in shaping that broader labor history. Five major themes weave through the essays as they engage with the labor history of empire. They draw our attention to the unfree labor of military service and its central role in building North American and US empire; struggles over citizenship in the unequal territories of the United States; the complex role of colonial and postcolonial subjects as migrant laborers; the labor tensions involved in US occupations; and labor migration as central to the logic of empire.

Read the full introduction, made freely available.

Happy Birthday, Margaret Randall!

randall-f15-author-photo-courtesy-albuquerque-the-magazineToday we wish writer and activist Margaret Randall best wishes on her eightieth birthday. To celebrate, we are offering a 30% discount on her in-stock books with coupon E16MRBDY.

Randall has lived an exciting life, living among New York’s abstract expressionists in the 1950s and early ’60s, sharing the rebellion of the Beats, participating in the Mexican student movement of 1968, living in Cuba during the second decade of that country’s revolution (1969-1980), residing in Nicaragua during the first four years of the Sandinista project (1980-1984), and visiting North Vietnam during the last months of the war there (1974). In the 1980s she fought a five-year battle to regain her U.S. citizenship, after the U.S. government attempted to deport her.  In 1990 she was awarded the Lillian Hellman and Dashiell Hammett grant for writers victimized by political repression; and in 2004 was the first recipient of PEN New Mexico’s Dorothy Doyle Lifetime Achievement Award for Writing and Human Rights Activism.

Randall has published over 100 books, and we’re pleased that she has chosen to publish some of her most recent titles with us. Her editor Gisela Fosado says, “Looking back, it was a pretty gutsy move to contact Margaret Randall to work with me as an editor.  I was just starting out in my book publishing career and I hadn’t edited a single book.  And yet here I was, contacting one of the most prominent, eloquent and prolific authors writing about revolutionary Latin America to see if she would consider working with me.  Margaret and I immediately connected and she made me feel like I was one of the best editors she ever had. She launched my confidence and my career.  Four years and five Duke books later, I can’t imagine living life without Margaret as one of my closest friends.”

978-0-8223-5592-2_prChe on My Mind is the first book of Margaret Randall’s that we published, in 2013. The book is an impressionistic look at the life, death, and legacy of Che Guevara. Recalling an era and this figure, Randall writes, “I am old enough to remember the world in which [Che] lived. I was part of that world, and it remains a part of me.” Writing about the book in Left History, Budd Hall said, “Perhaps only a poet could capture the complexities of the life, lives, myth and myths of Che. . . . [I]n the able and creative capacities of Margaret Randall, the many verses of Che’s life are woven into an epic poem.”

In 2015, we published Haydée Santamaría, Cuban Haydée SantamaríaRevolutionary: She Led by Transgression. In this intimate portrait, Margaret Randall tells the story of her friend Haydée Santamaría, the only woman to participate in every phase of the Cuban Revolution. Although unknown outside Cuba, Santamaría was part of Fidel Castro’s inner circle and played a key role in post-revolutionary Cuba’s political and artistic development.

when-rains-became-floodsRandall is also well known as a translator, and in 2015 we published her translation of When Rains Became Floods: A Child Soldier’s Story by Lurgio Gavilán Sánchez.  As a child soldier, Gavilán Sánchez fought for both the Peruvian guerilla insurgency Shining Path and the Peruvian military during the Peruvian Civil War. After escaping the war, he became a Franciscan priest. His book is being made into a movie in Peru.

Only the RoadThis fall, we’ve brought out Randall’s Only the Road/Solo el camino: Eight Decades of Cuban Poetry. Featuring her translations of the work of over fifty poets from diverse backgrounds born between 1902 and 1981, it is the most complete bilingual anthology of Cuban poetry available to an English readership.

RandallFThis spring we are excited to be publishing Randall’s next book, Exporting Revolution: Cuba’s Global Solidarity. In this timely book,  Randall explores the Cuban Revolution’s impact on the outside world, tracing Cuba’s international outreach in healthcare, disaster relief, education, literature, art, liberation struggles, and sports to show how this outreach is a fundamental characteristic of the Revolution and of Cuban society. It will be out in April 2017.

Happy Birthday, Margaret Randall! Thank you for all these books and for all your hard work promoting them. We look forward to your next project.

Order any of Margaret Randall’s in-stock titles and save 30% using coupon code E16MRBDY on our website.

 

 

Half-Mast in Havana

The death of Fidel Castro has brought a somber mood to Havana as Cubans there and around the country reflect on the life and impact of El Comandante. Today’s guest post by Adrian Hearn, first published November 29 in Australian Outlook, examines the state of Havana and the political and economic changes Cuba now faces. Hearn is the author of Diaspora and Trust: Cuba, Mexico, and the Rise of China and Cuba: Religion, Social Capital, and Development.

Weekends in Havana are usually festive. Families bustle through the crowded street markets to the backdrop of animated negotiations and the latest salsa tracks. But this weekend, the streets were calm and downcast. Television and radio stations were maintaining a sombre stream of news about the life and times of El Comandante. Even the tourist restaurants stopped serving alcohol and sent their bands home.

I heard the news of Fidel’s passing at 8:30am on Saturday from my neighbour as we passed on the staircase of the five-storey building where I stay. The 35-year-old manicurist is usually ready to joke about the trials of daily life despite being unable to find stable employment for the 15 years I’ve known her. When I asked how she felt, she forced a few words through strained lips: “Sad…We all knew he was sick, but…”. She had to stop to fight back tears.

Some of my friends are affected in less emotional but more practical ways. They make their living from music and ritual drumming for the Afro-Cuban religion Santería. To their dismay, the Council of State decreed that, “all public activities and performances will be suspended for nine days of national mourning.” Miki, the owner of the sacred batá drums, had to cancel his rumba show, and his religious ceremonies are all suspended because they involve drumming. He has taken the initiative: “I’ve sent Jorge to the police station to ask for a permit because for us this is the only way to make a living.” At the lower end of the socioeconomic spectrum, Miki and his community are not afraid to complain: “The cartoons have all been cancelled to show this political stuff …What’s my daughter supposed to watch?”

Today marks four days since Fidel’s passing, and it is safe to say that feelings are mixed. At 9am 21 cannon shots boomed across the city, cutting through the Monday morning traffic as a reminder that life has not returned to normal. Many have been given the day off work to venerate Fidel’s ashes in Revolution Plaza. And at more than a thousand schools and clinics across Havana citizens have been urged to sign a “book of condolences”.

Havana2

At one of these locations, a primary school in the lower-class neighbourhood of Arroyo Naranjo, I asked an elderly Afro-Cuban woman what the book of condolences meant to her. “I always tell people that I am not Communist,” she asserted with a raised finder, “but that I am Fidel-ist. Before the Revolution I worked for a wealthy white family, who made me carry buckets of water from 7am to 7pm and scrub their bathrooms nonstop. I wasn’t allowed to go to the beach with them because of my skin. It’s indisputable that Fidel put an end to that!” A young man joined the conversation with a quiet but intense tone: “I was born in the 1980s but my father told me how things were, and I’ll always defend Fidel for raising up people of colour.”

After the nationalisation of foreign businesses in the 1960s and mass mobilisations to educate the population, Fidel did not drive major changes in Cuban politics. But since his brother Raúl took over as president in 2008, the island has implemented a range of reforms that even the conservative US think tank Freedom House admits are “driving genuine change”. Consequently, more than 450,000 Cubans are now self-employed (up from 150,000 in 2010), and chic privately operated cafés and restaurants are popping up around the city. The growth of tourism to 3.5 million visitors in 2015, from just 300,000 in 1990, has brought new opportunities for many of Cuba’s 11 million citizens.

Change is also underway in the political system. At the last Communist Party Congress in mid-2016, rules were implemented to bring new blood into the elite Central Committee. Previously staffed by Fidel’s ageing comrades, the committee will henceforth only accept new members who are younger than 60, and will force those older than 70 to retire. Furthermore, three of the 2016 intakes come from scientific and industrial backgrounds instead of more traditional political careers.

Cuba’s international profile is evolving too. In 2015, the United States and Cuba reinstated diplomatic ties after 54 years of estrangement, and in March 2016 Barack Obama became the first sitting US president to visit the island in 88 years. European and Asian delegations are now a common sight in Havana, and this year former Australian Trade Minister Andrew Robb led the first Australian trade mission to Cuba. As part of his delegation I was struck by the enthusiasm of Cuban officials—absent during Fidel’s reign—to develop commercial ties in everything from renewable energy to food security.

Watching these changes from Canberra, the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade is now funding Cuban engagement projects in areas as diverse as street art, restoration of historical archives, and organic food production. These initiatives show that Cuba’s priorities are changing: from tireless advocacy of social justice under Fidel to internationally engaged economic pragmatism under Raúl.

The music will inevitably return to Havana, but life after Fidel may usher in a period of emotional ambivalence. The nine-day mourning period is exposing deeply contrasting feelings about the balance of political allegiance with daily economic survival. And yet, for now at least, my neighbour will go back to her precarious job with a smile.

Fidel Castro, ¡presente!

On the occasion of the death of Cuba’s leader Fidel Castro, we offer a guest post by Margaret Randall.

1024px-fidel_castro_-_mats_terminal_washington_1959Fidel Castro, longtime leader of the Cuban Revolution, died on November 25th at the age of 90. He withdrew from public office in 2008, when his younger brother Raul took over. Raul has said he will step down in 2018. At the Cuban Communist Party congress in April of this year, Fidel voiced an awareness of his impending death: “Our turn comes to us all,” he told the assembled delegates, “but the ideas of Cuban communism will endure.”

It is unclear how much of Fidel’s vision for his nation will endure in the face of a rapidly changing world with neo-fascist forces gaining ground in so many countries, including our own United States. What cannot be denied is that 57 years ago Fidel led a small group of revolutionaries to victory in Cuba, and against enormous odds established the “first free territory in America.” The Cuban Revolution stood up to a world power many times its size and strength, put basic human needs on its agenda, all but eradicated illiteracy and soon achieved a ninth-grade education for all adults, guaranteed universal healthcare and good free public education from kindergarten through the post-graduate level, worked to provide adequate housing and made full employment a reality. Progress was made against racism and sexism. People discussed and passed new laws. Book publishing was subsidized. Culture and sports events were free. Despite a multiplicity of problems from outside and within, for half a century Cuba stood as a beacon for other countries suffering poverty and neocolonial domination. With almost half a century of U.S. economic blockade, the implosion of the European socialist bloc and other impediments, some of these accomplishments no longer shine as brightly as they once did. Still, Cuba gave the world a new idea of what justice might look like.

I lived in Cuba for eleven years in the 1970s, but only met Fidel once, very briefly in 1968. We were at a large reception with many hundreds of guests. A friend who knew the man took me to where he stood surrounded by other visitors. The year before, in Mexico, I had published an anthology of new Cuban poetry and visual art in the bilingual journal I edited, El Corno Emplumado / The Plumed Horn. To my astonishment, Fidel brought up that publication, referring to several of the included works by name. I tried to imagine what it might be like to have such a conversation with any high level political leader in the United States.

Fidel Castro the man has drawn resounding praise and pervasive insult. Whatever one’s opinion, he was a uniquely brilliant strategist and great leader, whose ideas merit our respect and gratitude. Today I weep with the Cuban people. As they say throughout Latin America, Fidel Castro, ¡presente!

Margaret Randall is the author of dozens of books of poetry and prose, including Haydée Santamaría, Cuban Revolutionary: She Led by Transgression and Che on My Mind, and the editor of Only the Road / Solo el Camino: Eight Decades of Cuban Poetry, all also published by Duke University Press. Her next book Exporting Revolution: Cuba’s Global Solidarity, comes out in the spring.