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New Left Review I/21, October 1963


Robin Blackburn

Prologue to the Cuban Revolution

The Cuban revolution is now widely recognized as an event of world-historical importance. For the first time there has been a socialist revolution in the Americas. For the first time the new forms of colonialism have been unequivocally rejected. For the first time a socialist revolution has been carried through without the leadership of a Communist Party. For the first time one of the non-aligned nations has joined the Communist world. For the first time a socialist revolution has occurred in a relatively developed country. For the first time capitalism has been confronted with a major revolution realized in conditions of world peace, rather than out of a context of general war. The universal significance of the Cuban revolution makes it one of the decisive phenomena of our time. Yet this significance can only be properly understood after an exact characterization of its particular nature. And this has been almost completely absent from the great volume of debate which the revolution has given rise to outside Cuba.

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