Natural Resource Revolutions: Mexico and Cuba
“Natural Resource Revolutions: Mexico and Cuba within the Sphere of U.S. Hegemony.”
The improbable trajectories of revolutionary Mexico and Cuba give rise to compelling questions: in what ways were both countries able to practice successful defiance of the U.S. hegemony during the twentieth century? And how has that defiance helped to define U.S. foreign policy towards Latin America and the Caribbean? This presentation is a detailed examination of the contexts surrounding both the Mexican and Cuban revolutions and their struggle against imperialist-driven interventions. I argue that through strategic decisions, the Mexican and Cuban revolutionary governments were able to ward off U.S. intervention and create a process of independence that in turn became a trajectory for defiance in modern Latin America and the Caribbean through revolution, petroleum nationalization, and the establishment of a strong party system that harnessed the power of social movements through public buy-in to revolutionary principles. The contributions of this research are significant because they link theories of world systems and social revolutions in the modern world to social movements and the dynamics of charismatic authority to what took place in Latin America during the 1930s and 1960s vis-à-vis the use of natural resource nationalization as a diplomatic weapon.