FIU hosts event comparing the Cuban and Venezuelan revolution and aftermath

Flyer of the event. Courtesy of FIU's Cuban Research Institute

Victor Garcia | Contributing Writer   

On March 31 FIU’s Cuban Research Institute presented a discussion comparing the Cuban and Venezuelan revolutions and exile diaspora.

The panel was split evenly with University of Michigan professor Silvia Pedraza and CRI Director Jorge Duany representing the Cuban perspective while FIU Professors Brian Fonseca and Ofelia Riquezes Curiel handled Venezuela. 

Pedraza opened the presentation with an exposition of the Cuban economic and political crisis.

 “The economic crisis in Cuba is so profound that we need another word to describe how something that has been a crisis for so long is still a crisis,” said Pedraza. 

She also explained how the political crisis began due to President  Miguel Mario Díaz-Canel’s lack of charisma compared to former heads of state Fidel and Raul Castro. 

Duany continued, detailing the history of the Cuban exodus and how it is often divided into six waves of this migration. 

He also mentioned how 2022 witnessed the biggest number of Cuban migrants attempting to enter the US in a single year ever with 225,000 people. 

Fonseca would move the discussion to Venezuela, centering on the rise and tenure of Hugo Chavez. He explained how Chavez’s charisma and opposition to the corrupt government at the time in Venezuela helped him gain the favor of the people. 

“Chavez was known for his charismatic personality and his ability to connect with the Venezuelan people” explained Fonseca.

He concluded his portion by comparing how the military of each country influenced each of their revolutions. 

“The military had very different roles in the revolutions, in Cuba the military played an essential role in the success of the revolution, the contemporary Cuban military was born out of the revolution. Versus the Venezuela in which the military was pursued in the aftermath of the revolution attempting to tie the military institution to the survival of the machine” said Fonseca.

 Riquezes closed the presentation by focusing on Maduro’s government and the beginning of the Venezuelan exodus. 

“Venezuela’s exodus has become the largest that the region has ever registered with over seven million people having left the country since 2015,” explained Riquezes. 

Riquezes points to the lack of resources and human rights. 

In the end, the panelists emphasized that even if the revolutions and the formation of these governments occurred in their own unique circumstances, the consequences for the people have been the same.   

Be the first to comment on "FIU hosts event comparing the Cuban and Venezuelan revolution and aftermath"

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published.