Amid power outages, food shortages, and continued fears over COVID-19, amplified by 60 years of economic strangulation by a US blockade, thousands of protestors in Cuba have taken to the streets to demand answers and action from their government. Mainstream media outlets in the US have jumped at the chance to paint these protests as singularly focused on repudiating the communist revolution, using them as a pretext for greater imperialist intervention, but the reality on the ground is much more complex. Author and historian Andrés Pertierra joins us to examine the deeper historical and political contexts surrounding the protests and to discuss how viewers outside of Cuba can navigate the media frenzy. Pertierra is a historian of Cuba and US-Cuban relations in the 19th and 20th centuries; he received his bachelor’s degree from the University of Havana and is currently a PhD student in Latin American and Caribbean history at the University of Wisconsin–Madison.
Maximillian Alvarez is the editor-in-chief of The Real News Network, and the host of Working People, “a podcast by, for, and about the working class today.” His work has been featured in venues like In These Times, The Nation, The Baffler, Current Affairs, and The New Republic.