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.
Ten years ago, I was working 12-hour days as a warehouse temp in Southern California while my family, like millions of others, struggled to stay afloat in the wake of the Great Recession. Eventually, we lost everything, including the house I grew up in. It was in the years that followed, when hope seemed irrevocably lost and help from above seemed impossibly absent, that I realized the life-saving importance of everyday workers coming together, sharing our stories, showing our scars, and reminding one another that we are not alone. Since then, from starting the podcast Working People—where I interview workers about their lives, jobs, dreams, and struggles—to working as Associate Editor at the Chronicle Review and now as Editor-in-Chief at The Real News Network, I have dedicated my life to lifting up the voices and honoring the humanity of our fellow workers.