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On Dec 7 1989 Fidel said In Cuba the Revolution socialism and independence are indissolubly linked He was contrasting the Cuban situation with Eastern Europe when he pointed out that Cuba is not a country in which socialism came in the wake of the victorious divisions of the Red Army I want to focus on this linkage Revolution--socialism--independence We must understand how that linkage has been forged through a long history of struggle for independence that has tempered a strong sense of national identity DEPENDENCY AND REVOLUTION Historically Cuba had an island economy that was underdeveloped long ago to be part of the dependent periphery in the world economic system As a result Cuba has not been able to develop an integrated national economy that could give it the material basis for independence This dependency fueled a quest for national independence that has lasted for well over a century The Cuban Revolution and its socialist turn represented the culmination of this struggle for national independence and dignity Cuba was the most highly neo-colonized country to have a revolution in the twentieth century Therein lies its historical importance It was precisely because Cuba was a neo-colony -- a virtual US plantation -- that it had a socialist revolution The only way it could achieve political independence and economic development was by breaking away from the capitalist world market Cubas struggle for national independence started in 1860s when Carlos Manuel de Cespedes freed his slaves and led them into Cubas first decade-long war for independence from Spain the Ten Years War 1868-1878 Cuba has been struggling for its independence ever since Cubas second war for independence 1895-1898 was inspired by Jose Marti and led until his death in 1895 by him and the Dominican General Maximo
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