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Revolution Within the RevolutionWomen and Gender Politics in Cuba, 1952-1962$
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Michelle Chase

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9781469625003

Published to North Carolina Scholarship Online: May 2016

DOI: 10.5149/northcarolina/9781469625003.001.0001

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From the Consumer’s Revolution to the Economic War, 1959–1962

From the Consumer’s Revolution to the Economic War, 1959–1962

(p.135) 5 From the Consumer’s Revolution to the Economic War, 1959–1962
Revolution Within the Revolution

Michelle Chase

University of North Carolina Press

This chapter examines how patterns of consumption changed in the first few years of the revolution. As early as 1959, transformations in the countryside due to the agrarian reform and U.S. economic pressure combined to produce shortages in the urban centers. The chapter uses the issue of consumption to chart the dramatic changes to the ways Cubans imagined their country’s future, from industrialized modernity and prosperity to shared, egalitarian austerity. It argues that shortages of food and other necessary items impacted urban women in particular, and that these same women’s urgent petitions and food protests pushed the revolutionary leadership to publicly address the problem of shortages and ultimately introduce a system of rationing.

Keywords:   food protests, food shortages, rationing, industrialization, agrarian reform, modernity

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