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Cuban Revolution 1953-1989 & Revolutionary Biographies Introduction

Cuban Revolution 1953-1989 and Revolutionary Biographies:  Ernesto ‘Che’ Guevara and Hugo Chávez

This page has information to help with doing research on the Cuban revolution. Focus is upon the time period between the 1953 uprising to the fall of the Soviet Union in 1989. In addition there is information to help with research on 'Che' Guevara (1928-1967) and Hugo Chávez (1954-2013) and political movements associated with them.

Reference Resources Terms to Search in Library Catalog Research Databases
Circulating Items Print Indexes Journals Owned by CSU
Biographical Information for Guevara and Chávez Web Resources  


Reference Resources

Reference Resources--Encyclopedias & More
Encyclopedias can be a great place to start your research, get an overview of your topic, or help you narrow your area of focus. Morgan Library has a number of encyclopedia sets that may be useful to you as you begin your research. Encyclopedias are located in the Reference collection, so they may not be checked out. General encyclopedias can also be extremely useful.

  • Countries and Their Cultures. 4 vols. GN 307 .C68 2001 Reference
  • Encyclopedia of Cuba: People, History, Culture. 2 vols. F1754 .E53 2003 Reference
  • Encyclopedia of Cuban-United States Relations. E183.8.C9 L39 2004 Reference
  • Encyclopedia of Latin American History and Culture. 5 vols. F1406 .E53 1996 Reference
  • Encyclopedia of Latin American Politics. F1410 .E56 2002 Reference
  • Encyclopedia of the World's Nations & Cultures. 4 vols. G63 .K874 2007 Reference
  • Gale Virtual Reference Library. Online.
  • A Reference Guide to Latin American History. F1410 .R395 2000 Reference
  • South America, Central America and the Caribbean (Europa). F1408.29 .S68 Reference
  • Worldmark Encyclopedia of Cultures & Daily Life. 4 vols. GN 333 .W67 1998 Reference
  • Worldmark Encyclopedia of Nations. Vol 3. Americas. G63 .W67 2004 v.3 Reference

Circulating Items

Circulating Items: Morgan Stacks, Maps (also online)

  • An Atlas and Survey of Latin American History. G1541.S1 L3 2007 Maps
  • Cambridge History of Latin America. 10 vols. F1410 .C1834 1984 Morgan
  • Castro and the Cuban Revolution F1788 .L388 1999 Morgan
  • Che Guevara: Icon, Myth, and Message. F2849.22 .G85 K85 1997 Morgan
  • Che Guevara: The Economics of Revolution. HB97.5 .Y24 2009 Morgan
  • Che's Afterlife: The Legacy of an Image. Not owned by CSU. In Prospector
  • Compañero: The Life and Death of Che Guevara. F2849.22.G85 C27 1997 Morgan
  • Contemporary Latin American Social and Political Thought: An Anthology. H62.5 .L3 C65 2008 Morgan
  • Contesting Castro: The United States and the Triumph of the Cuban Revolution. E183.8.C9 P36 1994 Morgan
  • Cuba. 1977 map from U.S. CIA. PREX 3.10/4:C89 Maps
  • Cuba. 1994 map. from U.S. CIA PREX 3.10/4:C89/8 Maps Online
  • Cuba: A Global Studies Handbook. F1788 .H38 2008 Morgan
  • Cuba: A New History. F1776 .G68 2004 Morgan
  • Cuba: Between Reform and Revolution. 4th ed. F1776 .P46 2011 Morgan (see especially pp. 355-446)
  • The Cuba Reader: History, Culture, Politics. F1776 .C85 2003 Morgan
  • The Cuban Revolution: Origins, Course, and Legacy. F1788 .P455 1993 Morgan
  • Democracy and Revolution: Latin America and Socialism Today. HX110.5 .R33 2006 Morgan
  • Fidel Castro: My Life: A Spoken Autobiography. F1788.22.C3 A513 2008 Morgan
  • Guerrilla Warfare. (Guevara) U240 .G8313 1997 Morgan
  • The History of Venezuela. F2321 .T24 2005 Morgan
  • In the Shadow of the Liberator: Hugo Chávez and the Transformation of Venezuela [Caracazo]. F2328 .G69 2000 Morgan
  • On Becoming Cuban: Identity, Nationality, and Culture. F1760 .P47 1999 Morgan
  • The Pride of Havana: A History of Cuban Baseball. GV863.25.A1 G65 1999 Morgan
  • The Origins of the Cuban Revolution Reconsidered. F1788 .F328 2006 Morgan
  • Revolutions and Revolutionary Movements. HM876 .D44 2007 Morgan
  • The Revolution in Venezuela: Social and Political Change under Chávez. F2329 .R48 2011 Morgan

Electronic Book--available to CSU affiliates online (requires eID to access)

Terms to search in Library Catalog

Terms to Search in Library Catalog & Regional Catalog Prospector

Subject headings are the most efficient search for identifying books in the library catalog. Identify useful books in the library catalog (and the Regional Catalog Prospector--many more items can be found there; also check WorldCat using these terms) doing a (LC) Subject search for:

Batista Y Zaldivar Fulgencio 1901 1973 [3]
Castro Fidel 1926
Castro Ruz Raul 1930
Chávez Frias Hugo
Cuba Baseball [see Prospector]
Cuba Baseball History [1; see Prospector]
Cuba Economic Conditions
Cuba Economic Conditions 1918 1959
Cuba Economic Conditions 1959
Cuba Economic Conditions 1959 1990
Cuba Economic Conditions 1990
Cuba Economic Policy
Cuba Foreign Relations 1959
Cuba Foreign Relations 1959 1990
Cuba Foreign Relations Soviet Union
Cuba Foreign Relations Spain
Cuba Foreign Relations United States
Cuba History
Cuba History 1933 1959
Cuba History 1959
Cuba History 1959 1990
Cuba History 1990
Cuba History Invasion 1961 [Bay of Pigs]
Cuba History Invasion 1961 Sources
Cuba History Revolution 1959
Cuba History Revolution 1959 Causes
Cuba History Revolution 1959 Influence
Cuba History Revolution 1959 Personal Narratives
Cuba History Revolution 1959 Social Aspects
Cuba History 1959 Sources [1 item]

Cuba Politics and Government 1933 1959
Cuba Politics and Government 1959
Cuba Politics and Government 1959 1990
Cuba Politics and Government 1990
Cuba Race Relations
Cuba Relations Soviet Union
Cuba Relations United States
Cuba Tourism
Cuban Missile Crisis 1962
Cuban Missile Crisis 1962 Sources
Economic sanctions, American Cuba
Guevara Ernesto 1928 1967
Guerrilla Warfare
Latin America Politics and Government
Latin America Politics and Government 20th Century
Military Bases Soviet Cuba
Music Political Aspects Cuba
Political Violence Latin America
Revolutions Central America
Revolutions Central America History 20th Century
Rule of Law Latin America
Socialism Cuba
Socialism Latin America
Student Movements United States
Venezuela History
Venezuela Politics and Government
Venezuela Politics and Government 1974 1999
Venezuela Politics and Government 1999-
Violence Latin America
Women Cuba Social Conditions
Women Political Activity Latin America

Also look at subdivisions. For instance: Castro Fidel 1926 Interviews. It may be helpful to limit your search to pertinent years, e.g. after 1952 and before 1990, or simply after 1952 (there are probably useful sources from more recent years). Cuba has had more than one revolution.

Do Author searches to find first-hand, research, poetry, or fictional accounts by specific Cubans (note: some of these authors are also listed as subjects above), last name first:

Ada Alma Flor
Arenas Reinaldo 1943 1990
Barnet Miguel 1940
Batista Y Zaldivar Fulgencio 1901 1973 [1]
Castro Fidel 1926
Espin Guillois Vilma 1930 2007
Guevara Ernesto 1928 1967
Guillen Nicolas 1902 1989
Padilla Heberto
Triana Jose 1931

Most of these authors have a profile in Contemporary Authors (all but Espin).

All of the subject and author terms above work in WorldCat.

Print Indexes

Terms and subjects will vary from source to source. In addition, terminology changes over time, so it will be necessary to be creative (i.e. know your history) in order to succeed in identifying articles of interest.

  • Handbook of Latin American Studies. Z 1605 .H23  Reference
  • Readers’ Guide to Periodical Literature. AI 3 .R48 Reference 1900-
  • Humanities Index. AI 3 .I495 Reference 1974-1998
  • International Index to Periodicals. AI 3 .I49 Reference 1920/1923-1952/1955
  • International Index. AI 3 .I49 Reference 1955/1958-1964/1965
  • International Political Science Abstracts. JA 36 .I5 Reference 1951-2006
  • Social Sciences Index. AI 3 .I496 Reference 1974/75-1998/99

Research Databases

Take note that the exact terms and types of terms will vary from index (database) to index. Case (capitalization) does not matter when doing searches. Use Truncation and proximity operators to do advanced searching. When the full text of an article is not available, use the  button to find out if the article is available full text in another electronic location. Also check for printed versions. If not available at CSU, request the article from Interlibrary Loan.

  • Academic Search Premier.
  • America: History & Life.
  • Historical Abstracts.
  • International Political Science Abstracts. IPSAonline
  • ScienceDirect.
  • Social Science Abstracts.
  • JSTOR. (keywords, not subjects--contemporary vocabulary is vital for success)
  • Dissertations & Theses.
  • PAIS International.
  • ProjectMUSE.
  • WorldCat.
  • New York Times 1851- . (contemporary vocabulary is vital for success)
  • Times (London) Digital Archives. 1785-2005 (now includes Sundays) . (contemporary vocabulary is vital for success)
  • U.S. Congressional Serial Set.
  • Web of Science. (Arts & Humanities Citation Index)
  • WorldCat

Free Online Access Databases

Journals Owned by CSU

Additional titles (many in Spanish), search the library catalog by subject: Latin America Periodicals; Latin America History Periodicals; Central America History Periodicals (one title)

  • Américas. F 1401 .A57 Movable Shelves assort 1949-2000 and online 1990-
  • Journal of Latin American Studies. Online 1969-2002 in JSTOR; 1997- Cambridge
  • E-Latina. Online 2002- .
  • The Hispanic American Historical Review. F 1401 .H66 Movable Shelves various years 1918-2004. Online 1918-

Biographical Information for Guevara & Chávez

Find information about Guevara and Chávez's lives using biographical resources. Be certain to look in:

  • Biography and Genealogy Master Index.  Multiple entries for each of them--this resource uses the information as found in the biographical resource and does not have one record per person.
  • Biography Index.  Found under: Guevara, Ernesto 1928-1967; Chavez Frias, Hugo.

See Biographical Research site for these and other useful resources for locating biographical information.


-->Click here for information about evaluating Web sites.

Bibliographies                                 General                                       Cuba

Bibliographies on Latin America

See Bibliographies section on Modern Latin American History Web page.

General--Web Pages on Latin America

See General Web pages section on Modern Latin American History Web page.


Cuba. CIA World Factbook. (.cu) 

Information about Cuba's geography, people, government, economy, communications, transportation, military, and transnational issues.

Cuba. on LANIC: Latin American Network Information Center. Copyright © 1992-2012. University of Texas at Austin. 

Links to Web sites on or about Cuba arranged by: Academic Research Resources; Arts & Culture; Blogs; Economy & Trade; General; Government; History; Human Rights, Citizenship, & Social Justice; Magazines & Periodicals; Music; News; Portals, Directories & Search Sites; Radio & Television; Sports; and Travel & Tourism. Extensive, but not annotated.

Cuba Historia. Administración del Sitio del Gobierno de la Republica de Cuba. In Spanish.

Covers Cuba's history.

Cuba. U. S. Department of State. Office of the Historian. 

Selected search results after doing a search for "Cuba" in the database. As of October 2012 there are 3965 results.

The Cuban Photograph Collections. University of Miami Libraries. 

"The Cuban Photograph Collections include over 5,000 photographs which span a wide range of historical topics related to Cuba and the Cuban Diaspora." There are specific collections within the larger collection.

Timeline: Cuba. Algis Ratnikas.  1492 to the present.

The Empire and the Independent Island. Fidel Castro. August 14, 2007.  Overview of 140 years of Cuba's history. A lot of detail.

Historia de Cuba. EcuRed. In Spanish.

Lengthy. Might be from a Spanish-equivalent of Wikipedia site (?).

Just Before the Revolution

"The Architect of the Cuban State: Fulgencio Batista and Populism in Cuba, 1937-1940." Robert Whitney.   Journal of Latin American Studies 32 (2000): 435-59. JLASonline

Journal article that describes Batista's populist era and Cuba's transition to another type of government.

A Guide to the Fulgencio Batista Inauguration Collection. John R. Nemmers. University of Florida Smathers Libraries. September 2004.  Fulgencio Batista y Zaldivar (1901-1973) was President of Cuba, 1940-1944 and 1952-1959.

This finding aid identifies items found in the special collections of the University of Florida Library. Items include: "Programs, invitations, tickets, parking stub, newspaper clipping." Scroll down to click on the link for: "University of Florida Digital Collections (UFDC)" and see these objects in digital format (check copyright statements before using any of them).

Cuban Revolution & Beyond

Bay of Pigs

Official History of the Bay of Pigs Operation Volume 1 Part 1. Freedom of Information Act. Central Intelligence Agency.

Find other volumes by searching the FOIA site (visible on this page as of Nov. 2014) for "Bay of Pigs"  Declassified documents about the Bay of Pigs invasion of 1961. Filtered to those available online.

The Bay of Pigs. John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum.

Summary of events leading up to, during, and after the incident referred to as the Bay of Pigs.

Bay of Pigs: 40 Years After. Chronology. The National Security Archive  January 1, 1959-December 23/24, 1962.

Foot of page has source key (bibliography).

The CIA's Internal Probe of the Bay of Pigs Affair: Lessons Unlearned. Michael Warner. Central Intelligence Agency. 2007, 2008. 

A look back at the events with 32 notes. Focus upon the postmortems of the operation.


Castro Speech Database: Speeches, Interviews, Articles. Latin American Network Information Center (lanic). University of Texas at Austin. 

"This database includes speeches, interviews, etc., by Fidel Castro from 1959 to 1996. All texts are in English." See caveats before citing items from this site.

Che Guevara Internet Archive. Brian Baggins. Marxists Internet Archive. 

Library, biography, images, and speeches.

Cuba’s Food & Agriculture Situation Report. Office of Global Analysis, FAS, USDA. 2008. 

68 page report on agricultural situation as of 2008. Includes charts, information on exports, and more.

Cuban Missile Crisis. Documents Relating to American Foreign Policy. Vincent Ferraro. Mont Holyoke College. 

Links out to various primary (and possibly a few secondary) sources. Not all links work.

The Death of Che Guevara: Declassified. Peter Kornbluh. National Security Archive. The George Washington University.  National Security Archive Electronic Briefing Book No. 5.

"[A] selection of key CIA, State Department, and Pentagon documentation relating to Guevara and his death." Declassified documents. PDFs are annotated.

The Federation of Cuban Women. Stanford University. 

"The FMC was established in 1960 by Fidel Castro, with Vilma Espin, a close friend of his, as president." Page has an overview of the organization and what its goals were and are. (In Spanish: La Federación de la Mujer Cubana.)

Feminism in Cuba. Bibliography. Kristin Switalia. (c) Feminist Theory Website. Virginia Tech University. 

List of titles. Check library catalog for local holdings.

Fidel Castro History Archive. Brian Baggins. Marxists Internet Archive. 

Texts of speeches (in English). Listed in chronological order.

On the Brink: From the Bay of Pigs to the Cuban Missile Crisis. United States History 1959-1962. Lessons in U.S. History. Matthew Mooney. The University of California, Irvine. PDF. 

Lesson plans that cover the topic. Summary of events with photographs, maps, bibliographies, and more.

Trotskyism and the Cuban Revolution: 1953-2006. Encyclopedia of Trotskyism on Line. History Section. Trotsky Internet Archive. Marxists’ Internet Archive. Center for Digital Discourse and Culture. @ Virginia Tech.

  Overview. Links to articles related to the topic. Articles, listed chronologically beginning in 1960, come from scholarly journals, bulletins, books (chapters), and other academic sources.


Commie Ball: A Journey to the End of a Revolution. Michael Lewis. Politics July 2008. Vanity Fair.

  Lengthy magazine article about the topic. Includes photo of Fidel Castro with baseball players.


Cuba's Tourism Industry. Charles Suddaby. PDF. 

Proceedings from a conference with tourism numbers from the mid 1990s. See all of the papers from the conference on Cuba in Transition: Volume 7. Association for the Study of the Cuban Economy (ASCE) Miami, Florida. August 7-9, 1997.

ASCE Annual Proceedings. Association for the Study of the Cuban Economy. 

See proceedings of the ASCE starting in 1991 to the present. Early years on basic Web pages; later in PDF.

Cuba & the U.S.

Foreign Relations of the United States, 1958–1960, Cuba, Volume VI. Office of the Historian. Department of State.

629 documents.

Foreign Relations of the United States 1961-1963 Volume X: Cuba, January 1961-September 1962. Department of State. 

"The Foreign Relations of the United States series presents the official documentary historical record of major foreign policy decisions and significant diplomatic activity of the United States Government. The series documents the facts and events that contributed to the formulation of policies and includes evidence of supporting and alternative views to the policy positions ultimately adopted." 443 documents and memoranda.

U.S. Relations with Cuba. Fact Sheet. U.S. Department of State.

Brief information about current situation. There are links off of the page that may also be of interest to current events.


The Hugo Chávez Show. Frontline. PBS.

  "In The Hugo Chávez Show, FRONTLINE producer Ofra Bikel travels to Venezuela to offer an illuminating portrait of the Venezuelan president. Through interviews with former government officials, Chávez associates and ordinary Venezuelans, FRONTLINE chronicles Chávez's ascent to power and his efforts to use the powers of the presidency to stay there.  "The film also reveals the key role of the media—or, rather, Chávez's savvy use of the media—in his rise to power." News, Views, and Analysis

"[A]n independent website produced by individuals who are dedicated to disseminating news and analysis about the current political situation in Venezuela."


See also Soviet Union 1917-1991.

It is essential that you carefully evaluate whatever you might find, no matter the format. See: How to Evaluate Journal Articles, How to Evaluate Books, How to Evaluate a Web Page, and How to Evaluate a Movie, Video, or Film Clip.

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