In the Cuba lectures, Bensaïd focuses firstly on the strategy of taking power in the Cuban Revolution in comparison with the Nicaraguan strategy. Secondly, he discusses the formation of revolutionary leadership through the revolutionary process; and thirdly, he analyses the transition, namely the destruction of the bourgeois state and the foundation of a workers state. In this first session of the lecture, Bensaïd starts his talk with a survey of historical facts on Cuba in 1950s as a semi-colonial state strongly dependent on American imperialism with large sectors of industrial workers, agricultural workers and unemployed. He depicts the socio-political background and the emergence of the guerrilla movement in 1958. This part ends with the historical moment when the guerilla movement connects with the urban workers' movement, which culminates in the general strike in April 1958. Both the general strike and the military counter-offensive were failures. However, this period witnesses an expansion of self-administration, albeit very limited. The proclamation of agrarian reform law by the leadership of the guerilla, which starts to act as a pre-government, is a turning point.
The Cuban revolution 1