In her book, Council Senior Fellow Julia Sweig shatters the mythology surrounding the Cuban Revolution in a compelling revisionist history that reconsiders the roles of Fidel Castro and Che Guevara and restores to a central position the leadership of the Cuban urban underground, the Llano. The only scholar inside or outside of Cuba allowed access to the complete collection in the Cuban Council of State's Office of Historic Affairs, Sweig illuminates the classified records of the underground operatives in Castro's 26th of July Movement. Her story details the ideological, political, and strategic debates between Castro's mountain-based guerrilla movement and the urban revolutionaries in Havana, Santiago, and other cities.
Sweig debunks two long-standing myths: that the Cuban Revolution was won by a band of guerrillas and peasants, and that domestic politics in Cuba is dead. According to Sweig's review of original documents from Castro's own archives, the revolution was the work of an urban network controlled by middle-class professionals who skillfully cultivated complex alliances with an array of disparate groups. These same skills have allowed Castro to survive—and even thrive—in the decade of global political and economic change since the collapse of his Soviet benefactor. Against all odds, he has forged a coalition of increasingly diverse constituencies at home and abroad. Sweig concludes that the roots of Fidelismo may be broader and deeper than many expect.