chapter 1. before we begin
1. Cuba’s socialist constitution, approved February 24, 1976, by a vote of 97.7% of Cu-
bans sixteen years and older, after a nationwide consultation of workers, military
personnel, students, and others who modiﬁed 60 of its 141 articles.
2. This is the way the tiny mountain nation of Bhutan describes itself. In today’s
world, how countries describe their political systems bears little resemblance to
what those descriptions once meant. China, e.g., still calls itself communist but has
implemented numerous aspects of a market economy.
3. Susan Sontag (1933–2004) wrote memorably about Vietnam, Sarajevo, and other
places where extreme conflict shaped culture, as well as on photography, illness,
4. Sontag, “Some Thoughts.”
5. For an excellent overview, I recommend García Luis, Cuban Revolution Reader.
chapter 2. why haydée?
1. Rubén Darío (1867–1916) was a great Nicaraguan modernist poet; 1967 marked
what would have been his hundredth birthday. The gathering of poets and literary
critics in Cuba that was hosted by Casa de las Américas was one of several held
throughout the world that year.
2. In Che On My Mind there is a chapter called “Che and Haydée.” In More Than Things
there is an essay, “Shaping My Words,” that focuses on her.
3. Randall, To Change the World.
4. Fidel Castro Ruz (b. 1926), born into an upper- class family in Biran, Cuba, became