How the Cubans view themselves in Western Media A Prospectus For History 299 Dr. Ganaway April 21, 2010 Introduction As a young child, I remember living in New York during the latter part of the Cold War years. In school, we had “bomb drills” in which time we got under our desks and took cover in case of a bomb or missile hitting the city. The apartment building that I lived in had a “fallout shelter” downstairs underneath the building to house survivors of nuclear war and spare them the effects of radioactivity. In my pre college studies, I didn’t learn much about the politics behind the United State’s foreign relationships with
Cuba and the former Soviet Union and the Cold War itself. The basic premise that was embedded in the lessons that I did receive was that the countries of Cuba and the former Soviet Union had anti-American stance. I was taught that these countries disliked the U. S. ’s Capitalist economic system, the U. S. ’s anti-Communist stand, and the American way of life. In the pre-internet 1980s, like most Americans, I got much of my information from the television and the newspapers because they were the main source of information for learning about world events. Images of war, conflict or chaos ithin a country helped Americans to form public opinion on foreign countries. Fidel Castro himself was well aware of this fact when he assumed power in Cuba. To get American support, he appeared on “Meet the Press” during the week of April 1959. The Cold War heavily influenced entertainment in the Western Hemisphere. In the movies and television shows, prior to the 1990s, the countries of Cuba and Russia were portrayed as oppressive, communist countries. All of the institutions were in these countries were nationalized and there was oppressive control over their respective arts, edia, athletes and citizens.
The Cuban or Russians characters in the screen plays were portrayed as criminal minded opportunists who were aggressive, authoritarian, hostile and wrathful. I remember watching movies such as Rocky, White Nights, and Scarface as a child and how made they made durable impressions on me of how negative some of the portrayals have been of foreigners in Hollywood and American media. Since 1959, the country of Cuba has been in the media spotlight due to Fidel Castro and his brunt on Cuba. Without a doubt, Fidel Castro has tainted the course of Cuba and the lives of its opulace forever. It is a known reality that the typical U. S. media has been the omnipresent element in the manufacturing of American public opinion on different worldwide peoples, topics and issues. With graphic images and stories of the Cubans’ dilemma, different prospectives by American citizens, have been generated towards the Cuban demographic. But how do Cubans view themselves in the media? Has media portrayals of Cubans changed since 1969? Do Cubans believe that the media has positioned their character in an encouraging luminosity or a pessimistic lone? My thesis ill focus on how Cubans perceived media portrayals of themselves by the western media between 1959-1981 and whether this changed by the 1990s-2000s. Purpose The purpose of this study is to do quantitative analyses on how Cubans perceived media portrayals of themselves by the western media between 1959-1981 and whether this changed by the 1990s-2000s. Literary Review Much of the sources for this paper will deal with personal memoirs of Cuban immigrants, journalists and scholars. I will critically analyze this existent data and correlate them with the interviews, newspaper articles and diaries of Cuban refugees.
This way I can correlate all of the opinions and studies. Much of the Latin American prospective will come from The Latin American Research Review for the purpose of my research. Much of the research of this journal is mixed. Thus far, because this is available in English, it one of the richness sources dealing with Cubans during the Cold War. The class reader The Cold War: A History in Documents and Eyewitness Accounts much a great deal of primary source documents. One that I will focus upon in my paper is a document dealing with the CIA’s plan to overthrow Castro that dated April 12, 1961.
Many of the personal interviews that I will use will come from Miami based newspapers. To get a national prospective, I will use national newspapers and Magazines such as Time, Life, and The New York Times.. In a New York Times editorial, an American was outraged that asylum was denied to Fidel Castro’s two sisters but not to Batista. The article One article from the magazine Time that I will use in the study is titled Dynamic Boss takes over a US neighbor. This article is from January 12, 1959. The photos show signs of contradiction on the part of Castro. He made many promises to upporters and the media that he did not intend to keep. “He stated that he would not become communist”. The picture shows triumphant soldiers in the capital city of Havana. Citizens that were overjoyed about the revolution marched in the streets. The anonymous writer is shows a bit of distrust in the words of the new leader. The writer assesses the state of events in which he or she had witnessed with the words of the new leader. “Castro claims that he is a moderate…But people against the revolution are being murdered”. I will also use the book Beyond representational correctness: rethinking riticism of popular media by Edward Schiappa. Schiappa cites research done by Fischoff, Gram, Hernandez and Parker as part of a study presented at the annual convention of the American psychological Association, entitled Drugs, Sex and servility. The study features statistics from interviews of focus groups in different ethnic categories. The key focus of the study was to find out how different ethnic groups felt about how they were portrayed in certain Hollywood films. The study even included whites being stereotyped in movies such as White men Can’t Jump, which is a movie about basketball.
Hispanics in the survey were offended by being portrayed as gardeners and domestics in films such as Fools Rush In. The book National Symbols, Fractured Identities: Contesting the national narrative By Michael Geisler will be used for researching the European and American West origins of stereotyping Hispanics in general. Methodology The study will answer four main questions: 1)How did Americans view Cubans in the mainstream media? 2) Has the American view of Cubans in the media changed over this 10 year period? 3) How do Cuban immigrants view themselves in mainstream media? ) What stereotypes portrayed by the media of Cubans are the most offense and highly prejudge mental? By analyzing from the testimony and interviews citizens of Cuba and other academic authorities on the Cold War in Cuba, it will help me to formulate a broader picture, answer the objective question and come to a conclusion. The information in the news media that I have chosen to focus on is between the years of 1959 to 1969. These are the early years of Fidel Castro’s regime being in power in Cuba. I will only deal with the impact the Castro’s takeover of Cuba during these years.
Movie portrayals will be fairly recent, dealing with only a few chosen films such as Fools rush In and Scarface.