Fifty years ago today Cuba held elections which would prove to be the last chance to avoid the destruction of the Cuban Republic and the yoke of communist tyranny that continues to the present day.
On November 17, 2008 a conference will be held in Miami to examine that fateful and pivotal moment in Cuba’s history and the period leading up to it, entitled Cuba 1952-1958: Entre votos y balas (Cuba 1952-1958: Ballots or Bullets). The colloquium will examine the efforts of pro-democracy opponents of dictator Fulgencio Batista to restore democracy to Cuba through peaceful political means while preserving the Republic and its democratic freedoms. This Spanish language symposium will also explore the failure of the pro-democracy opposition to prevail against the methods of revolutionary violence and terrorism advocated and used by Castro’s forces.
The program includes a special session, Carlos Márquez Sterling: A cincuenta años de las elecciones de 1958 (Carlos Márquez-Sterling: A 50 year retrospective on the 1958 Elections). This evening session will include a number of perspectives on the legacy of Carlos Márquez-Sterling, the candidate shown by all polls to have overwhelmingly victorious popular support in those elections. These include a video documentary, a presentation by historian Rafael Rojas, and a presentation by Manuel Márquez-Sterling, historian and author of Carlos Márquez-Sterling: Memorias de un Estadista (Carlos Márquez-Sterling: Memoirs of a Statesman).
The conference is co-sponsored by Florida International University’s Latin American and Caribbean Center (LACC) and its Cuban Research Institute (CRI). It will be held at FIU’s Graham Center Ballroom East on Monday November 17; the special evening session will run 7:30 pm-9:30 pm. For driving directions to the Graham Center or further information contact CRI at (305) 348-1991.