Introduction: Transitioning from Revolutionary Movements to Political Parties and Making the Revolution ‘Stick’

Document Type

Book Chapter

Publication Date



African Studies | International and Area Studies | Latin American Studies | Political Science | Social and Behavioral Sciences


Toward the end of 1958, the movie star Errol Flynn, known for his portrayal of swashbuckling heroes, took on the real-life role of newspaper reporter to cover the final days of Fidel Castro’s trium-phant overthrow of the Batista dictatorship in Cuba. His initial stories were overwhelmingly positive (he even made a sympathetic movie about the Fidelistas, Cuban Rebel Girls, a box-office flop), but as ever more Batistianos made their way to el paredón—the wall where prisoners were shot—he began to alter his opinion of the Cuban revolution. “[It] is one thing to start a revolution, another to win it, and still another to make it stick…”