3 most important things from the semester

  1. While all of the different Latin American countries are often grouped together in one clump, each country is incredibly diverse with very different histories, cultures, and government systems. 
  2. The different roles the US played in interfering with many Latin American governments and revolutions and how that connected back to broader Cold War politics. 
  3. The concept of Liberation Theology and how that separated Nicaragua from other revolutions as they were not strictly against religion as many other revolutions were and the Catholic Church played a pivotal role in the revolution.

Peer Review Reflections

There was only one peer review left on the talk page for my article. The reviewer agreed with many of my points for improvement. They also mentioned that I should clean up the formatting, as there are some empty sections, and make sure the page follows a neutral tone. I will use these suggestions to make sure that any writing I add follows a neutral tone. I will also focus on adding into where there are holes in the article. I will also look to see if there are any broken links that can be fixed. I will also make sure that information in the source is cited properly.

Role of women in Nicaraguan Revolution

This source does a good job of providing a general overview of the role women played in the Nicaraguan Revolution. There are three different sections in the article, a description, women in the armed struggle, and feminist ideology. None of these sections seem to present a bias. They all seem to come from a neutral perspective and background. There are six sources cited at the end of the article, and two of them are from the same author. However, none of these sources are actually referenced in the article so there is no way of knowing what information came from which source. The sources are also all print sources which seem to be published in the US rather than actually being from Nicaraguan sources. I can improve this source by adding citations so that readers can understand where the information is coming from. I can also expand on the sources to add more voices from Latin America and Nicaragua. There are also no images for this Wikipedia page, so I could add some relevant images to make the post more interesting.

Federation of Cuban Women Wikipedia Page

     This article has good information regarding how the FMC has been involved in other movements and politics in Cuba. However, it does not go into great detail about what the FMC stands for or how it was established. It gives a general overview of the FMC, including its goals, but it does not explain how the FMC was established or its history as an organization in general. There are no distractions in the article. Each section is clear and understandable. However, the sections are also very short which may contribute to this lack of confusion. The article is also very neutral. It is not biased and presents the information about the topic without making an argument. 

     There are some under-represented viewpoints for this article. This article focuses on Vilma Espin and her involvement with the FMC. However, as we discussed in class, Asela de los Santos was also involved with the FMC and helped to found the organization. She was also very involved in education, which is mentioned in this article in the form of the Cuban Literacy Campaign. Thus, the article completely ignores de los Santos involvement and influence on the FMC. 

     This article does not include links to any sources as all of the sources are cited as being print sources. There is not a good way to check whether or not the sources support the claims made in the article. These sources appear to be reliable as they come from different journals. However, they may be biased towards the typical readers of the journals where the sources are taken from. There is no bias noted in the Wikipedia article if one exists. There are also only three sources included in the article so there is not a wide range of information for the source.

     The sources included in the article are out of date. There are only three sources included in the article, and they date to 1975, 1987, and 1995 respectively. There could be more recent sources added to give a better perspective regarding how the organization has evolved and grown since it was first established. Adding newer sources would also allow for information on de los Santos to be added as well as other contributors to FMC who may have been overlooked. 

     The Talk page mentions that the article is part of the WikiProject Cuba which is considered inactive. There are no other conversations regarding the project or how it should be presented on this page. The Talk page is noted as last being edited in 2010. This page would probably be categorized as a start page as there is not a whole lot of information, but what information is presented has reliable sources to inform it. 

     We did not really focus on the FMC in class. However, this does differ from our discussion of Asela de los Santos and the role she played regarding the FMC. We did not discuss Vilma Espin or the role she played in the FMC, rather we focused on de los Santos and her work. Thus, it is interesting that the Wikipedia article has no mention of de los Santos at all.

Link to Wikipedia Page

Class Notes 9/20/2019

     To begin class, Professor Holt played the music video for Corrido de Nipsey Hussle by Faraon de Oro. We had originally listened to the corrido itself on Wednesday without viewing the music video. There was also a discussion regarding the ongoing relevance of specific cultural forms, and using music as a way to study cultural change. After the music video, there was a discussion regarding the documentary, Undeterred, which was screened on Wednesday evening. The documentary focused on one town which was upset with border checkpoints causing hardships on the town. Additionally, the documentary looked at checkpoints which were not just at the border, but thirty to forty miles north of the border moving people toward the dessert and making it harder to carry water. The documentary made arguments not only for a humanitarian crisis, but also that the government was encroaching on the lives of people living in the Western part of the United States. 

     After the discussion, Spencer presented his LA in the News, which dealt with Mexico’s police force. Mexico is currently dealing with a problem regarding corruption and organized crime relationships within many law enforcement agencies. Additionally, many people within the police force doubt the work they do as they do not know who they may actually be working for. Spencer noted how many people have a high level of apathy for the police force due to this corruption, and many people do not want to join any sort of law enforcement because of this. The government is also trying to move away from corruption by creating a new police force; however it is having trouble getting people to sign up due to the high level of apathy people have for the system already in place.

     We then moved into small groups to discuss our HAPs on the Asela de los Santos interview and the historical questions for the day. The main historical questions were: “What questions should we consider when assessing interviews as sources?” and “What key themes regarding gender and revolution arise in the interview?” 

     In our groups we discussed “It Gave us Worth” the interview of Asela de los Santos by Mary-Alice Walters. We discussed the role of an interview as a source and the advantages and disadvantages that come with it. A disadvantage that was mentioned is that an interviewer will ask certain questions based on the argument they are trying to make. We also discussed the roles of women in the Cuban revolution and how that differed from previous revolutions discussed in class. Specifically, it was mentioned that women had a more calculated support of the revolution as many only joined after they believed the revolution would be successful and align with reforms they wanted. 


Key Terms:

Asela de los Santos: protested Batisa’s coup as a student, female leader and organizer of the July 26 movement, in charge of schools during Cuban revolution as a member of the department of education, established Federation of Cuban Women

Federation of Cuban Women (Federación de Mujeres Cubanas): created by de los Santos and Vilma after the revolution, advocated for women who believed their place was no longer limited to the home



What are the advantages and disadvantages to using an interview as a source? 

How did the roles women played in the Cuban revolution differ to the roles women played in other revolutions?

How did gender roles change due to the revolution in Cuba?



Corrido de Nipsey Hussle Music Video

Corrido de Nipsey Hussle English Lyrics

Federation of Cuban Women Wikipedia Page

Vilma Espin Wikipedia Page

LA in the News: Why 500 million bees have died in Brazil in three months


Beekeepers have reported the loss of over 500 million honey bees in the short time span of three months at the beginning of the year. The speed and scale of the loss is reminiscent of colony collapse disorder, which affected the bees of North America and Europe. However, where colony collapse disorder caused worker bees to leave the colony and never return, the bees in Brazil simply dropped dead, a symptom indicative of poisoning by pesticide (Hanson 2019).  It has been argued that “the main cause of death for these bees has been the use of pesticides containing products that are banned in Europe, such as neonicotinoids and fipronil” (“Why 500 Million Bees Have Died in Brazil” 2019). The EU has imposed bans on neonicotinoids due to the harm they can cause bees; however, much like how the “relaxation of forestry rules has led to more fires, so have loosened pesticide restrictions exposed more bees to lethal doses” (Hanson 2019). Brazil relies on pesticides as their economy is almost entirely dependent on agriculture.

The massive bee die off is problematic not only with regards to the economy of Brazil but also to global food availability. Bee pollinated crops account for nearly a third of the food in the human diet, and “yields of everything from canola to soybeans drop in their absence, while fruits and nuts like blueberries and almonds depend upon them entirely” (Hanson 2019). Additionally, while people may only think of the typical honeybee when the word bee is mentioned, the same threats that affect honeybees also affect native wild bees which are also essential pollinators for many crops. Thus, “whenever domestic hives start failing, it signals a much broader problem in nature” (Hanson 2019). 

The article concludes by arguing that many of the challenges affecting Brazil, with both its bees and forest, is poor policy. It also argues that in a democracy “government policy amounts to an expression of collective will” and that people should demand more from their leaders as well as themselves (Hanson 2019). In Brazil, there has been an increase in demand for organic food, which is reflected in a global trend for the same. Hanson argues that “it’s a reminder that how we buy food directly impacts the way that we grow it, and organic methods…support a far greater diversity of pollinators” (2019). Hanson ends with a call to arms to plant flowers as “pesticide-free sources of nectar and pollen can increase bee abundance in any habitat..and since well-fed bees are more resilient to other threats, flowers can even be a hedge against pesticides” (2019). He concludes that the first step to solving the crisis is noticing that it exists, and the second step is taking action to solve and prevent the problem. 

While the title of the article makes it seem like Brazil will be the main focus of the article, the actual body of the article focuses more on the problem of bee population drop globally. The article mentions why Brazil specifically has seen such massive losses in bee population; however, it does not specifically mention how that has directly affected Brazil and its people or economy. It is interesting that the article mentions how global food availability and trade is affected by the drop in bee population, but it does not state how Brazil specifically contributes to the trade. It would have been more interesting if the article had gone into detail on how the drop in bee population has affected Brazil’s agriculture and from there how that may affect the food that is exported to other parts of the globe. It is also interesting to note that the author of the article, Thor Hanson, is also the author of Buzz: The Nature and Necessity of Bees. This may have affected how he wrote the article as he is more likely focused on the global issue of bee population depletion rather than how it affects a specific area. 

This connects to the themes we have discussed in class regarding the economic structure of Latin America. Both readings and class discussions have discussed how many Latin American countries rely on agriculture as their main source of income. Thus, this article is important as it addresses a major threat to what may be the only source of income for some countries. This also connects to some of the themes we have discussed regarding government systems of Latin American countries. The article mentions how most of the bee loss is due to bad policy on behalf of the government. This connects to the themes of the class with regards to how these governments have been put into place and what factors have affected the way they are run in modern times.    



Hanson, Thor. 2019. “Why Have 500 Million Bees Died in Brazil in the Past Three Months? | Thor Hanson.” The Guardian, August 29, 2019, sec. Opinion. https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2019/aug/29/500-million-bees-brazil-three-months.

“Why 500 Million Bees Have Died in Brazil.” 2019. BBC News. August 20, 2019. https://www.bbc.com/news/newsbeat-49406369.