- For me, it was very important to learn more about the Nicaraguan Revolution and the events that occurred within it, especially because my family is from Nicaragua and the Revolution is the reason why my family migrated to the U.S.
- It was important to learn about how all Latin American revolutions provide more context for the overall atmosphere of Latin America today and the problems the region faces.
- It was important for me, in general, to learn about all the revolutions we covered because it helped me understand why the revolutions happened and what happened during the revolutions.
On my talk page, one peer had reviewed my planned edits and approved of my ideas to separate the “Form” and “Thematic Content” Sections. Also, my peer approved of my idea to separate the “Origins” section and create a new subsequent section covering the development of arpillera workshops. Also, my peer advised me to add more photos into the article, which I will be sure to do since readers could benefit from looking at more types of arpilleras.
How is this aspect of Latin American history represented?
The article represents arpilleras as a form of art used by women during the Chilean Revolution to earn income and promote political messages against the Chilean government. The article details some historical background on the revolution and how its impact on women led to the creation of arpillera workshops. The article also discusses how arpilleras are made and briefly mentions the government’s response to the creation of arpilleras and arpillera workshops. Additionally, the article briefly mentions the legacy arpilleras have created.
Do you see any biases?
There are no biases in the article and all the information is presented neutrally and given equal importance. When opinions and analyses from historians are mentioned, the article maintains a neutral tone by addressing what statements are simply beliefs held by historians.
What kinds of sources are used?
The article uses a BBC news article, an article from Slate, a book on arpilleras, and some academic articles on arpilleras as sources. However, some of the articles are inaccessible and there are only 12 sources used.
How might you improve the article to meet Wikipedia’s standards and show your skills of historical research and analysis?
I would improve the article by adding citations to statements where citations are missing. Also, I would provide more information on notable arpilleristas and on the complex system of arpillera workshops. Additionally, I would like to provide more information on the government’s response to the creation of arpillera workshops. In addition, I would like to provide further information on the legacy of arpilleras as well.
At the beginning of class, Dr. Holt asked the class if they had any questions related to the midterm. She also mentioned that she added the titles of the documents onto the exam, but she also said that students must know the sources’ time periods. Professor Holt also reminded students to sign up for their Wikipedia posts by class Friday (10/4). She also announced that there is no HAP due Friday, but students must bring their laptops to class for a Wikipedia workday. Afterward, Shane presented his LA in the News on protests occurring in Haiti. Then, Holt presented infographics on which Wikipedia pages receive the most views.
The historical questions discussed in class were: “What is public history and why is it important?,” “Who reads Wikipedia and what do they read about?,” and “What sources do and do not meet Wikipedia’s criteria?” In class, these questions were discussed in relation to the websites for Granma and the Cuban American National Foundation. Both websites presented information on Cuban news and affairs. Also, both websites served as examples of our main class discussion on how biases may be present in certain sources of information. For instance, the class looked at the about pages for both websites and discussed the biases present in both pages. Also, the class discussed how the different aesthetics on both websites are likely catering to different audiences.
- Plagiarism: the practice of taking someone else’s work or ideas and passing them off as one’s own.
- Granma: The official newspaper of the Central Committee of the Cuban Communist Party. It is also the name of the yacht that carried Fidel Castro and 81 other rebels to Cuba’s shores in 1956, launching the Cuban Revolution.
- The Cuban American National Foundation: An organization with a commitment to bring freedom, democracy, and respect for human rights to Cuba.
- How is the information presented on Granma’s website and the Cuban American National Foundation’s website to promote either website’s agenda?
- How is it possible to look for and identify biases within a source and determine whether information from a biased source should still be used on Wikipedia?
- What kinds of cultural and political influences could the Granma website or the Cuban American National Foundation website have?
The article I have chosen to evaluate is the article on Haydée Santamaría. Santamaría’s article is rated Start Class. There are currently no conversations occurring on the article’s talk page, but the article is part of the WikiProjects for Biography, Articles for creation, Cuba, and Women’s History.
Moreover, when assessing the article’s impartiality, I found that the article is entirely neutral. There are no claims or phrases that appear biased towards any perspectives or opinions. Also, none of the information is outdated and everything in the article is relevant to Santamaría. The beginning of the article provides an appropriate, brief description of Santamaría’s historic importance. Afterward, the article continues by more specifically detailing her early life, revolutionary and post-revolutionary roles, and her death. However, I feel as if the article could provide even more information on her roles during and after the revolution, considering she was a prominent figure who participated in the revolution through its entirety. In addition, the article is also missing information on Santamaría’s role in the Latin American Solidarity Organization. As a whole, however, the Wikipedia article differs from how we’ve discussed Santamaría in class because it provides more detail about her family, her early life, her role in creating the Casa de las Americas, and her death.
Furthermore, after checking for how reliable the article’s links are, I found that all the links used to source information are functional. Regardless, there is some information in the article that does not corroborate with its sources. For example, while the Wikipedia article makes a claim that Santamaría was a founding member of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Cuba, the source credited for this information simply states that Santamaría was a member of the party. Additionally, the Wikipedia article introduces another claim that Santamaría repeated the sixth grade 3-4 times due to her appreciation for learning, but the source attributed to this claim only mentions that Santamaría never received an education beyond the sixth grade. Also, the Wikipedia article states that after she tried to become a nurse and work as a teacher, Santamaría traveled to her brother, Abel, in Havana in 1950. However, the source cited for this statement makes no reference to this claim. In addition, the Wikipedia article also mentions that Santamaría died sixth months after Cuban revolutionary Celia Sanchez, but the source referenced for this claim does not explicitly state how long after Sanchez’s death had Santamaría’s death occurred.
Moreover, I found that not every fact in the Wikipedia article includes a reference. However, some information is attributed to an article by Tania Diaz who is a neutral and reliable source because of her extensive work on Cuban affairs. Additionally, some other information is provided from a book by Margaret Randall, a reputable American author. However, Randall notes that she used to maintain a strong personal relationship with Santamaría before her death, meaning there may be some bias in the information Randall presents.
The article describes that on Friday, September 13, the Nicaraguan Human Rights Center documented 17 deaths of government opponents from the rural north of Nicaragua (Selser 2019). All of the victims participated in political protests last year against Ortega’s regime and it was discovered that the victims were killed by gunshot wounds. The Nicaraguan Human Rights Center’s President, Vilma Nuñez, announced at a news conference that witnesses saw the killings being performed by “police and paramilitaries” (Selser 2019). The police and paramilitaries were known to participate in the repression of protests and the murder of 325 protestors last year. According to a report by Nuñez’s colleagues, no arrests were conducted for any of the 17 murders, all of which were rejected an investigation and were ascribed to personal conflicts among citizens.
Nicaraguan citizens against Daniel Ortega’s regime are pictured marching in protest and waving Nicaraguan flags. Photo by Alfredo Zuniga.
According to information Nuñez received from the local press, there have been around 30 killings in the rural north this year (Selser 2019). One situation that occurred in the province of Jinotega between January and June involves the killing of four members of a family notably against the Ortega regime. Three out of the 30 killings, however, occurred in Las Trojes, Honduras and were caused by pro-government assassins rather than police and paramilitaries. After this instance, a request for comment was issued towards the government, but it was rejected.
The article does well to briefly describe the type of terror that occurs in Nicaragua under Ortega’s regime. However, I believe the article could do more to describe the Nicaraguan Human Rights Center’s functions in combating political corruption and in describing its influence or status in political processes. Additionally, the article does not do much to describe the nature of last year’s Nicaraguan protests at all. Leaving such important information out of the article does not provide enough context to the reader to understand why the government is still permitting killings of their opponents.
With regards to the article’s connection to class themes, I found the Ortega administration’s killing of protestors to be a representation of the types of severe political crises that would be identified as one of DeFronzo’s critical factors for revolution. I also found it interesting how the Ortega administration’s repression of protests could be compared to Batista’s attempts to silence his opponents before the Cuban Revolution. Additionally, I found it interesting how Ortega is targeting individuals from the rural north, whereas the Mexican government during the revolution focussed attacks on rural individuals from the south. The differences in rural communities’ locations are likely reflective of different geographies within both nations.
Source: Selser, Gabriela. “Nicaragua Group Says 17 Govt Foes from Countryside Killed.” Washington Post, September 13, 2019, sec. The Americas. https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/the_americas/nicaragua-group-says-17-govt-foes-from-countryside-killed/2019/09/13/1027a16e-d66f-11e9-8924-1db7dac797fb_story.html.