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BEFORE YOU WATCH: Decolonization and Cold War Through a Caribbean Lens

Use the “Three Close Reads” approach as you watch the video below (next in the lineup!). If you want to learn more about this strategy, click here.

First read: preview and skimming for gist

Before you watch, you should skim the transcript first. The skim should be very quick and give you the gist (general idea) of what the video is about. You should be looking at the title, thumbnails, pictures, and first few seconds of the video for the gist.

Second read: key ideas and understanding content

Now that you’ve skimmed the video transcript and taken a quick peek at the video, you should preview the questions you will be answering. These questions will help you get a better understanding of the concepts and arguments that are presented in the video. Keep in mind that when you watch the video, it is a good idea to write down any vocab you read or hear that is unfamiliar to you.
By the end of the second close read, you should be able to answer the following questions:
  1. What was colonialism like in the Caribbean during the second half of the twentieth century?
  2. Why did the Cuban Revolution start, and why did Castro align himself with the Soviet Union?
  3. How did Puerto Ricans resist their status as a territory under U.S. control?
  4. How has Puerto Rico’s status as a territory (rather than a state) affected people living on the island?
  5. How did other nations in the Caribbean learn from the example of the successful Cuban Revolution?

Third read: evaluating and corroborating

Finally, here are some questions that will help you focus on why this video matters and how it connects to other content you’ve studied.
At the end of the third read, you should be able to respond to these questions:
  1. People in the Caribbean were resisting a different sort of colonialism than most of the other examples you have encountered so far. Do you think the story of the Caribbean’s encounter with the Cold War and decolonization is different than it was for people in Africa and Asia? Why or why not?
  2. This video outlines many of the variety of ways that the United States has interfered in Latin American politics and economics in the past century. Do you think the United States has benefited from this interference? Why or why not?
Now that you know what to look for, it’s time to watch! Remember to return to these questions once you’ve finished watching.

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