Louis A. Perez, Jr.


On his book Cuba in the American Imagination: Metaphor and the Imperial Ethos

Cover Interview of March 02, 2009

Editor’s note

Originally, this interview ran on the Rorotoko cover page under the headline

“Metaphors are vital to understanding the North American relationship with Cuba.”

We highlighted two quotes.

On the first page:

“To confront metaphor is not only to engage a form of knowledge but also to contend with a source of moral validation through which systems of domination normalize the rationale of power.”

On the second:

“Americans understood themselves to have mobilized for war against Spain in 1898 in behalf of Cuban independence, to have succeeded where the Cubans had failed.  The United States early appropriated full credit for the victory, with none shared with the Cubans.  [...] What was known in the United States as the “Spanish-American War” was understood in Cuba as the culmination of a three-year war of national liberation.  Cubans defended their claim to independence as an achievement rightfully obtained through their own efforts.”