After the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991, Latin America, a once-potent source of leftist organization and mobilization, began to embrace the market-based, liberal economic order that had won the Cold War (Sabatini 106). The political left has seen a global decline in the post-Soviet world, and the market’s ubiquity has left modern activists without hope for an alternative to the status quo (Sabatini 107).

This exhibit draws from primary sources at the Benson and Briscoe Archives to examine the strategies employed by leftist organizations to raise awareness and organize Latino communities across Texas and Cuba in an effort to revitalize the leftist political imagination. 

We look at Latino communities joining an existing union in the San Antonio International Ladies Garment Workers’ Union, fighting for their own union in the Austin Chicano Huelga movement, creating a political party in the Raza Unida Party, and using art to spread their political ideology in the Cuban Union de Jovenes Comunistas. This analysis of the drawbacks and successes of different approaches can serve as guidance and hope for future leftist activists.

Credits: Parker Aguilera, Alex Goralski, Ramiro de los Santos, and Sydney Thornborrow