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A projectable text to read together and examine multiple perspectives on Cuba's polarizing leader

Intermediate (Levels 2-4), Novice (Levels 1-2)
Google Drive
22 Pages

When Fidel Castro died, many Cubans and Cuban Americans cried tears of relief; others cried tears of sadness. In spite of the undeniable human rights violations committed by his regime, he left all who call Cuba home with a range of emotions.

This resource is a 22 page projectable slideshow reading in Spanish with images that presents Fidel Castro's mixed legacy. It presents a very brief introduction to his rise to power and then presents some of the reasons that people left Cuba and hated Castro (limited liberties, ration system, etc.) and some of the reasons that people stayed and revered Castro (free education, healthcare for all, stable society). The story is written in simple Spanish and should be understandable to students by the middle/end of Spanish 1 (depending on how your curriculum is structured). Students in Spanish 2 should be able to understand it with ease, regardless of the curriculum they have been using.

It is impossible to understand the complexity of who Castro was and what he meant to the Cuban people, both in Cuba and abroad, with a single lesson. The goal of this reading is to show students (especially students living in the United States) that the story that is told in history books is true: Castro was oppressive and destroyed the lives of many Cubans. However, there is another side to the story, and many Cubans are mourning his death as they would the death of a family member. This reading is an opportunity to show your students that there are always at least two perspectives to an event, and it is important that we consider both as we try to understand the event. Putting ourselves in the shoes of someone else means examining all the perspectives that influence their experience.

  • This slide show is very well done & has very interesting facts that kept my Spanish 1 students engaged. It also brought up questions so it paired well with a guest speaker from Cuba.


    Melissa H.
  • I appreciated the balanced viewpoints here and the clear, comprehensible text. Very usable!

    Melanie T.
  • This is an excellent resource when covering Cuba to give students a little more insight into Fidel Castro. I highly recommend "Cuba and the Cameraman" on Netflix as a follow-up.

    Theresa F.
  • ¡Me encantó! I am always looking for ways to start teaching complex topics like US-Cuban relations, Immigration and La Guerra Sucia en América Latina in Spanish 1 and 2 and Martina has came to my rescue yet again! This activity did a great job at presenting both sides and doing so in comprehensible Spanish. ¡Mil gracias! (:

    Kivi's clase
  • I used this with my level 4/5 students a few years ago. The students were expected to understand some complex historical issues without ever having a CI curriculum so these resources were invaluable and the students really engaged with the resources because they could understand the information!!!

    Kristen L.
  • Loved the depth and simplicity of this presentation! It was my Spanish 2s introduction to Escape Cubano, and we were able to teach all of the cultural background information in TL, thanks to the scaffolds provided here.

    Sara H.

Fidel Castro shared reading


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