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This article relates central themes of Marxist and Foucauldian thought to the intellectual and political legacy of the Cuban Revolution. Against the backdrop of a reading of Foucault’s relationship to the revolutionary left, it is argued that Marxist theoretical discourse on guerrilla struggle (as articulated by Mao, Guevara and others) provide an intriguing case for bio-political struggle. In the case of the Cuban revolution, an ethics of self-transformation appears in which new ways of living and practicing life are cultivated in opposition to sedimentations of state power. Moreover, in addition to this historical case, a discussion is offered of the reception of Foucault’s work in contemporary Cuba, through an analysis of the published proceedings of a conference on Foucault held at the University of Havana in 1999. Here, Foucault’s thought is appropriated as part of an effort to revitalize Cuban socialism itself.


This is a post-print version of the article, the final draft after refereeing. The final, definitive version of this paper has been published in Rethinking Marxism: A Journal of Economics, Culture & Society, 20/3, 2008 by Taylor & Francis. The published paper is available at:


Taylor & Francis


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