Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts in Social Sciences


Social Sciences

First Reader/Committee Chair

Velasquez, Teresa


As the largest island in the Caribbean, Cuba boasts beautiful scenery, as well as a rich and diverse culture. Yet, throughout Cuban history, the beauty of this famous socialist nation has been marred by social inequalities, primarily affecting class, gender, and race. In the Cuban tourism sector in particular, the three aforementioned components have been prevalent since the island’s inception of tourism in the early 20th Century. With the recent political changes marked by the attempt to restore relations with the United States, this thesis will critically analyze the theories of Black Marxism, Intersectionality, and World Systems Analysis (WSA), to explain how racism has affected the overall quality of life for Afro-Cubans. In addition, the theories applied to Cuban tourism also cause the tourist sector to be racialized in the 21st Century. Furthermore, this thesis will analyze how Cuban tourism is maintained from a Socialist perspective, as well demonstrate that the tourism advertisements in the 21st Century are greatly racialized, depicting Afro-Cubans in the mode of servitude to the tourist. In addition, it will reveal that gender also plays a significant role in the way Afro-Cubans are perceived by society. This thesis will conclude with how the WSA theory can be hypothetically applied to the recent changes in U.S. policy, promoting greater interaction with Cuba and American tourism, after more than five decades of travel ban.