This chapter reviews Cuba’s project of rapid expansion and massification of education in the Cold War context and its relationship to the revolutionary project of national political independence and to efforts to develop an independent Cuban socialism alongside alignments to international socialism and the Soviet Union. Drawing on policy documents, we establish that the educational project was characterized by politicized ambitions to educate ‘new men and women’ loyal to the Cuban State and its socialist vision of the Cuban nation, coupled with human capital ambitions to support rapid national economic development as part of the socialist modernization programme. Cuba’s trajectory within the Cold War dynamics conflated the national independence project with the socialist State, the Party and its vanguard leadership, emphasizing calls for national unity. We conclude by arguing that this worked to limit the space for other dimensions of social and cultural identification, including in particular Afro-Cuban identity, contributing to tensions that persist and are beginning to be acknowledged in post-Cold War conditions.