This accessible, up-to-date and comprehensive introduction to Cuba today provides both students and general readers with a sense of the changes-and continuities-in Cuba through the 1990s. It starts with the crisis the country faced following the collapse of the Soviet Union and the end of its support to Cuba. Isaac Saney describes the economic crash, new policies and subsequent recovery during the ‘Special Period.’ He addresses the renewed pressures placed on the country as a result of the deterioration in US-Cuban relations following the election of George W. Bush, September 11 and the war on Iraq.
The author outlines the country’s political and governmental system. Departing from the stereotypical depiction of Cuba as a totalitarian regime, Saney explains how national policy and planning take place through structures that involve significant democratic elements. Subsequent chapters examine the strides Cuba has made in reducing inequality–particularly of Afro-Cubans and women, the criminal justice system, the current state of US-Cuban relations and the impact of the economic measures implemented in the 1990s has had on building an egalitarian society.
The Cuban Revolution, the author suggests, has avoided many of the social problems besetting the rest of Latin America. He demonstrates that it is possible to pursue radical development policies offering a practical and humane alternative to the neoliberal economic model being foisted on other developing countries. This book also addresses the looming issue that has preoccupied so many–how much of the Cuban socialist model will survive Fidel Castro’s ultimate departure from the political scene?