The Problem of Democracy in Cuba: Between Vision and Reality


Drawing on twenty-five years of first-hand research in Cuba, this book examines the relationship between socialism and democracy, in classical Marxist theory and in the practice of the Cuban revolution. While the author notes the role which underdevelopment and external threat have played in undermining the possibility for democratic socialism in this century, she focuses specifically upon a theoretical heritage plagued by silences, absences and simplifications concerning key political issues. In her application of this focus to the Cuban revolution, Bengelsdorf traces a pattern of confrontation with these absences around the issues of democracy. In this revisionist interpretation, she examines the succession of critical moments at which the question of democracy was raised and the nature of the leadership's response. She argues that the paternalism of the leadership in reining in possibilities it itself had evoked has been as destructive of the social project of the revolution as the dire economic straits in which Cuba finds itself in a post-socialist world.

Additional information

Publisher: Place of publication:
  • New York
Publication year:
  • 1994


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