Cuba at a Crossroads: Politics and Economics after the Fourth Party Congress

Cuba at a Crossroads: Politics and Economics after the Fourth Party Congress

Cuba at a Crossroads: Politics and Economics after the Fourth Party Congress

Cuba at a Crossroads: Politics and Economics after the Fourth Party Congress


"Extremely useful to scholars and readers interested in Latin America, socialist countries in transition, U. S. foreign policy, comparative political and economic systems, [and] revolutionary change.... Will be an excellent textbook in courses related to those subjects."--Carmelo Mesa-Lago, University of Pittsburgh
By October 1991, when Cuba's Fourth Communist Party Congress met, international communism had crumbled, and Cuba, mired in a deep recession, faced serious internal pressures and a hostile external economic environment. These essays reflect the political and economic concerns highlighted at the congress.
Despite their interdisciplinary approaches and differences in point of view, the authors agree that significant change in Cuba is imminent and that the country stands at the intersection of several roads, each associated with alternative models of political and economic organization. Where appropriate, they evaluate the strategies that the Cuban leadership is currently pursuing.
Introduction: Cuban Politics and Economics in the 1990s, by Jorge F. P rez-L pez
Leadership Strategies and Mass Support: Cuban Politics before and after the 1991 Communist Party Congress, by Jorge I. Dom nguez
The Party, the Fourth Congress, and the Process of Counterreform, by Juan M. del Aguila
Continuity and Change in Cuba's International Relations, by Dami n J. Fern ndez
Cuba's Economic Strategy and Alternative Futures, by Archibald R. M. Ritter
Reflections on Economic Policy: Cuba's Food Program, by Sergio G. Roca
Cuba's Labor Adjustment Policies during the Special Period, by Sergio D az-Briquets and Jorge F. P rez-L pez
Tourism in Cuba: A Development Strategy for the 1990s? by Mar a Dolores Espino
Cuban Biotechnology: A First World Approach to Development, by Julie M. Feinsilver
Islands of Capitalism in an Ocean of Socialism: Joint Ventures in Cuba's Development Strategy, by Jorge F. P rez-L pez
Reforming Cuba's Economic System from Within, by Andrew Zimbalist
Economic Reform in Cuba: Lessons from Eastern Europe, by Jorge F. P rez-L pez


Cuba is at a crossroads. Some thirty-five years after the triumph of a popular revolution, the winds of change blow over the island. the pursuit of socialism by a small, developing island nation in an increasingly capitalist world poses tremendous challenges for the Cuban leadership and for the nation.

A strong case can be made that at no time has the survival of the Cuban revolution been under more severe challenge than in the 1990s. Not only is the leadership confronted by a severely hostile external economic environment, but it also faces autochthonous pressures for political and economic change unmatched in the last three and onehalf decades.

In power longer than any regime in modern Latin America with the exception of the Stroessner regime in Paraguay-but closing in quickly on that dubious record and likely to surpass it by the time this book is published-the Cuban ruling elite has aged, leadership renovation has been stunted, and the political system has increasingly lost touch with the population, particularly with the young. Economic hardships have intensified, bringing widespread pessimism among the population about the economic future of the nation.

The first few years of the 1990s already have been difficult. the economy has been undergoing a prolonged recession, which began in the mid-1980s. in 1986, the Cuban leadership embarked on a so-called rectification process (proceso de rectificación de errores y tendencias negativas), which centralized economic policy making and largely . . .

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