Building a Just Society: The Cuban Revolution and Its Future

By De Quesada, Ricardo Alarcon | Harvard International Review, Fall 1998 | Go to article overview

Building a Just Society: The Cuban Revolution and Its Future


De Quesada, Ricardo Alarcon, Harvard International Review


RICARDO ALARCON is President of the National Assembly of the Republic of Cuba.

At the end of the last decade, when European Socialism was hastening towards collapse, many forecast the imminent demise of the Cuban Revolution. Next year, however, the revolution will celebrate its fortieth year of development, ten years after the dissolution of the Socialist bloc. There is no reason to believe that Cuba will suffer the same fate as former socialist states of Eastern Europe. Our Revolution did not collapse for the simple reason that it was not a product of the Cold War. Contrary to American propagandists, the character of the revolution is not on the verge of collapse, and Cubans are not in abject misery. Instead, the Cuban economy is recovering from recent external shocks, Cuban democracy is strong, and Cuba, like every other nation, deserves the recognition of its sovereignty and the cessation of futile attempts to topple its government.

The External Shock

In 1997, experts from the UN Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC) studied the Cuban economy during the present crisis and arrived at quite enlightening conclusions. First, the report spelled out the impact of the collapse of European Socialism: "The break of commercial relations with the Council for Mutual Economic Assistance (CMEA) countries in 1990 brought with it a loss of markets more severe than that caused by the Great Depression." Despite the magnitude of the shock to international trade, nothing happened in Cuba that remotely approached the profound social and political convulsion experienced during the Great Depression. On the contrary, ECLAC confirms that the decline of the Cuban economy has been halted, and, furthermore, that economic growth in the last three years is increasing at a rate similar to that of most of Latin America.

This result is even more surprising if we bear in mind that, during this same period, the Torricelli Act of 1992 and the Helms-Burton Act of 1996 intensified the US blockade of Cuba. The ECLAC study's findings support the view that Cuba's socialism helped the country adjust to the fall of the Soviet Union: "Paradoxically and contrary to what has been occurring in Latin America, the liberalization of markets in a solidly social environment has served to alleviate some regressive courses in the distribution of the costs of the so-called `special period."' The report continued: "Compared to the size of the external shock, the cost of the stabilization policy was relatively low and its distribution fairer when compared to other Latin American economies, thanks to the policy of guaranteeing employment and income to the population."

Cuba is the only Latin American country to suffer from severe difficulties arising from the disappearance of the Socialist community; it is the only country to be faced with the increased hostility of the United States, the only country not to receive development aid or financing, loans, or external credit. Nonetheless, its economy continues to grow, and it maintains health standards, literacy, and social security rates higher than other Latin American countries. Furthermore, Cuba has a similar infant mortality rate to that of the United States. Without having closed a single hospital or school during the worst moments of the economic crisis and without having reduced the main social benefits, the Cuban experience favorably contrasts with those of the rest of the continent. Having left behind the most difficult stage of their history, Cubans can now smile at their hasty gravediggers.

Cuban Democracy

In Cuba the crisis has been and continues to be handled in accordance with the democratic character of its society. The citizen is accustomed to participating in daily decision-making processes. The Cuban citizen nominates and elects candidates to different levels of our assemblies, analyzes the reports that assemblies submit every six months, adopts and executes production plans, organizes work and services, or approves members of the Communist Party and its youth organizations. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • A full archive of books and articles related to this one
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Building a Just Society: The Cuban Revolution and Its Future
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

    Already a member? Log in now.