This accessible, up-to-date and comprehensive introduction to modern Cuba provides an overview of Cuban history with particular emphasis on the country‘s post-Soviet economic collapse, the measures that President Castro‘s government took in response, and their ensuing results and impact.
This book neither paints Cuba as a perfect society nor universal model for Third World development. But it does argue that Cuba demonstrates that even relatively small countries can pursue a path of economic and social development that avoids the problems endemic in the rest of Latin America. The author also argues that the country‘s political stability is not merely the result of authoritarianism, but that important elements of democracy involve participation and help generate public support.
Cuba today continues to have huge problems, but the wider significance of the Cuban Revolution rests on its practical demonstration that it is possible to pursue radical and humane development policies which are at complete variance with the increasingly criticised nostrums of neoliberal economics being foisted on the rest of the world.
'Saney provides a most impressive sweep over the dynamics of survival and change in the Cuban revolution over the last decade. As a highly informative and insightful look into the Cuban Revolution today there is no book like it. It is a must read not only for Cubanologists but anyone interested in understanding not only how the Revolution has managed to survive decades of US imperialism and the most severe crisis in its history but the fact that it continues to work--and serve as an example, if not model, of a systematic alternative to world capitalism. Well researched and very well written.' - Dr. Henry Veltmeyer - Saint Mary's University, Halifax, Canada and co-author, "Globalization Unmasked: Imperialsim In The 21st Century". 'Saney's book is a comprehensive and balanced primer on Cuba and the progress its Revolution has brought the Cuban people. It is highly readable for anyone interested in understanding that nation's ongoing struggle for social justice. In particular, his discussion of inequality and race is the best available in the literature.' - Dr. Cliff Durand - Morgan State University (Chicago) and coordinator of the Annual Conference of North American and Cuban Philosophers and Social Scientists. 'Almost forty-five years have passed since the Cuban Revolution. Has it been successful? Has it failed? Have racism and sexism been eradicated? Is there criminal justice? These are only some of the issues that Saney tackles in this easy-to-read yet profound book in which he offers a rare insight into how Cuba, a small and underdeveloped island nation, has been able to respond positively to the social needs of its population. One of the many strengths of this seminal work is the perspective that Cuban society and the Cuban revolution is, and always has been, in motion - a dynamic process. It's refreshing to find a book that presents the Cuban revolution neither as finished product nor as panacea, that looks coolly and analytically at the achievements, errors, tensions and reflections that have characterized its fascinating history. In particular, Saney's treatment of race and racism in Cuba is one of the most thoughtful and provocative to date, especially on the intersection between their structural and attitudinal dimensions. Yes, racism and inequality are reappearing, but in what form? And why? And is it inevitable? Drawing on his extensive knowledge of Cuba and many visits to the island, Saney dissects the threads of these and other questions in a way that helps renew and animate the debate of race and class not just in relation to Cuba but globally. The author goes a long way towards helping turn around the massive disinformation campaign that has for so long surrounded Cuba, bringing forth all the weight, significance and resonance of this turbulent country in the process. Does a socialist model have something to say about sustainable human development? Can a tiny country find its way through the web of neoliberal globalization without compromising its autonomy or social gains? Is an anti- racist state inherently an anti-capitalist state? Saney touches on all these points and more, placing Cuba squarely within the world at large.' - Susan Hurlich - a journalist and anthropologist who has been living in Cuba for more than 10 years. 'This invaluable guide situates modern Cuba's economic and political institutions, its current problems and successes (including, significantly, in issues of race and inequality) in the context in which they must be understood... the implacable hostility of U.S. imperialism and the struggles of the Cuban people for a better world; Saney's book explains why, despite all its difficulties, Cuba continues to inspire people around the world.' - Michael A. Lebowitz - Author of "Beyond Capital: Marx's Political Economy of the Working Class" (Palgrave Macmillan revised edition: 2003).