Cuba

Book Presentation: "Cuba's Socialist Economy Today: Navigating Challenges and Change"

October 11, 2016

Following more than five decades of fluctuating economic strategies, Cuba's Socialist Economy Today: Navigating Challenges and Change by Paolo Spadoni, and assistant professor of political science at Georgia Regents University, analyzes how Raúl Castro's maintenance of the "pragmatic cycle" has affected the living conditions and the economic power of the island nation.

Breaking the Ice, Not Melting It: The U.S. Rapprochement with Cuba

October 11, 2016

The suitability of the word, “rapprochement,” remains to be seen. U.S. foreign policy towards Cuba took a major swing in December with the proposed resumption of diplomatic relations for the first time in 54 years. In January, Assistant Secretary of State for Western Hemisphere Affairs, Roberta Jacobson, became the highest-ranking U.S. government official to visit the island in 35 years. But despite this improvement and those forthcoming, the events of the past month mean seemingly little—the embargo remains in place, as does one-party rule in Cuba.

"Voices of Change" in Cuba's Non-State Sector

October 11, 2016

Carmelo Mesa-Lago, Distinguished Service Professor Emeritus of Economics and Latin American Studies, former director of the University of Pittsburgh’s Center for Latin American Studies and author of over 90 books on economic and social policy in Latin America, approached his new book on Cuba’s non-state economic sector differently than he has done for past books.

"The Jewish Community of Cuba: Memory and History"

October 10, 2016

If you walk down the Calle 1 in Havana, Cuba, you will come across a wrought-iron gate fixed with the Star of David in the center. Beyond the gates is a geometric 1950s-era building whose front doors are marked with gold menorahs. Since 1953, the Synagogue Bet Shalom (also known as El Patronato) has been a reminder of the Jewish population throughout Cuba.

The Making of the Freshest Cigars in Cuba

October 7, 2016

The small Cuban city of Viñales is a colorful town situated at the foot of the Cordillera de Guaniguanico, a sharply pitched, palm-and-vine-draped mountain range with awe-inspiring internal caves and strikingly stark facades. The rolling fields that surround Viñales are saturated with color: the rich red-brown soil is almost as vivid as the bright green tobacco leaves growing out of it. The tobacco fincas, or plantations, extend around Viñales and into the mountains where coffee is grown as well.

Academic Exchange Between Cuba and East Germany Since 1960s – A Transnational Elite?

October 5, 2016

The partnership between revolutionary Cuba and the German Democratic Republic (GDR) offered a route for migration that had not been possible before. While acade­mic exchange was aimed to construct a socialist society in Cuba and serving the eco­nomic and political interests of both states, the creation of a transnational academic elite and of intel­lectual collectives across borders occurred as a by-product of the exchange.

A 54 Year Old Vestige of the Cold War Finally Thaws

October 5, 2016

On August 15, 2015, Secretary of State John Kerry, was the first US secretary of state to visit Cuba in 70 years. His visit marks the historic end of sour relations between the US and Cuba and the re-opening of the US embassy in Havana. As he addressed the crowd, in both English and Spanish, he talked about the possibility of lifting the 54-year-old trade embargo, as well as the restoration of a true democratic system on the island.

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