Cuban Politics: The Revolutionary Experiment

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The Cuban Revolution presents a mixed record of achievements and failures. In this comprehensive study of Cuban politics, Rhoda Rabkin examines the institutions, policies, and performance of revolutionary Cuba. The study, part of the Politics in Latin America Hoover Institution Series, concisely and thoroughly addresses the major issues debated by scholars concerning the Cuban revolutionary experience. These include: the development impasse of pre-revolutionary Cuba, rates of revolutionary socio-economic progress, elite factionalism, the role of the military, succession politics, respect for human rights, and the relevance of the Cuban model to other developing countries. Rabkin analyzes with particular care Cuban efforts to reconcile revolutionary leadership (including the special role of Fidel Castro) with popular participation in institutions of government and mass organizations. The study also analyzes in depth the likely implications of the Gorbachev era for Cuban socialism. The meticulous inclusion of source references to the scholarly literature allows readers to pursue controversial issues in greater depth. In a field too often dominated by polemics, Rabkin provides her readers with an honest, objective synthesis of contemporary scholarship on the Cuban Revolution. Chapters cover: background to the revolution; communism Fidel-style (1959-1970); institutions and policy (1970-1986); the socialist economic system; Cuban foreign policy; the rectification period (1986 to the present); and a concluding assessment of the Cuban revolutionary socialist development model.