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December 2010

Universitetet for miljø- og biovitenskap (UMB) Institutt for internasjonale miljø- og utviklingsstudier, Noragric Ås – Norge

Cuba: The story that has not been told Javier Sandoval Guzmán

Abstract The common assessments of the Cuban revolution show a lack of approaches towards objectivity and facts, being often influenced by ideologies opposed to this revolutionary process. A scientific assessment should be done, by acknowledging some unrecognized but important facts. Consequently, the Cuban revolution showing more achievements than the superpowers in multiple fields- deserves in the same way an opportunity for its development. Keywords: communism, democracy, embargo, human rights, objective, paradigm, process, regime, revolution, socialism.

1. Introduction: The necessity of a fair assessment about the Cuban process. Most historical assessments of the Cuban revolution (1959) and its effects lack objectivity, and many are influenced by ideologies. International media and scholars propagate similar beliefs about “Cuba’s communist dictatorship,” “human rights violations,” “stagnant poverty”, while asking for a “transition."1 Conversely, few acknowledge the positive developments of universal health care, almost 100 per cent literacy and the permanent humanitarian-aid for many developing countries that Cuba has implemented (Chomsky, 2003; UNESCO, 2010). Moreover, the US covert actions2 against the Cuban regime are also often ignored in historical analyses (Chomsky, 2003; Escalante, 2004; Schoultz, 2009). But the most misunderstood issue is regarding the 50 years of the US embargo3(or the economic blockade) imposed since 1961, which has been overwhelmingly condemned for the eighteenth consecutive year by the General

1 See for example: European Union (1996), Horowitz (2000), Reisener (1970), NY Times (2010), Sun (2009), Wall Street Journal (2005), Wong-Diaz (2006). 2 These included 638 assassination attempts against Fidel Castro (US Senate, 1975; cited in Chomsky, 2003 and Escalante, 2004) 3 “A ban of all US exports except medicines and some foodstuff” that has been tightened later (Pérez, 2006). It's still applied.


Assembly of the United Nations (UN, 2009). Consequently, a scientific assessment of the Cuban regime is required. A scientific assessment should start by defining the Cuban process as a historical case of conflict against “accepted” paradigms of development, but mostly against the US model. The US embargo is a specific and explicit part of this conflict between these two states, leading to “underdevelopment” of Cuba -but only in economic terms. This article analyzes data, evidence and views that are not commonly acknowledged, in order to initiate a debate of how making a more objective or scientific assessment of the Cuban process, by discussing lesser known but still essential events. In the same way, it concludes about possible future paths of the Cuban revolution, by questioning the paradigm of a desired transition and, on the contrary, proposing the idea of allowing its development. 2. The background of the revolution of 1959 and some necessary concepts 2.1.

The historical context and the early reforms

Cuba holds a history full of conflicts and crisis while it was a colony of Spain and during the short period of dominance of the US. After Cuba got its independence (1902), the interest of the US to recover its domain over Cuba remained, being a factor of a historical conflict that lasts until present (Chomsky, 2003; Galeano, 1997). During a long part of its history, the sugar production in Cuba had been the main economical activity, and for some decades, it was practically the only one. In such periods, the development of the country was ruled by this activity in all aspects. This was also the situation during the 1950s, and particularly after the coup (1952) and subsequent dictatorship (1952-1958) of the sergeant Fulgencio Batista who was closely related to the US government (Galeano, 1997; Pérez, 2006; Schoultz, 2009). Paraphrasing Galeano (1971, p. 113), during that period “one and a half million of Cubans were totally or partially unemployed”, the profits from the sugar production were highly concentrated in thirteen refineries, and there were “more registered prostitutes than mine workers”. In this context, on December 2 1956 a small yacht called Granma arrived to Cuba. The crew consisted of about 80 men of The 26 of July Movement4 coming from Mexico.

4 The name was given after the first attempt of the group to overthrow the dictator F. Batista on 26 July 1953 in the Moncada Barracks Assault (Pérez, 2006).


The leader of the group was Fidel Castro, who was deeply inspired by the ideas of José Martí5. Among the crew was Fidel's brother –Raúl- and Ernesto Che Guevara. A guerrilla of more than two years started with the expeditionaries fighting in different fronts. The revolutionaries triumphed on the 1st of January 1959 and Batista escaped. The revolution itself and the reforms that came with it, provoked inmediate reactions. The first and one of the most important of these reforms was the Agrarian Reform Law6 of May 1959. Moreover, the nationalization of foreign strategic companies was implemented. With these and many other early reforms, the US physical presence was ending. However, an ancient agreement allowed the US to stay. In the Cuban constitution of 1901 it was included the so called Platt Amendment, a covenant where “The US Guantánamo Bay Naval Base” was established in Cuba, in the bay with the same name (Pérez, 2006; Ratner, 2004). In this way, the US was leased a 45 square miles territory with complete control and jurisdiction, giving them the right to maintain a military base in perpetuity. Paraphrasing Ratner (2004, p.3), it is “a colony or territory of the US” within the island. The covenant can be finished only if the two parts are in agreement. Thus, since the triumph of the Cuban revolution in 1959, the Cuban government has demanded to close the base, with no results. The Amendment establishes that the US should pay an amount of about US$4,000 a year, but the revolutionary government eloquently has rejected to receive any of these payments since 1959. During its existence, the base has been used for different purposes, “from a holding pen of Haitian refugees to a prison (...)” (Ratner, 2004, p.3). As reported by many official documents, the base holds prisoners from all over the world, who are believed to be innocent of any crime. There is evidence demonstrating “incredibly inhuman conditions” (Ratner, 2004, p.1) and interrogation procedures, including torture, inside the base. The place has also been used as a strategic point for US government and CIA's operations against Cuba (Escalante, 2004). Another highlight of the conflict on the early years of the revolution, was the unsuccessful US invasion of the Bay of Pigs (Playa Girón) on April 1961 (Pérez, 2006; Schoultz, 2009). In the same way, there are many other examples during this -still underway- Cuban revolution. A process that have meant for its people a very long struggle to develop an alternative project of society, not free of contradictions and in an atmosphere of permanent conflict between ideologies, intentions and facts, and moreover, between two neighbors, Cuba and the US. To understand this process and to develop a constructive debate, it’s necessary to analyze the theories, ideologies and some concepts behind it.

5 (1853-1895) Cuban poet, philosopher and revolutionary. Considered the ideologist of the Cuban revolution of 1959 (Pérez, 2006). 6 Established the nationalization of the biggest private lands with compensation bonds for the affected owners (Pérez, 2006).



About the concepts of democracy, communism and socialism

Since the Athenians until nowadays, many ideas and theories of democracy have been developed. During the nineteenth century the predominant one was the liberal democracy which was “compatible with elite or aristocratic governments” (Grugel, 2002, p.16). To justify this theory the Empirical or Classical Theory of Democracy arose and in short words stated that “(...) Democracy means only that the people have the opportunity of accepting or refusing the men who are to rule them” (Schumpeter, 1976, p. 168-70; cited in Grugel, 2002).

Paraphrasing Grugel (2002, p.17-22), the empirical theory fails in considering the

exclusion that the capitalism brings with it and because it assumes that the Western countries were pluralist. This theory led to the idea that a democracy is just the existence of “relatively free elections, different parties, and liberal freedoms enshrined in a constitution” regardless if there exists a “daily exclusion and repression over the majority of the population.” Considering these concepts, we may recognize that we believe in “conventional” paradigms of democracy, just because they represent models established by the ones who hold the power. We do this without questioning if those are real democracies or the only possible models, rejecting the idea of thinking about new and completely different paradigms. Therefore, factors that characterize the Cuban system -like unique party and a different and much broader system of representationmay underpin the view that in Cuba there is no democracy. This ignores other remarkable factors that exist in the island, like the high participation in the electoral process and the great social equality7. So if we consider the analysis of Grugel (2002) and for example, the endless inequalities in the world, we will be forced to affirm that in almost all the countries there is no democracy. However, before any conclusion about this, we need to discuss on the other hand the concepts and ideologies that are behind a process -and a project- like the Cuban revolution. It is always avoided, intentionally or not, the concept of communism explained clearly by Marx (1875). In the field of political sciences, the Cuban regime is always defined as a “communist regime” or “communist system”, mainly because it's led by a communist party. However, according to the Marxist theory, the Cuban revolution it has been indeed something far different from that. In short words Marx concludes that a revolutionary process, to get from a capitalist society to a communist one, needs a transition period. This process could be divided in two phases: the first phase is known as “socialism” and the second one, “communism”. The first phase is established over the capitalist remaining structure, with the necessary

7 See chapter 3


existence of the state. This phase leads to the sociabilization of the means of production. In the final phase, however, there is no state anymore and no more social classes nor division of labour. In this society it rules the principle “From each according to his ability, to each according to his needs!” (Marx 1875, p. 28-29). It should be acknowledged then, that the Cuban regime is a revolutionary process, a transition from a former capitalist society where the pillars of socialism are being built. In conclusion, it should be distinguished in what terms the Cuban regime is defined as communist, especially if we consider that being such a process, is not over yet. It is questionable then if we should interrupt a process that shows outstanding results according to common goals of the society (UN Millennium Development Goals, 2010), despite strong difficulties like the US embargo and regardless the alleged human rights violations. Regarding the latter, as Carnoy (2007) reported it, “Chile and Brazil -especially Brazil- have much more political freedom for adults and much more inequality, poverty, crime and greatest number of street children”. If in the rest of the world we have decided to maintain the current economic and political system ruled by the market laws, giving new opportunities to it after its several crises and stagnating inequalities (Global Issues, 2010), it is expectable -or at least logic- to do the same in the case of the Cuban process. 3. Some concrete changes and achievements introduced by the revolution 3.1.

The health-care and educational systems, and the international humanitarian aid

According to Gott (2004), Cuba had some of the best health indexes in Latin America even before the revolution, but he acknowledges that they only represented the reality of the urban population in the biggest cities. In addition, the Oficina Nacional de Estadísticas de Cuba8(ONE) reports that there were 9 doctors per 10,000 inhabitants in 1958, and according to the World Health Organization (2010) this amount increased to 64 doctors per 10,000 inhabitants in 2000. On the other hand Hirschfeld (2007), based on her field experience in Cuba, argues that the Cuban health-care system is bureaucratic, repressive and that most of the citizens prefer to use an informal system instead the official one. But if these deficiencies indeed exist, they contrast with the evidenced interest of Latin American students who choose to study medicine in Cuba every year9. Hirschfeld (2007) adds that the government manipulates data and that dissident researchers are excluded of presenting their vision of the system. However, a similar argument about this is reported by US researchers involving the US government. They claim that US citizens who write about Cuba are under

8 Cuban National Office of Statistics 9 In 1998 The Latin American School of Medical Science (ELAM) was created. It has about 10,000 international students from 28 Latin American and Caribbean countries. They are educated for free (CBC, 2010; Ramonet, 2006).


surveillance when they get back home, and that their notes or printed materials may be confiscated by the US government (Fuller, 1988). Apart from the health-care system, one of the reported achievements of the revolution is related to literacy and the educational system. Before the literacy campaign (1961) about 40% of Cubans were illiterate (Gott, 2004) and “in 1958 half of the Cuban children didn't go to school (…)” Galeano (1971, p.115). But Cuba is now a country with more than 11 million inhabitants and 99 per cent of the Cuban children are enrolled in primary school (UNESCO, 2010). Cuba also holds the highest adult literacy rate (99,8%) and the school life expectancy10 (17,7) from primary to tertiary education in the region (UNESCO, 2010). In addition, Carnoy (2007) analyzed the supremacy of the Cuban students in education and he concludes that this could be possible in democratic societies where the state has the “confidence of the civil society” (p.156) and where the state is completely involved in the educational process, encouraging the families to be part of it. He adds that another factor for the Cuban students supremacy is the great social income-equality where the Cubans have sacrificed “material goods (and political freedom)”11(p.144) for having assured high-quality public services, like education. The supremacy reported in the Cuban education is also found in the field of humanitarian aid. It is reported that in the 1970s there were about 20,000 Cubans civilians (workers, teachers, engineers, physicians, etc.) helping in nearly 40 countries in different continents (Pérez, 2006). Only in 1985 there were about 16,000 Cuban civilians serving Third World countries (Stührenberg, 1988; cited in Chomsky, 2003) and in 2006 there were about “25,000 Cuba doctors [sic] serving in 68 countries...” (CBC, 2010). From the conclusions about the health and educational system, the concept of social welfare arises. The common belief that Cubans live in poverty, is based in the lack of modernity or technological goods that are barely found in the island. This represents an underdevelopment in economical terms. However, when assessing the social welfare, it is a matter of debate what kind of goods or needs are considered the most important, the basic (i.e., health, food, education, etc.) or the material ones (i.e., TV, computer, car, etc.). Therefore, in terms of basic needs, Cuba can be considered one of the most developed countries in the world. But in order to assess other factors that influence social welfare, the work conditions, the culture and sports achievements should also be considered.

10 Years of education that a child can expect to receive in his/her life (UNESCO, 2010). 11 Parentheses in the original



Social welfare and the high level of participation in social projects

The lifestyles in Cuba were significantly better in the 1950s in terms of material goods, but even for the middle classes who enjoyed these goods there was a sense of insecurity and the costs of living were constantly increasing (Pérez, 2006). The work conditions also changed with the revolution. According to Galeano (1971) with the Agrarian Reform the economy started to diversify and the workers started to be active the whole year and not only during 5 months as before. In the same way, Moore (2006) acknowledges the improvement of professional opportunities for women, and the creation of many cultural institutions since 1959. In addition, the achievements of the revolution are evidenced in international sports competitions12. On the other hand, Moore (2006) argues that there have been many losses during the revolution: more than 10% of population has left the country, the living standards, the independent press and the right of citizens to “elect national leaders who do not belong to the Communist Party” (p.81). However, whether these losses are facts or not can be largely discussed, considering all the factors involved. For instance, in terms of the national elections, the Cuban Constitution should be examined before. 3.3.

The elections and the Asamblea Nacional del Poder Popular13 (ANPP)

According to the Cuban Constitution (CC), the ANPP -or in other words, the Cuban Parliament- is the “supreme organ of the state” (art.69) and is elected for a period of 5 years (art.72). It's constituted by more than 600 hundred deputies who don't have any special privilege or economical benefits (art.82). The ANPP elects among its members the State Council and the President of the Cuban Republic (art.74). According to the ONE the elections have had historical quorums of more than 95 percent (ONE, 2010). “The vote is free” (CC, art.131) and “the Communist Party cannot propose, nominate nor promote candidates”, it’s the people themselves who promotes the candidates in the public assemblies (Law N°72, 1992). “The popular masses control the activity of the state organs”(art.68,1) and all the elected candidates “can be revoked at any time (i.e., deputies, State Council, etc.)”(art.68,2). The Electoral Law also establishes that the candidates cannot have electoral campaigns, for assuring no discrimination, no offenses and no millionaire expenses in the process. It is mainly because of the way of electing the Cuban President together with the existence of a

12 For instance, in the Olympic games, Cuba has been since 1976 one of the top 15 countries with more olympic medals. (NY Times, 2008) 13 National Assembly of People's Power


unique party14 what supports many discourses about the non-existence of elections or the lack of democracy in Cuba15. But in the other hand, what surprises many is the historical high percentage of participation in the election process –therefore validating it- as voters or as candidates; considering that voting is voluntary (CC, art.131) and the fact that they can null the vote if they would like to. 4. The Internal Reactions to the Cuban Process 4.1.

Discourses against the Cuban regime and the emigration to the US

The discourse of human rights violations in Cuba was introduced by the US after the fall of the USSR, when the argument of maintaining hostility with Cuba for its alliance with the USSR was no longer valid (Schoultz, 2009). But whether these violations exist or not, first we need to acknowledge that in Cuba exists the Capital or Death Punishment. Cuba, like the US and other few states, still maintains this kind of laws. Although in the island this law is applied in extreme criminal cases like homicide or treason, it’s disapproved by the majority of the society and it’s considered by many a human right violation. Castro argues that in a country permanently threatened like Cuba, they must be severe. But he recognizes that this law is a permanent debate between the Cuban society and within the ANPP. The Capital Punishment hasn't been used in Cuba since 2000 (Ramonet, 2006). Moreover, there is another factor related to human rights, and it has to do with the alleged political prisoners of the Cuban regime. 4.2.

About the alleged political prisoners: Who are they?

Perhaps the most important criticism to the Cuban regime, is regarding to the alleged political prisioners. The debate regarding this situation considers the claims that the political prisoners were arrested and judged just because of their political views against the regime, which they may have expressed by public pacific demonstrations (Pedraza, 2007). However, among the thousands of political prisoners that have existed in Cuba, many are confessed criminals, CIA agents or members of the dissident organizations supported by the US government. As examples we can mention Rolando Cubela, Raul Rivero, and Alberto Montaner (Calvo & Declercq, 2000; Escalante, 2004; Schoultz, 2009). Cubela was directly implied in an assassination attempt against Castro in the Mongoose CIA Operation (1961) (Schoultz, 2009). Although the leaders of the revolution may justify these arrests because a matter of state security, we must acknowledge 14 Approved in the Cuban Constitution, 15 February 1976, by the 97,7% of the total universe of voters. 15 See for example Cubanet (2005)


that among the thousands of prisoners that have been in the Cuban jails, there could have been cases of innocent people arrested. This of course should be condemned everywhere. Moreover, another issue related to human rights, is the emigration from the island and all the problems it carries, not only for Cuba but also for the US (Schoultz, 2009). It has also been a matter of life and death, because many people have lost their lives when fleeing out from the island. 4.3.

Some influences and support for internal reactions

One of the most important reactions since the outset of the revolution was the emigration from Cuba to the US (Pedraza, 2006). In present times, migration is a worldwide phenomenon (Castles & Miller, 2003 cited in Wallner & Bedford, 2006). But there are many different causes of this phenomenon. In the case of Mexico, which is the main source of immigrants to the US, migration is mainly motivated by the search of better job opportunities and improved lifestyles (Pierrette Hondagneu-Sotelo, 1994). It is then natural to think that the reason for many Cuban exiles to leave the country, should not be for job opportunities, considering the unemployment level (1.9%) in Cuba (ONE, 2007). What they may be searching instead is to improve their lifestyles in terms of material goods. They are caught by the consumption society. This of course can influence their vision of the Cuban process, that is conversely trying to create the “hombre nuevo” (new man) free of the vices of the present society and motivated by values like solidarity (Pérez, 2006). Of course the Cuban emigration has been influenced by the geographical proximity to the US, but also by the propaganda and the laws that have encouraged it, like the Adjustment Law (Schoultz, 2006). However, it is not larger than migration from other countries of the region (Xalma, 2007). Moreover, there is another important way with which the US has influenced the Cuban regime: activism and even terrorist acts using exiles as CIA agents or non government organizations like USAID and NED. An example is Luis Posada Carriles, who is a fugitive from justice. He was recruited by the CIA and participated in repression organisms and assassinations attempts in Chile, Venezuela, Argentina and Cuba. After many times in jail, he was released and has been accepted as a refugee in the US (Democracy Now, 2007; Gott, 2004; Ramonet, 2006). In addition, USAID acknowledges that since 1996 they have been training journalists, spreading contrapropaganda against the Cuban regime, creating “independent” libraries and delivering radio devices among the dissidents (USAID, 2010). According to the US Senate (2010) in 1983, during Ronald Reagan's presidency, Radio Martí was launched in the US with the main purpose of bringing down the “dictator” Fidel Castro in Cuba, with 24 hours of broadcast directed to the island, and in 1990 TV Martí was launched with the same purpose. Since then, there have been complaints about the lack of effectiveness and because of its biased information “using offensive and incendiary language” (p.1) in its broadcasting. 9

5. The External Reactions to the Cuban Process 5.1.

The Missile Crisis

The influence of the US in Cuba has involved also external conflicts which relate more states. The Missile Crisis is the name of the conflict that started when the USSR put missiles in Cuba, pointing USA, in October 1962. Although this is a fact, Chomsky (2003) supports with evidence the argument that there is a background of this fact that was hidden. So while the world was being informed about the hostile action of the Cubans and Soviets, the people didn't know that there was an important fact that was forcing this to happen. The evidence shows that at the same time the US was planning to invade Cuba, and the world population and even many in the US government didn't know it, because it was a very top level operation. Another external reaction to the Cuban revolution can be noticed since its outset, regarding the actions of the multilateral organizations.


The OAS16 early reaction and the EU17's “Common Position” about Cuba

Hobsbawm (1999) acknowledges that there has been a strong influence of the US to spread the pressure against Cuba internationally. Particularly in the OAS, a sign of this could be the expulsion of Cuba from such multilateral organization in 1962 (Fauriol & Loser, 1990). There is also a current action that involves the European Union and its common position about the Cuban regime. Its first point states the following: “The objective of the European Union in its relations with Cuba is to encourage a process of transition to pluralist democracy and respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms, as well as a sustainable recovery and improvement in the living standards of the Cuban people.” (EU, 1996 §1)

The common position also alleges about the situation of the political prisoners and claims for their freedom. In the same way, the discourse of the non-existence of freedom of speech and association is maintained. In addition, there is another current way of pressure from the US to Cuba, regarding the situation of five Cuban 16 OAS: Organization of American States 17 EU: European Union


political prisoners in the US. 5.3.

The case of the “Cuban Five”

The case of political prisoners is alleged from both sides, but only one of the regimes is referred as a dictatorship or violator of human rights. There are five Cubans that in 1998 were monitoring actions of the organizations opposed to the Cuban regime in Miami. They were caught by FBI agents and blamed of conspiracy to commit crimes against the US. More than a year passed before their cases were taken into a court, and without proofs of the alleged crimes. During the long trial, many judges revealed that they were threatened by the exiles in Miami. Also many judges agree that no proofs demonstrate the alleged crimes. The five prisoners were condemned to life imprisonment (one of them, accused of assassinate conspiracy, got 2 life imprisonment condemns!) plus ten years or more. In 2005 the Working Group on Arbitrary Detentions of the UN, concluded that the trial was below the standards of justice and recommended the retry of the process or the prisoners liberation. In 2008 an appeals court reduced the sentence of three of them, and in 2009 a federal judge approved a lighter sentence on one of them (Cubaweb, 2010; NY Times, 2009).

6. Discussions: Do we need a transition in Cuba? The common discourse about the “desired transition” in Cuba, the desire that Cuba adopts the system that most of the world is following, assumes that this system and its model of democracy is the unique feasible way of development for any society. One must acknowledge that a perfect democracy doesn't exist. There are also many kinds of democracies depending on the point of view or the powers ruling. The Cuban process, according to their supporters, is sustained by a special kind of democracy, a democracy that assures representativity and participation more than any other principle. The importance of these factors could be hardly questioned by any system that wants to be recognized as democratic. However, the Cuban revolution has introduced another important factor: The existance of a unique party. One can argue if it is really a better option to have a multi-party political system, because what we can see from experience is that in these cases either there is a certain chaos, or they form two coalitions where the party that is not within them is excluded from policy making. Castro says that the idea of a unique party gives the people more unity towards a common objective. Of course, this can be just an opinion, but if we consider the high rates of participation in Cuba's free elections -with valid votes- and the nonexistence of massive demonstrations (the international media won't hesitate to show this, if it were to happen) it must indicate something. Castro adds that the dissidents do have a legal opportunity to change the Cuban constitution, namely, by participating in the 11

elections and getting enough representatives (Ramonet, 2006). Thus, by acknowledging facts and different views that are posed in this document, it can be concluded that Cuba is a country in war, not only a war in the common sense but also an ideological one. The common sense of war is exemplified by the reported assassination attempts against Fidel Castro or the invasion attempts to the island. On the other hand, the ideological war is exemplified by the propaganda against the Cuban regime (see Chomsky, 2003; Escalante, 2004). But who is leading this war against Cuba? Mainly, all the powers that are explicitly against any growing experience of socialism or any alternative system that puts the social benefits of a society over the private ones. Therefore, who may be leading this war are great economical groups or governments who consider socialism as a threat to their existance or as a threat to the economical and political systems they are benefiting from. In this way, a convenient tactic that has been used to undermine growing socialisms, is to use the people itself, by promoting the desire of high living standards in terms of private-material goods. Hence, if we cannot be sure of how much of the evidence is reliable or how much is biased, we must be responsible and fair when making opinions and supporting causes. We must also be rigorous and act in the same way when analysing any political process; the context is as important as the process itself. This is to say, if controversial policies or acts are forgivable when countries are in war, this should apply to any country in that condition. We must also consider the situation of a country being spied and threatened probably every day, and then asking what state-security policies would be acceptable in such situation and, without discriminating the country which is using it.

7. Conclusions: Towards a scientific assessment of the Cuban revolution and its future In the historical conflict of Cuba in one side, and the US and superpowers in the other, the forces are extremely unequal. Despite this fact, the Cuban revolution has survived for over half a century. Moreover, historical criticism have described the Cuban regime as a dictatorship or a totalitarianism. Nonetheless, if we agree with these kinds of descriptions we must then agree that many countries self-called democratic, should be described with the same terms. The arguments against Cuba are also focused on its alleged underdevelopment, without recognizing that the Cuban revolution hasn’t had the opportunity to show its results without the pressure of the embargo. Undoubtedly, many wealthy and developed nations would succumb with such economical burden, all the more so, a burden of that duration. Therefore, the demanded “transition� of the regime becomes unjustified and even ilogic if the end of the embargo is not required before. In addition, we should think about the right of the nations for their self determination. Going even 12

further and considering all the achievements that Cuba is showing, together with the historical election results which have never showed a substantial opposition, and despite all the historical pressures that have tried to overthrow the regime without success; we can at least debate the possibility of allowing a process like the Cuban revolution to continue and to develop itself. Only in this way, we would be able to say whether it did work or not. In conclusion, as Chomsky (2003, p.288) says, we should not forget that “[s]o perfectly accurate criticism on the regime in Cuba, say, will predictably be used by ideologists and politicians in the US to help extend our absolutely barbaric stranglehold on Cuba.�


8. References ~ Calvo Ospina , H., and Declercq, K., 2000. ¿Disidentes o Mercenarios?. Casa Editora Abril. ~ Carnoy, M., 2007. Cuba's academic advantage: Why Students in Cuba Do Better in School. Stanford University Press. ~ Chomsky, N., 2003. Understanding Power: The Indispensable Chomsky. Vintage. ~ Cuban Constitution, 1976. ~ Escalante, F., 2004. The Cuba Project: CIA Covert Operations. Ocean Press. ~ Fauriol, G., Loser, E., 1990. Cuba: the international dimension. Transaction Publishers ~ Fuller, L., 1988. Fieldwork in Forbidden Terrain: The U.S. State and the Case of Cuba. The American Sociologist. Summer. pp. 99-120. ~ Galeano, E., 1971. Las Venas Abiertas de América Latina. Siglo veintiuno editores. Ed. 51. ~ Gott, R., 2004. Cuba: A New History. Yale University Press. ~ Grugel, J., 2002. Democratization: A Critical Introduction. Palgrave. ~ Hobsbawm, E., 1999. Historia del siglo XX. ~ Hondagneu-Sotelo, P., 1994. Gendered transitions: Mexican experiences of immigration. University of California Press ~ Horowitz, 2000. Eleven Theses on Cuba After Castro. Studies in Comparative International Development. Winter. Vol. 34, No. 4, 3-6. ~ Law N°72, 1992. Electoral Law. ~ Marx, K., 1875. Crítica al Programa de Gotha. p.28-29. ~ Moore, R., 2006. Music and revolution: cultural change in socialist Cuba. University of California Press. ~ Pedraza, S., 2007. Political Disaffection in Cuba's Revolution and Exodus. Cambridge University Press. ~ Pérez, L., 2006. Cuba: Between Reform and Revolution. Oxford University Press. ~ Ramonet, I., 2006. Cien Horas Con Fidel: Conversaciones con Ignacio Ramonet. Oficina de Publicaciones del Consejo de la Habana. ~ Ratner, M., Ray, E., 2004. Guantánamo: What We Should Know. Arris Books. ~ Schoultz, L., 2009. That Infernal Little Cuban Republic. The University of North Carolina Press. ~ Suchlicki, J., 2002. Cuba: From Columbus to Castro and Beyond. Brassey's, Inc. ~ US Senate, 2010. Commitee on Foreign Relations. 111th Congress, second session. ~ Wallner, M., Bedford, R., 2006. Migration happens: reasons, effects and opportunities of migration in the South Pacific. LIT Verlag Münster. 14

~ Wong-Diaz, F., 2006. Castro's Cuba: Quo Vadis?. Strategic Studies Institute. ~ Xalma, C., 2007. Cuba: 驴Hacia D贸nde?. Icara. Internet Resources by Name or Topic: ~ CBC. Retrieved from: ~ Cuban Five. Retrieved from: ~ Cubaweb: ~ Democracy Now. Retrieved from: ~ European Union - Common Position (1996). Retrieved from: ~ Newspapers articles about human rights and contra-propaganda. Retrieved from: ~ NY Times. Map of Olympic Medals. Retrieved from: ~ The US Embargo. Retrieved from: ~ UN Millenium Development Goals. Retrieved from: ~ UNESCO (Statistics of Cuba). Retrieved from: ~ USAID. Retrieved from: ~ World poverty. Retrieved from:


Cuba: The story that has not been told  

The common assessments of the Cuban revolution show a lack of approaches towards objectivity and facts, being often influenced by ideologies...

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