Caribbean Political Economy

‘Smaddification’, Affirmation and Caribbeanity: The Caribbean That Unites Us, Norman Girvan

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Transcript of an interview conducted during the Havana Book Fair in February 2012.

(Extract) What unites us is a common frame of reference of our historical experience. But what also unites us, in a context of diversity, has been the affirmation of what my old friend and colleague Rex Nettleford called “smaddification”…All the labor that was brought here was brought here in a condition of exploitation of one way or another and the process of creating a Caribbean identity out of those conditions is a process of resistance, of struggle and of affirmation of self, of the dignity of the human person and of the right to autonomy of our societies…

Transcript of interview

El Caribe Que Nos Une (Versión en español)

Cuba: Looking Back and Ahead, Saul Landau and Nelson Valdés

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In 2012, the White House will focus on the most important of international and national issues: the re-election of the President. U.S.-Cuba policy will fall into “Next Year’s” box – or the year after that. The National Security staff reverts to its familiar positions on relations with that troublesome island: ignorance and arrogance…

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State of Siege: U.S. Sanctions against Cuba, Salim Lamrani

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Interview with Salim Lamrani on his book titled í‰tat de sií¨ge. : “The Economic Sanctions against Cuba Constitute the Principal Obstacle to the Development of the Country”

The book it covers the unilateral economic sanctions that the United States first imposed upon Cuba at the height of the Cold War with the aim of overthrowing the revolutionary government of Fidel Castro…the Cold War is only a fading memory; still the United States persists in maintaining an economic state of siege that is suffocating for all levels of the Cuban population, although it primarily affects the most vulnerable sectors: women, the elderly and children…


Cuba, Single Latin American and Caribbean Country without Child Malnutrition, UNICEF

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Havana, Sep 21.- The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) stated that Cuba is the only Latin American country without child malnutrition, while 146 million children are suffering from that scourge worldwide…


UNICEF Praises Cuba’s Promotion of Children’s Rights

Free Them! The Mighty Gabby sings for the Cuban Five (Video)

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Free Them! Free Them!
The propaganda we will now expose
Free Them! Free Them!
The Cuban Five are National Heroes!

Click here to watch The Mighty Gabby Sing for the Cuban Five

Cuba, Change and Barack Obama, Saul Landau and Nelson Valdes

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There are none so blind as those who will not see

On May 13, Miami newspaper headlines and TV leads should have said: “Obama makes fool of himself.” The “leads” would have referred to his statement: “I would welcome real change from the Cuban government.” Obama’s conditions? “For us to have the kind of normal relations we have with other countries, we’ve got to see significant changes from the Cuban government and we just have not seen that yet.”…

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Renewing Cuban Socialism, Raul Castro

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Central Report To The 6th Congress Of The Communist Party Of Cuba,,   April 16, 2011

The opening of the 6th Congress of the Communist Party of Cuba this afternoon marks a date of extraordinary significance in our history, the 50th anniversary of the proclamation of the socialist nature of our Revolution by its Commander in Chief, Fidel Castro Ruz, on April 16, 1961, as we paid our last respects to those killed the day before during the bombings of the air bases…

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CIA, Spies and Videotapes in Cuba, Helen Yaffe

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‘[W]e see very little evidence that the mainline dissident organizations have much resonance among ordinary Cubans…Despite claims that they represent “thousands of Cubans”, we see little evidence of such support.’ Jonathan Farrar, Head of the US Interest Section in Havana, 15 April 2009…

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Cuba acknowledges the persistence of racial prejudice despite progress, James Early


This statement from the Cuban government about the unfinished struggle against racism, despite many advances against racism in the material and spiritual lives of Cuban Afro-Descendants by the policies of the Revolution, could be a critically important juncture at which Cuban citizens, especially those of Afro-Descent, and the Cuban government, can become central players in the Continental wide ideological and political discourses and policies of Afro-racial-cultural identity and related discrimination, participatory democracy and integration of the Caribbean and Latin America…

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James C. Early

Fidel Castro on the persistence of racial discrimination in Cuba Compiled by Pedro Perez Sarduy

Continuity and political change in Cuba, Carlos Alzugaray

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From the translator’s note (Marce Cameron). There is a rich discussion and debate taking place among Cuba’s revolutionary intelligentsia about how to “change everything that must be changed”. Most of this debate is inaccessible to English-speaking audiences. Temas is a highly respected Cuban journal edited by Cuban political scientist Rafael Hernandez. Launched in 1995 as “a space for critical reflection and debate”, it also publishes contributions from progressive intellectuals outside Cuba. The following essay appeared in the October-December 2009 edition. Carlos Alzugaray Treto is a Cuban writer, diplomat and professor, lecturing at Havana University and the Raul Roa Garcia Higher Institute of International Relations. His paper is a superb summary of the political and economic challenges facing the Cuban Revolution today, a panorama that demands nothing less than an integral transformation of Cuba’s socialist model.

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Cuba’s Economic Paradigm Shift: A Work in Progress, Norman Girvan and Alissa Trotz


Cuba’s proposed economic reforms have attracted much attention, the focus falling on plans to redeploy up to one million employees from the state sector to self-employment and small business. The comments mostly reflect a particular ideological perspective; or interpret the reforms through the lens of neoliberal adjustment programmes of the kind familiar to us in the Caricom Caribbean. The proposals, which are contained in 291 points in the Draft Economic and Social Policy Guidelines published in November, need to be considered in their totality; and set in context…

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Also published in Stabroek News 20/12/10


DRAFT Economic and Social Policy Guidelines for the Party and the Revolution (ENGLISH) PDF Format

DRAFT Economic and Social Policy Guidelines for the Party and the Revolution (ENGLISH) HTML Format

Raul Castro’s Speech at Closing Session of the Cuban National Assembly December 18, 2010 (English, illustrated, PDF Format)

‘We are producing a Bonsai in this small island’ An interview with Professor Hugo Pons, head of the Economics Department at the University of Havana

Cuba’s Socialist Renewal

This blog opens a window to the English-speaking world on the debates and changes taking place in Cuba. Regular postings of original translations of selected documents, commentaries and letters to the editor published in Cuba’s revolutionary press; readers’ comments; and a space for discussion and debate among supporters, however critical, of the Cuban Revolution.

PBS Series on Cuba’s Economic Reforms, Health Care system and Medical Diplomacy

Professor Keith Ellis: A Source of Inspiration, Russell Bell

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Keith Ellis grew up in a small district in St. Mary, Jamaica; attended Calabar High School in Kingston and today is Professor Emeritus at the University of Toronto. He is the author or editor of eighteen books and some one hundred articles published in all the top journals in his field of Spanish American literature and culture. He is the (i) first Jamaican to receive the Doctor Honoris Causa from the University of Havana (ii) first black person to be elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada, a group of the top professors in the country, elected by their peers (iii) recipient of The Award for Excellence in Academia bestowed upon him in 2004 by the Association of Black Students and Alumni of the University of Toronto and (iv) recipient of the Dulce Marí­a Loynaz International Prize for contribution to literary studies and understanding of and support for Cuba, given by UNEAC (The Union of Writers and Artists of Cuba). He is also a long-standing, active defender of the Cuban revolution.

Professor Ellis was recently interviewed by Russell Bell for YESCuba, the Newsletter of Jamaican Youth and Elders in Solidarity with Cuba. The interviews, with selected extracts, are published below. YESCuba is asking for your help in distribution to all your friends, colleagues and especially young Caribbeans at home and abroad.

From Part 1 (Click here for interview)

“We have to aim for unity in ways that are innovative…”The multiparty system is an obstacle to our identifying the core issues that affect our common development and it is a convenience for those outside forces that are known to ruthlessly further their interests by exacerbating divisions…”
“I believe that more room should be given to tenderness and the nurturing of uplifting cultural activity. That has to be within the framework of a social and political system that channels our human and material resources to the common benefit of our people…”

From Part 2 (Click here for interview)

“… many blacks are seeing themselves as vicarious occupants of the White House and have lost sight of the imperialist objectives of the Obama administration…”

From Part 3 (Click here for interview)

“…there is a vibrant spirit among our young people, a curiosity about the world, a confidence that they are equal to everybody else and to every possible task, displayed both in their academic achievements and in their sporting achievements; these qualities augur well for the overcoming of obstacles….”…that alienating tutelage that surreptitiously continues to guide our institutional and social life-these are all barriers in the way of our youth…”

Conversations with Cuban Blogger Yoani Sanchez, Salim Lamrani

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Yoani Sanchez is the new face of the Cuban opposition. Since the creation of her blog Generation Y in 2007, she has won numerous international awards: The Ortega y Gasset Journalism Award (2008), the award (2008), The Bob’s Award (2008), and the Maria Moors Cabot Award (2008) from the prestigious Columbia University in the United States. Similarly, the blogger was named among the 100 most influential people in the world by Time magazine (2008), along with George W. Bush, Hu Jintao and the Dalai Lama…

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Corruption: Cuba’s True Counter-Revolution? Esteban Morales

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Esteban MoralesEsteban Morales is Professor of Economics and Political Science at the University of Havana, Honorary Director of the Center for American Studies at the University of Havana, and member of the Commission Against Racism and Racial Discrimination of the National Union of Cuban Writers and Artists-UNEAC. This article was first published in Spanish on the UNEAC website.

When we closely observe Cuba’s internal situation today, we can have no doubt that the counter-revolution, little by little, is taking positions at certain levels of the State and Government. Without a doubt, it is becoming evident that there are people in positions of government and state who are girding themselves financially for when the Revolution falls, and others may have everything almost ready to transfer state-owned assets to private hands, as happened in the old USSR…

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A worldwide Battle of Life and Death, Part II Alberto Jones

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Alberto Jones is an Afro-Cuban of Jamaican origin who runs the Caribbean American Children Foundation in Palm Coast, Florida

Historically, anti-Cuba groups based in Florida and Europe have systematically accused the Cuban government of being racist…

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Cuba’s Humanitarian Imagination, Alissa Trotz


From Stabroek News April 5, 2010

On Saturday the Stabroek News carried a small report on a Guyanese doctor trained in Cuba (one of a larger group of 64) who had been posted to the Lethem Hospital. This is Cuba’s medical internationalism at work (the subject of an excellent book by Canadian professor John Kirk), and something we have been accustomed to in Guyana since the 1970s..

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Lies and Facts in The Media War Against Cuba Arnold August, Global Research

Mentiras y hechos en la Guerra mediática contra Cuba Arnold August, Global Research

Statement from the National Association of Cuban Economists

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On the Resolution in the European Parliament regarding Human Rights in Cuba

Click here for Statement

On The Cuban Dissidents, Atilio Boron

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The “free press’ in Europe and the Americas – the one that lied shamelessly about the existence of weapons of mass destruction in Iraq or described the putschist regime of Micheletti in Honduras as “interim” – has redoubled its ferocious campaign against Cuba. As a result, it’s important to distinguish between the true reason for it, and the pretext…

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In Defense of Cuba, Pabla Gonzalez Casanova, etc. al.

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In light of the resolution regarding Cuba adopted by the European Parliament on March 11th, on behalf of intellectuals, academics, activists, artists, and critical thinkers who belong to the Network in Defense of Humanity we declare (1) That we share the sensibilities expressed by European parlamentarians regarding political prisoners, and join them in calling for the unconditional liberation of all political prisoners, throughout the world, including those held by countries which are members of the European Union…

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The Truth of What Happened at the Copenhagen Summit, Fidel Castro

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Until very recently, the discussion revolved around the kind of society we would have. Today, the discussion centers on whether human society will survive.

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