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Cuba has undergone dramatic changes since the collapse of European communism. The loss of economic aid and preferential trade with the Soviet Union and other Eastern bloc countries forced the Cuban government to search out new ways of organizing the domestic economy and new commercial relations in an international system dominated by market economies. The resulting economic reforms have reverberated through Cuban society and politics, recreating social inequalities unknown since the 1950s and confronting the political system with unprecedented new challenges. The resulting ferment is increasingly evident in Cuban cultural expression, and the responses to adversity and scarcity have reshaped Cuban social relations.
This anthology brings together the best recent scholarship and writing on Cuban politics, economics, foreign relations, society, and culture in the post-Soviet era, which Cubans call the "Special Period." Ideally suited for students and general readers seeking to understand contemporary Cuba, the book includes a substantive introduction setting the historical context, as well as part introductions and a chronology.