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Cuba: What Everyone Needs to Know
     

Cuba: What Everyone Needs to Know

3.5 11
by Julia E Sweig
 

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ISBN-10: 0195383796

ISBN-13: 9780195383799

Pub. Date: 07/07/2009

Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA

Ever since Fidel Castro assumed power in Cuba in 1959, Americans have been obsessed with the socialist nation ninety miles south of Florida, an obsession fueled in part by successive waves of Cuban immigration and Castro's fiery, larger-than-life persona. In Cuba: What Everyone Needs to Know, award-winning author Julia E. Sweig, one of America's leading experts

Overview

Ever since Fidel Castro assumed power in Cuba in 1959, Americans have been obsessed with the socialist nation ninety miles south of Florida, an obsession fueled in part by successive waves of Cuban immigration and Castro's fiery, larger-than-life persona. In Cuba: What Everyone Needs to Know, award-winning author Julia E. Sweig, one of America's leading experts on Cuba and Latin America, presents a concise, authoritative, and remarkably accessible portrait of the small island nation, using an innovative question-and-answer format to illuminate Cuba's unique place on the world stage over the past fifty years. Following a scene-setting introduction that describes the dynamics unleashed since summer 2006 when Fidel Castro transferred provisional power to his brother Raul, the book offers a concise overview of Cuba's history from its days as a Spanish colony through the first half of the twentieth century before shifting to more recent events: the Cuban missile crisis of 1962, the exploits of Che Guevara in the early years of the revolution, the saga of Elian Gonzalez in 2000, and Castro's failing health and the changes under the presidency of his brother Raul since 2008. Focusing equally on Cuba's role in world affairs and its own social and political transformations, Sweig divides the book chronologically into the pre-Fidel era, the period between the 1959 revolution and the fall of the Soviet Union, the post-Cold War era, and-finally-the looming post-Fidel era. Compact and expansive, lively and intriguing-like the country itself-Cuba: What Everyone Needs to Know is the best ready reference on Cuba's internal politics, its often fraught relationship with the UnitedStates, and its shifting role within the global community.

Guevara in the early years of the revolution, the saga of Elian Gonaalez in 2000, and Castro's failing health and the changes under the presidency of his brother Raul since 2008. Focusing equally on Cuba's role in world affairs and its own social and political transformations, Swig divides the book chronologically into the pre-Fidel era, the period between the 1959 revolution and the fall of the Soviet Union, the post-Cold War era, and-finally-the looming post-Field era. compact and expansive, lively and intriguing-like the country itself-Cuba: What Everyone Needs to Know is the best ready reference on Cuba's internal politics, its often fraught relationship with the United States and its shifting role within the global community.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780195383799
Publisher:
Oxford University Press, USA
Publication date:
07/07/2009
Series:
What Everyone Needs to Know Series
Pages:
304
Product dimensions:
5.80(w) x 8.40(h) x 1.00(d)

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments xv

Introduction xvii

Cuba before 1959

What were the main features of Cuban life during Spanish colonial rule? 1

How did Cuba's independence movement gain momentum, and what was its relationship to abolition? 4

Who was Jose Marti? 6

How did Cuba's final war for independence begin? 8

Why did the United States intervene and how did the Cuban War of Independence come to be known as the Spanish-American War? 8

What kind of independence did Cuba gain and what was the Platt Amendment? 11

What were the early years of Cuban independence like and how did the Platt Amendment impact Cuba's political culture? 12

Why does the United States have a naval base at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba? 15

What was the political climate out of which Fulgencio Batista first emerged? 16

How did Cuban politics and U.S.-Cuban relations evolve between 1934 and 1952? 17

What were the origins of the Cuban Revolution? How did it succeed? 20

What role did women play in the Cuban insurrection? 27

How did race relations figure into Cuba's political development during the prerevolutionary period? 29

Beyond the realms of politics and economics, how closely intertwined had Cuban and American culture become by the 1950s? 33

The Cuban Revolution and the Cold War, 1959-91

Domestic 36

Why did the Batista regime collapse? 36

What was so special about Fidel Castro? 36

What did the Communist Party have to do with it all and were the Soviets involved? 37

After Fidel took power, what happened to the other revolutionary groups? 39

What did Che Guevara do after 1959? 39

What did the first revolutionary cabinet look like? 40

Was Castro really a Communist? 41

So, did communism meanno democracy? 43

How did the revolution organize Cuban society? 45

Why did Cubans start leaving for exile? 47

What kind of backlash was there to the revolution's radicalization? 48

What kind of benefits did the revolution deliver and to whom? 50

How did race factor into the equation? 53

In a notoriously patriarchal society, how did women fare under the revolution? 55

What kind of space did the regime allow for intellectuals and artists? 56

How did the regime deal with its adversaries in the exile community? 58

How did the revolution handle religion? 62

Why did the revolution make such a big deal out of sports? 64

What about Cuba's human rights record during this period? 65

Why did King Sugar continue to dominate Cuba's economy after the revolution? 68

What were the main economic features of Cuba's integration with the Soviet bloc? 70

What was "rectification"? How did Fidel and Raul Castro view the prospect of market reforms in the 1980s? 71

Who was General Arnaldo Ochoa and why was he executed? 73

U.S.-Cuba 74

Was there ever a chance that the United States would react well to the Cuban revolutionaries? 74

How much weight did U.S. economic interests have in driving the two countries apart? 76

What really happened when Castro visited Washington in 1959? 78

Why did the Bay of Pigs invasion fail? 79

After the invasion fiasco, did the United States continue covert operations against Cuba and how did the United States involve Cuban exiles? 82

What was the Cuban Missile Crisis? 84

How did U.S. attempts to overthrow Castro play inside of Cuba? 87

What was the scope of U.S. economic sanctions? 88

How successful was the United States in isolating Cuba in the 1960s and into the 1970s? 89

What's the story behind the Kissinger/Ford secret diplomacy with Cuba in 1974? 92

How did Jimmy Carter's administration approach Cuba? 93

What was the Mariel boatlift? 96

Why did Reagan toughen up U.S. policy toward Cuba? 98

What did Reagan do to crack down on Cuba? 99

Who was Jorge Mas Canosa? 100

How did the Cuban American National Foundation emerge? 101

What is Radio Marti? 102

Cuba in the World 104

Why did Fidel, Che, and the other revolutionaries think they would succeed in spreading revolution in the third world? 104

What were the basic objectives of the Cuban Revolution's foreign policy? 105

Where was Cuba's foreign policy focused during the early years of the revolution and how did Che Guevara fit into the mix? 107

How did Latin American governments react to Cuba's armed internationalism? 112

How did Cuba's presence in southern Africa evolve? 114

What was Cuba's role in the Horn of Africa and the Ethiopia/Somalia conflict? 115

How did Cuba's foreign policy in the Middle East evolve? 117

How did world events shape Cuba's relationship with the Soviet Union? 119

What were the key features of Cuba's involvement in Central America and the Caribbean in the 1980s? 122

The Cuban Revolution after the Cold War, 1991-2006

Domestic 126

How did the collapse of the Berlin Wall and dissolution of the Soviet bloc affect Cuba? 126

How did Cuba adapt at home to the loss of Soviet subsidies and global realignment brought by the Cold War's end? 127

Why didn't the regime collapse? 129

What were the regime's economic reforms, and why were they so limited? 131

What kind of foreign investment began in Cuba, what consequences did this investment bring to the island, and how did authorities respond? 134

Did Cuba attempt to emulate any other economic models during this period? 138

How did artists manage to pull off such a cultural boom in the 1990s? 139

What caused the 1994 balsero refugee crisis? 141

How did the Cuban health care system fare in this period? 143

How did Cuba cope with HIV/AIDS? 146

How did human rights fare more generally during this period? 147

What was the Varela Project and what is its significance? 150

What kind of space did the regime permit for intellectuals, especially those involved in debates over economic reform? 152

How did space for organized religion evolve during this period? 153

Who was Elian Gonzalez and what was his significance to Cuba and U.S.-Cuban relations? 156

How did the Elian Gonzalez affair influence Cuba's domestic politics? 159

Does Cuban art and music provide an arena and space for critical expression? 160

U.S.-Cuba 161

How did the United States react to the end of the Soviet era in Cuba? 161

What was the Cuban Democracy Act, who was behind it, and what did the law intend to accomplish? 162

How did the United States and Cuba resolve the 1994 refugee crisis? 165

How did Cuban American activists and members of Congress react to these agreements? 167

Was a broader U.S. opening toward Cuba in the cards? 168

What was Brothers to the Rescue, and why did Cuba shoot down two of its planes? 169

How did the United States respond? 171

How did Cuba respond to Helms-Burton? 173

After the dust settled from the shoot-down and Helms-Burton, how did Cuba policy take shape during Bill Clinton's second term? 174

How did the death of Jorge Mas Canosa affect the Cuban American community? 177

How did the Elian Gonzalez episode affect the end of the Clinton presidency, the 2000 presidential election, and the Cuban American community? 178

How did the September 11, 2001, attacks affect U.S.-Cuban relations? 180

Why is Cuba still on the State Department's list of state sponsors of terrorism? 183

Who are the "Cuban Five?" 184

Was Castro a target of assassination attempts during this period, and what efforts were made to prosecute their authors? 186

What were the main features of U.S. policy toward Cuba under George W. Bush and how did Cuba respond? 187

Cuba in the World 191

How did Cuba adapt its foreign policy to the end of the Cold War? 191

How did relations with Europe and Canada help Cuba survive after the Soviet collapse? 192

How did Cuba use its long-cultivated clout at the United Nations? 194

How did Cuba relate to Latin America in a newly democratic environment? 195

What did Cuba have to do with the election of Left/Populist governments in the region, especially in the Andes? 198

What is the scope of Cuba's relationship with Venezuela and Hugo Chavez? 200

What were the main features of Cuba's integration into the world economy after the Cold War? 203

How did Cuba react to the war in Iraq? 204

After Fidel, under Raul

Domestic 207

How did the Cuban government deal with Fidel Castro's illness in 2006? 207

What happened in the immediate aftermath of the announcement of Fidel's illness? 208

Who is Raul Castro and why was he chosen to succeed Fidel? 210

How did Cuba's provisional leadership respond as the reality of Fidel's absence took hold? 212

How was Raul Castro elected president of Cuba? 213

Since becoming president, what has Raul done and how have Cubans reacted? 214

How has public discourse and debate evolved under the presidency of Raul Castro? 219

Will there be any political reform? 222

Can Cuba's successor government open up economically without promoting unmanageable political strife? 223

What is Fidel's role since he stepped down from the presidency? 226

U.S.-Cuba 227

How did the United States react to the news of Fidel turning over provisional power? 227

Has Raul Castro taken a different approach to the United States than his brother Fidel? 230

Once a stable succession was evident, how did the U.S. government adjust its view of Cuba? 232

How has the Cuban American community reacted to Fidel's illness and Raul's assumption of the presidency? 235

How did Cuba play in the 2008 presidential primaries and general election? 238

What might be expected from the Obama White House in its policy toward Cuba? 241

Cuba in the World 244

Did the succession arouse any changes in Cuba's foreign relations? 244

What are the principal features of Cuba's ties with Latin America today? 246

Has Cuba expanded its ties with Russia, China, and Iran? 251

What is the status of Cuba's deep-water oil exploration and what foreign governments and companies are involved? 252

Has the European Union moved closer to Cuba since Fidel stepped aside? 253

How extensive is Cuba's cultural projection-music, art, film, literature-on the global stage? 255

Suggested Reading 257

Index 259

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Cuba: What Everyone Needs to Know 3.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 11 reviews.
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YOU DISGRACE MY RL NAME! *backslaps*
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
"Bastard." He mumbles under his breath.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Well this isnt a place where ppl talk
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
(: kinda bored over here....and looking fo peeps to talk to...i havent been on in a week so irdk where everybody is....lol. (: weeeeeee!!!!