Cuba: Confronting the U. S. Embargo / Edition 1

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Cuba: Confronting the U.S. Embargo details and analyzes the effects of the U.S. embargo on Cuban society and the response of Cuba and its population to overcoming its consequences. Although the embargo disrupts and harms almost all aspects of life, the book focuses on those sectors most affected. It is framed by the issue of human rights—from both the Cuban and the U.S. perspective—an ideological gulf which underpins the political differences that exist between the two countries and which raises the question of how extensively the implementation of the embargo violates the human rights of Cuba and its citizens. Although the country has been ravaged by the embargo, it has fought back. The results of the confrontation over human rights are joined in a number of areas. Matters that relate to domestic, social, and foreign policy are examined. Cuba’s relations with the international community, and with the nations of the Eastern Caribbean have been severely affected by the embargo. The political dynamic among Cuba, Europe and the U.S. is observed within the context of the embargo cum blockade along with the political outcome each struggled to reach. Cuba and the Eastern Caribbean serves as a case study of how the U.S. attempted to isolate Cuba using military and economic means, and how Fidel Castro responded. Who won and who lost is an important consideration; more decisive is the nature of the struggle.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
The Soviet Union is history, but Castro still reigns, cigar intact, in Cuba. Schwab, a professor of political science at SUNY-Purchase, eloquently delineates the human toll of an American policy that--however one feels about Castro--most would call a failure. If Schwab seems a little anachronistic and credulous in his acceptance of Castro's justification for his dictatorship (weren't similar defenses mustered on behalf of the "People's Democracies" of Eastern Europe?), his book is a smoothly written account of the effects of the U.S. embargo. He reviews the history of U.S. hegemony over the Caribbean and recaps the Cuban revolution (its achievements, shortcomings and American efforts to topple it), and he assesses prospects for Cuba after Castro. Despite its manifest failure to bring an end to the Castro regime, the embargo, first imposed in 1960, remains in place, its impact augmented by the collapse of the Cuban economy following the dissolution of the Eastern bloc. Interestingly, one of the ways Castro dealt with his country's economic anxiety in the 1990s was to relax restrictions on religion and allow a papal visit in 1998. Schwab focuses on the devastating effects of the embargo on Cubans' health care and nutrition and forcefully condemns the U.S. for claiming to uphold human rights while sponsoring a policy that "imposes starvation on an entire people." His distinction between the Western notion of human rights--civil and political rights--and what he calls the socialist or Third World concept of economic and social rights is a clear expression of an old and durable argument that, as Schwab asserts, seems likely to outlive its Cold War origins. (Feb.)
Schwab (political science, State U. of New York) details and analyzes the effects of the US embargo on Cuban society, and the response of the Cuban government and population to overcome the consequences. Within a human-rights framework, he looks at the sectors most disrupted and harmed, food and medicine. He also considers the political differences between Cuba and the US, Cuban relations with Europe, the impact of the embargo on other Caribbean states, and related matters. A primary focus, however, is showing how the Cuban people have retained a degree of agency despite the deprivation. Annotation c. by Book News, Inc., Portland, Or.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780312216207
  • Publisher: Palgrave Macmillan
  • Publication date: 12/28/1998
  • Edition description: REV
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 242
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.50 (h) x 0.68 (d)

Meet the Author

Peter Schwab is professor of political science at Purchase College, SUNY. A noted authority on human rights, he has written extensively on the subject.

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Table of Contents

• Introduction: The Embargo and Human Rights
• U.S. and Cuban Perspectives
• Cuba and the International Community
• The U.S., Cuba and the Eastern Caribbean
• A War Against Public Health
• Starving the Cuban People
• The Question of Religion
• Political Dissent
• Conclusion: Cuba’s Future and the Embargo
• Notes
• Bibliography

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