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 Table of Contents
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Title: Caribbean Review
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Creator: Latin American and Caribbean Center, Florida International University
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Copyright Date: 1980
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Table of Contents
    Front Cover
        Front Cover 1
        Front Cover 2
    Table of Contents
        Page 1
    Front Matter
        Page 2
        Page 3
        Page 4
        Page 5
        Page 6
        Page 7
        Page 8
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        Page 22
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        Page 24
        Page 25
        Page 26
        Page 27
        Page 28
        Page 29
        Page 30
        Page 31
        Page 32
        Page 33
        Page 34
        Page 35
        Page 36
        Page 37
        Page 38
        Page 39
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    Back Cover
        Back Cover 1
        Back Cover 2
Full Text


Vol. XV, No. 2
Three Dollars

Did Fidel Fudge the Figures?; Race Relations in Socialist Cuba; Is the Cuban Economy Knowable?;
Castro Confesses to Friar Betto; Wifredo Lam's La Jungla

199L 0


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Miami Beach, FL 33119-0120
TOLL FREE (800) 327-2600
in FL (800) 432-3364

In this issue

Crossing Swords
Rethinking Cuba
By Barry B. Levine

Did Fidel Fudge
the Figures?
Literacy and Health: the Cuban Model
By Nicholas Eberstadt

How to Figure Out Cuba
Development, Ideology & Mortality
By Sergio Diaz-Briquets

Congo or Carabili?
Race Relations in Socialist Cuba
By Carlos Moore

Grenadian Party Paper
Revealing an Imaginary Document
By Jorge I. Dominguez

Report Redux
Thoughts on the Imaginary Document
By Nelson P. Valdds

Is the Cuban Economy
A National Accounting Parable
By Jorge Salazar-Carrillo

Guateque, 1968-71, by Cuban artist
David Garcia Terminel (Oil on canvas,
38.5" by 28.5").

Cuba as an Oil Trader
Petroleum Deals in a Falling Market
By Jorge F P6rez-L6pez

Fidel and the Friars
Castro Confesses to Friar Betto
Reviewed by Paul E. Sigmund

The Mythical Landscapes
of a Cuban Painter
Wifredo Lam's Lajungla
By Juan A. Martinez

First Impressions
Critics Look at the New Literature
Compiled by Forrest D. Colbum

Recent Books
On the Region and Its Peoples
Compiled by Marian Goslinga


Analysen Daten Dokumentation

El Institute de Estudios Iberoamericanos public desde 1984
una revista sobre temas econ6micos, politicos y sociales de
la actualidad latinoamericana. Cada nimero contiene las
siguientes secciones:

Analisis (ensayos-en aleman)
Datos: colecciones y datos procesados
(cronologias, estadisticas etc.)
Documentos (textos de leyes, programs, planes,
declaraciones y actas fundamentals, entrevistas
etc.-documentados en relaci6n con los andlisis y
presentados en su version original)
Bibliografia select de monografias y revistas
latinoamericanas (200-300 referencias
bibliograficas por numero)
Resefias de publicaciones nuevas
(o latinoamericanas o sobre temas
latinoamericanos-en aleman)
Resumenes de los andlisis en espanfol y/o

Numeros publicados:

1: i> Oportunidades y limits de la democracia en
(Mayo de 1984, 96 paginas)
2: ))Chile: Oposici6n contra el modelo econ6mico y
la dictadura>)
(Noviembre de 1984,104 paginas)
3: i La cuesti6n agraria de Brasil: Modernizaci6n y
sus consecuencias))
(Abril de 1985, 110 p6ginas)
4: > Crisis econdmica y political de ajuste en
(Julio de 1985, 142 pginas)

En Preparaci6n:
5: > Sindicatos y relaciones laborales dentro de la
empresa en el sector industrial
(Noviembre de 1985)

ATION aparece tres veces al aho (primavera/verano/otoio);
tamano octave mayor.
Favor dirigir pedidos al Instituto de Estudios Ibero-
americanos, Alsterglacis 8, D-2000 Hamburgo 36 (R.F.A.)
Suscripci6n annual (3 cuadernos): DM 40,-; precio por
ejemplar DM 15-; mAs los costs de franqueo y envio.

Institute fiir Iberoamerika-Kunde, Hamburg
ISSN 0176-2818



Barry B. Levine
Associate Editors
Richard A. Dwyer
Anthony P Maingot
Mark B. Rosenberg
Managing Editor
Elizabeth Lowe
Assistant Editor
Gilbert L. Socas
Book Review Editor
Forrest D. Colburn
Marian Goslinga
Linda M. Marston
Contributing Editors
Henry S. Gill
Eneid Routt6 G6mez
Aaron L. Segal
Andrts Serbin
Olga J. Wagenheim

Vol. XV, No. 2

Three Dollars

Contributing Artists Board of Editors
Angel A. Marti Reinaldo Arenas
Maria E. Marti Ricardo Arias Calder6n
Alex Suarez Errol Barrow
German Carrera Damas
Circulation Manager Yves Daudet
Maria J. Gonzalez Edouard Glissant
Harmannus Hoetink
Distribution Manager Gordon K. Lewis
Everardo A. Rodriguez aughan A. Lewis
Project Manager Leslie Manigat
David Kyle James A. Mau
Carmelo Mesa-Lago
Project Director Carlos Alberto Montaner
Anna M. Alejo Daniel Oduber
Robert A. Pastor
Project Coordinator Selwyn Ryan
Julia Hirst Carl Stone
Edelberto Torres Rivas
Research Assistant Jose Villamil
John Houder Gregory B. Wolfe

Caribbean Review, a quarterly journal dedicated to the Caribbean, Latin America, and
their emigrant groups, is published by Caribbean Review, Inc., a corporation not for profit
organized under the laws of the State of Florida (Barry B. Levine, President; Andrew R.
Banks, Vice President; Kenneth M. Bloom, Secretary). Caribbean Review is published at
the Latin American and Caribbean Center of FIU (Mark B. Rosenberg, Director) and
receives supporting funds from the Office of Academic Affairs of Florida International
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Editorial policy: Caribbean Review does not accept responsibility for any of the views
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tunity to be expressed herein. Our articles do not represent a consensus of opinion-
some articles are in open disagreement with others and no reader should be able to agree
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Mailing address: Caribbean Review, Florida International University, Tamlami Trail, Miami,
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Copyright: Contents Copyright @ 1986 by Caribbean Review, Inc. The reproduction of
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Crossing Swords

Rethinking Cuba

By Barry B. Levine

With an infuriating coolness of obser-
vation designed to steam analysts to
his right and his left, Jamaican polit-
ical scientist Carl Stone has articulated
the historical strains and policy strands
of the Caribbean hybrid (see his recent-
ly published Power in the Caribbean
Basin-A Comparative Study of Poli-
tical Economy-Philadelphia: Institute
for the Study of Human Issues, 1986).
It may be worthwhile mulling over
some of the ideas expressed in his
book to establish a framework for
pursuing the objective of this special-
topic issue of Caribbean Review, that
of rethinking Cuba. Stone's analy-
sis-used here as a heuristic can
opener to work the articles in this
issue-can begin to help us unravel
the extent to which Cuba's politics
and economics (or some variation
thereof) merit appreciation or dispar-
Emerging from two variations on
the same theme-Hispanic patrimoni-
alism or non-Hispanic bureaucratic
colonialism-basin governments, ac-
cording to Stone, have chosen among
three models of political organization:
authoritarian, democratic-pluralist and
populist-statist. The authoritarian mod-
el, a remnant of the past, is, in Stone's
view, the laggard. Populism-statism,
one of two modern forms and the
one critical for this discussion, is a
process where "power is appropriated
on behalf of the masses or majority
classes and is highly concentrated
and unregulated [italics added]."
By comparing regimes to an author-
itarian past almost anything can be
legitimate and made to look good.
Therefore, for our purposes, contem-
porary geopolitical debate need chron-
icle the costs and benefits of the
democratic-pluralist versus the popu-
list-statist forms of governance. Bar-
bados and Costa Rica are outstand-
ing-if prototypical-examples of the
former, Cuba, of the latter.

Democratic-pluralist governments
pursue development by "the gradual
spread or diffusion of consumer
goods," populist-statist governments
through a basic-needs model of social
change. According to Stone, both
strategies "offer tangible improve-
ments in the quality of life of the
majority classes, although the precise
character of the benefits and their
distribution vary considerably." Both
attempt to resolve the conflict be-
tween the necessity to create and
invest wealth to improve productive
capacity and the necessity to direct
resources to meet the needs of the
majority; the basic-needs model
"sacrifices productive capacity for so-
cial justice", while the consumerist
model, "tends to emphasize produc-
tion capability over and above social
To follow their redistributive policies,
populist-statist governments discour-
age -individual accumulation, de-
emphasize the family and demean
political expression. Governmental of-
ficials regularly assume that they know
more than do their citizens. The system
requires coercion to make it work,
political regimentation to enforce com-
pliance, a one-party state to preempt
opposition. Their citizens will be asked
to have no attachment to private pro-
perty, no hostility to bureaucracy and,
most probably, to appreciate Eastern
bloc items of consumption (since the
East would be asked to substitute for
any loss in trade with the West).
Thus, if the state control in societ-
ies like Cuba is to be justified at all it
must be in terms of its abilities to
meet the "survival needs of the pop-
ulation...food, shelter, clothing, health
services, education and community
services." The articles in this special-
topic issue articulate the problems
inherent in analysis of the successes
and failures of Cuba's attempts to
raise literacy and health standards.

They raise questions about a Cuban
economy that buys sugar and sells oil
and whose overall performance is
deliberately made difficult to evaluate
and whose claim to meeting basic
needs is subject to doubt. They expose
divisions in a society whose govern-
ment makes believe that the unity of
its coercive powers is symbolic of a
society that it has successfully .molded
into one applauding audience. And
they demonstrate the frailty of sup-
port that it can afford to give to those
who wish to emulate it.
Often, when one hears heated apolo-
gists of state control in the Caribbean
argue about the unbridled evils of
capitalism, one hears comparisons of
so-called empirical examples of capital-
ism with ideal images of socialism.This
allows them to include feudal econo-
mies (i.e., those based on authoritar-
ian forms of organization) as exam-
ples of capitalism, while ignoring the
neofeudal nature of contemporary so-
cialist examples (i.e., those based on
populist-statist forms of organization).
In a step toward making the analy-
sis more rigorous, this issue of Carib-
bean Review puts Cuba also under
an empiricist's microscope. Readers
should thereby have additional mate-
rials with which to think about the
real choices that confront the basin. E

Barry B. Levine is edi-
tor of Caribbean
Review and professor
of sociology and an-
thropology at Florida
International Univer-
sity in Miami. His
anthology The Carib-
bean Exodus, based
on a special-topic
issue of C.R., will be published in the fall by
Praeger Publishers, New York. The opinions
expressedhere are his own anddo notneces-
sarily represent a consensus of opinion by the
editors of the journal. Indeed, the magazine's
editorial policy is best expressed by the
phrase that makes up the title of this column,
"crossed swords."

CAIBBEAN r-view/3

From Into Cuba, by Barry Lewis and Peter Marshall (Alfred van der Marck Editions, 1985). Used with permission of the publisher.


Did Fidel Fudge the Figures?

Literacy and Health: The Cuban Model

By Nicholas Eberstadt

It is widely believed that Fidel Castro's
revolutionary government in Cuba has
achieved major successes in the fields of
health and education since it came to power
27 years ago. It is not merely admirers of the
"Cuban experiment" who subscribe to this
notion. A study prepared by President Rea-
gan's Commerce Department in 1982, for
example, stated that "Cuba has succeeded
in almost totally eliminating illiteracy", and
reported that Cuba's health care system
"rivals that of most developed nations"
(Lawrence W. Theriot, "Cuba Faces The Re-
alities of The 1980s", Office of East-West
Policy and Planning, Commerce Depart-
ment; quoted in the New York Times, 4 April
1982). By the same token, a recent report
prepared under the aegis of the Organiza-
tion of American States, while sharply criti-
cizing Cuba's human rights violations,
remarked that "Cuba has been notably ef-
fective in meeting the basic needs of its
population (Inter-American Commission
of Human Rights' 7th report on Cuba, as
quoted in the New York Times, 21 Decem-
ber 1983). Irrespective of their political in-
clinations, it seems, the consensus of
virtually all informed observers is that Cuba
has made model progress against disease
and ignorance, those two basic scourges of
low-income nations.
This opinion is fundamentally unsound.
It is not based on an examination of Cuban
data, or of statistics from countries with
which Cuba might most reasonably be
compared. If Cuba's social progress is accu-
rately reflected in its statistics, it has fared
no better in improving health and reducing
illiteracy than most other affluent Caribbean
and Latin American societies. There is rea-
son, moreover, to wonder whether Cuba has
done even this well. Since the early 1970s,
substantial inconsistencies have emerged

Nicholas Eberstadt is a visiting fellow at the
Harvard University Center for Population Stud-
ies, and a visiting scholar at the American
Enterprise Institute for public policy research
in Washington. This article is an expanded and
revised version of "Literacy and Health: The
Cuban Model," which appeared in The Wall
Street Journal on 10 December 1984.

in Cuban social statistics-inconsistencies
that would be readily explainable only if
Cuba's records were being deliberately
In 1977, a US Congressional delegation vis-
iting Havana was told that Cuba's literacy
rate had risen to 99 percent from 25 percent
during the Castro years (cf., Norman Lux-
enburg, "Social Conditions Before and After
the Revolution", ;n Irving Louis Horowitz,
Cuban Communism, New Brunswick:
Transaction Books, 1984). This claim is di-
rectly contradicted by Cuba's own statistics.
Cuba's literacy rate, as measured by its cen-
suses, passed the 25 percent mark long
before 1900 (Fertility Determinants in
Cuba by Paula E. Hollerbach and Sergio
Diaz-Briquets, with an appendix by Ken-
neth H. Hill, Washington, DC: National
Academy Press, 1983). By 1953, the date of
the last pre-revolutionary census, the liter-
acy rate for those 15 and older was put at 76
percent--over three times what modern
Cuban authorities claim it was (UNESCO,
Statistical Yearbook 1980, Paris, UNESCO,
1981). Despite the misrule of the dictator
Fulgencio Batista and the disruption atten-
dant to the revolutionary struggle for power,
Cuba's literacy rate appears to have risen,
albeit slowly, through the 1950s. Professor
Carmelo Mesa-Lago of the University of
Pittsburgh, an expert on the Cuban econ-
omy, has suggested that Cuba's literacy rate
might have been about 79 percent when
Castro gained control of the government
(Carmelo Mesa-Lago, The Economy of So-
cialist Cuba: A Two-Decade Appraisal,
Albuquerque: University Of New Mexico
Press, 1981). This would have been one of
the very highest rates of literacy for a non-
industrial nation in that era.
Surveys and censuses since the revolu-
tion show that illiteracy in Cuba is far from
being "almost completely eliminated." Ac-
cording to the 1970 census, about 13 per-
cent of Cubans over 15 were illiterate For
those 35 and older, the rate was put at 21
percent-as against a national average of
24 percent in 1953 (Ibid.). A decade and
more of highly vaunted mass literacy cam-
paigns and adult education programs ap-

pears in practice to have had only a
marginal impact on the reading and writing
skills of those who were already out of
According to a nationwide survey, Cuba's
illiteracy rate was under 5 percent in 1979
(UNESCO, Statistical Yearbook 1982,
Paris: UNESCO, 1983). Much of the im-
provement implied by this drop, unfortu-
nately, comes from a change in definitions.
The 1970 census, like all previous Cuban
censuses, gave the illiteracy rate for the en-
tire population over 15 years of age. The
1979 number, by contrast, covered Cubans
between 15 and 49--the adults most likely
to be literate. By excluding people 50 and
older, more than a quarter of Cuba's adult
population was left out of the literacy count.
In 1979, illiteracy rates for the group 45 to
49 years of age were over 12 percent (Hol-
lerbach and Diaz-Briquets, Fertility Deter-
minants in Cuba). For the population over
50, rates were presumably higher. Adjust-
ments to cover the entire adult population
would raise Cuba's nominal rate of illiteracy
to something like 7 percent to 10 percent at
the end of the 1970s.
If these Cuban figures are correct, illit-
eracy may have fallen to about 7-10 percent
from 13 percent in 1970, and 24 percent in
1953. Clearly, this record entails progress;
yet just as clearly it is unexceptional by the
standards of other Caribbean and Latin
American states. Instead of "starting prac-
tically from zero," as Mr. Castro has some-
times claimed, pre-revolutionary Cuba was
one of the hemisphere's more developed
and literate tropical societies. Revolutionary
Cuba should be compared with other com-
paratively affluent Caribbean and Latin
American societies-not with im-
poverished Haiti, Guatemala or El Salvador.
A check of the historical record is instruc-
tive. In the late 1940s or in the 1950s nine
other Caribbean or Latin American socie-
ties had literacy rates roughly comparable
to Cuba's. Of these, three seem to have
reduced illiteracy much more rapidly than
Cuba did. Dominica, Grenada, and Trin-
idad-Tobago all began the 1950s with illit-
eracy rates equal to Cuba's, or higher.
(UNESCO, Statistical Yearbook 1967,


Paris: UNESCO, 1967). By 1970 they had
reduced their rates of illiteracy to 6 percent,
3 percent, and 8 percent, respectively-
rates that Cuba not only had failed to attain
then, but may not have attained yet. (UN-
ESCO, Statistical Yearbook 1980, Paris:
UNESCO, 1981). Martinique and Puerto
Rico had slightly higher illiteracy rates in the
early 1950s; by 1970 their illiteracy rates
were lower. Three nations-Chile, Costa
Rica, and Panama-seem to have more or
less matched Cuba's performance. For one
nation--Jamaica-evaluation is as yet im-
possible; since 1960 Jamaica's censuses
have not produced useful or reliable data on
literacy. Cuba's rate of progress against illit-
eracy appears unambiguously favorable
only next to Argentina's. Argentina led Cuba
in literacy by more than 10 points in the late
1940s, but by only 5 points in 1970. Those
familiar with postwar Latin American his-
tory will know how modest any Cuban claim
to success on this last ground would be.
(Statistics for all countries mentioned in this
section come from various issues of
UNESCO, Statistical Yearbook.)
To be sure: literacy figures must be
treated with caution. The definition of liter-
acy is functional, not absolute; it depends
upon requirements which can vary between
or even within societies, and which may
change over time. Moreover, the evaluation
of literacy, a tricky business even under con-
trolled and standardized circumstances, is
complicated considerably when procedures
and criteria employed in quick mass sur-
veys differ from one such exercise to the
next. Such complexities, however, may ar-
gue for caution in the interpretation of liter-
acy numbers, but they do not necessarily
bias these numbers in any systematic direc-
tion. As best as can be told from these num-
bers, revolutionary Cuba's performance in
dealing with illiteracy has been no better
than that of its peers in the Western hemi-
sphere. Such a conclusion, moreover, would
be consistent with indications from other
educational statistics with less scope for al-
ternative interpretations. Revolutionary
Cuba's gross primary enrollment ratios sug-
gest that something approaching universal
elementary education for children of the ap-
propriate ages was not achieved until about
1975-about the same time as for Chile
(See UNESCO, Statistical Yearbook, 1980
and 1978). (For 1981-82, Cuba estimates
that slightly over 97 percent of its children of
primary school age were in fact enrolled in
school. Comit6 Estatal de Estadisticas,
Anuario Estadistico, de Cuba 1982.)
Even a decade after the revolution, Cuba
appears to have been far from the goal of
guaranteeing its youth a full six years of
basic education. In 1970, for example, 30
percent of Cuba's primary school students
were enrolled in first grade, but only 8 per-
cent were in sixth grade; other things being
equal, the proportions would be expected

Cartoon by Marco de Angeles in the Italian newspaper //I Popolo.

to be relatively steady from one grade to the
next in a universal enrollment society.
(UNESCO, Statistical Yearbook 1984).
Moreover, the efficacy of the schooling pro-
cess for those who actually did enroll may
not have been distinctly superior to that of
neighboring societies. In 1970, the repeater
rate for Cuba's primary schools was regis-
tered as 22 percent: the same rate as for the
Dominican Republic that year, only slightly
lower than the 24 percent recorded in Haiti
in 1970, and significantly higher than Mex-
icds 11 percent figure for 1975 (UNESCO,
Statistical Yearbook, various issues). Per-
formance may also have been affected by
truancy and non-attendance: on a visit in
1977, for example, reporters from the New
York Times were informed that something
like a quarter of the students enrolled in
primary schools had not been attending
regularly (New York Times, 18 December
1977). This may not be so different from the
situation in many contemporary Latin
American or Caribbean societies; that, how-
ever, would be precisely the point.
Cuba has recently released a new set of
numbers pertaining to illiteracy. Preliminary
reports on the 1981 census say that less
than 2.2 percent of the adult population are
unable to read or write. These new numbers
are strangely inconsistent with the results of
the 1979 nationwide survey. The 1979 sur-
vey placed the total number of illiterates in
Cuba between ages 15 and 50 at 218,358.
The 1981 census states that there were
105,901 adult illiterates in Cuba; the 1981
census, moreover, presumes to count illit-
erates of all ages, not just those between 15
and 50. According to preliminary reports,
30,434 persons over 45 were identified as
illiterate in the '1981 census. This would

mean 75,467 persons between 15 and 45
were identified as illiterates. In the 1979 sur-
vey, about 180,000 adults in those same
age groups were identified as illiterate. The
discrepancy is by a factor of about 2.4. Defi-
nitions of illiteracy, of course, can vary from
one survey to another, but there is no formal
indication that Cuba has changed its criteria
for identifying illiteracy. It is not immediately
apparent, moreover, how a shift in ques-
tionaire criteria would result in the diminu-
tion of the number of identified illiterates by
about 60 percent among a young adult
population (Data are taken from United Na-
tions, Demographic Yearbook 1983,
UNESCO, Statistical Yearbook 1984, and
Fertility Determinants In Cuba).

Many of the Castro government's proudest
claims concern the transformation of health
conditions. Thanks to radical social reforms
and people-oriented health care, it is ar-
gued, Cuba's infant mortality has been cut
by more than 75 percent since 1959, and its
life expectancy has come up to European
and North American levels. Such reports
have convinced many foreign observers
that Cuba is a "socialist showcase", as a
chief of staff of the Senate Foreign Relations
Committee once described it (New York
Times, 1 December 1974).
The Cuban health record should be ex-
amined with greater care. As with educa-
tion, the Cuban government did not have to
start from scratch. Pre-revolutionary Cuba's
last smallpox epidemic was in 1897; its last
outbreak of yellow fever was in 1905 (Hugh
Thomas, Cuba, Boston, Little, Brown,
1971). On the basis of its 1953 census,



"If it's so good where are they going?"

Table 1. Reported Incidence of Selected Infectious and Parasitic Diseases in Cuba, 1959-1983 (per 100,000)
Acute Respiratory Chicken
Year Diarrhea Infections Pox Diptheria Hepatitis Malaria Measles Polio Syphillis Tetanus Tuberculosis Typhoid
1970 7,694 10,162 150.1 0.1 102.6 --- 105.2 --- 7.8 2.6 30.8 5.0
1982 8,732 27,441 191.5 --- 208.4 3.4 238.8 --- 38.5 0.2 8.3 1.3
Index (1970 = 100)
1970 100 100 100 100 100 --- 100 --- 100 100 100 100
1982 113 270 128 --- 203 200 227 --- 494 8 27 26
Notes: "-" = not available
"-" = less than .1% per 100,000
Sources: Republic of Cuba, Anuario Estacdstico de Cuba (Havana: Comith Estatal de Estadisticas), various issues.

Cuba's life expectancy in the early 1950s
has been calculated at 59 years (UN,
Demographic Yearbook 1967). This may
sound low today, but in the early 1950s it
placed Cuba above most Latin American
nations. It also placed Cuba above such na-
tions as Spain, Portugal, and Greece (Ibid).
Far from being an especially stricken na-
tion, pre-revolutionary Cuba was in fact one
of the developing regions' healthiest so-
cieties. Interestingly, the 1950s appear to
have been a decade of solid health progress
in Cuba. Demographers in Cuba today sug-
gest that their nation's life expectancy had
risen to 64 years by 1960-before new pol-
icies would have borne many results (A.
Farnos Morej6n, "Cuba: tablas de mor-
talidad estimadas por sexo, period
1955-1970," Estudios Demogrificos,
Series 1, Number 8).
According to Cuban statistics, health
progress in Cuba's first decade of revolu-
tionary government was in important re-
spects problematic. In 1958, Cuba's
registered rate of infant mortality was about
38 per thousand births. In 1969, it was 46
per thousand-an increase of over 20 per-
cent. To some extent, this jump in death
rates may have been a statistical artifact.
Cuba was tightening up its vital registration
system during those years, and improve-
ments in enumeration could in theory make
it seem as if death rates were rising when
they were really falling. On the other hand,
death and birth statistics were reasonably
reliable before the revolution. A recent study
by the National Academy of Sciences in
Washington, for example, suggests that the
registration system was catching over 80
percent of all infant and child deaths by
1953 (Kenneth Hill, "An Evaluation Of
Cuban Demographic Statistics, 1930-80",
in Fertility Determinants In Cuba). More-
over, revolutionary Cuba's statistics on
"morbidity", or sickness, go through the
same sort of rise in the late 1960s as the
infant mortality rate does. Between 1965
and 1968, for example, Cuba's reported in-
cidence of acute diarrhea rose 11 percent;
measles was up 20 percent, chicken pox
and hepatitis were up by more than 70 per-
cent (Carmelo Mesa-Lago, The Economy

Of Socialist Cuba: A Two-Decade Ap-
praisal). These diseases are closely related
to infant mortality in developing countries.
Social policy in Cuba in the 1960s ap-
pears to have cut two ways. Cuban children
may have gained from their government's
rationing of foods and subsidization of
medical care, but they may have lost by their
government's negative-growth economic
policies and the change in conditions that
led a third of the country's doctors to flee
their native land.
According to revolutionary Cuba's vital
statistics, infant mortality did not begin to
decline until the 1970s. Once the decline
began however, it seemed extremely rapid.
According to these official figures, infant
mortality fell from 46 per thousand in 1969
to 19 per thousand in 1979-a drop of 60
percent in barely a decade.
By 1982, Cuba's officially reported infant
mortality rate was 17.3 per thousand births.
While this would represent a comparatively
advanced level of infant health in the context
of today's developing regions, it is not dis-
similar from the infant mortality rates of a
number of islands and societies in Central
America and the Caribbean, including
Costa Rica (1981 infant mortality rate: 18.0
per thousand), Dominica (1978: 19.6), Gre-
nada (1979: 15.4), Guadeloupe (1982:
15.5), Puerto Rico (1983: 16.0), St. Lucia
(1977:19.2), Martinique (1977-81: 16), the
Cayman Islands (1981: 14), and Bermuda
(1979: 15). (Data from UN, Demographic
Yearbook 1983, World Health Statistics
Annual 1983, and US Bureau of the Cen-
sus, World Population 1982. These are all
places which the World Health Organization
designate as having essential complete reg-
istration of births and deaths.) And while a
60 percent reduction in infant mortality in a
decade would incontestably represent an
impressive accomplishment, such feats are,
apparently, not unknown in the rest of Latin
America. According to data from vital regis-
tration systems, the Latin American nation
with the fastest pace of infant mortality de-
cline since 1970 has not been Cuba. In-
stead, it appears to have been Chile. In
1973, Chile's registered rate of infant mor-
tality was 66 per thousand births. In 1982,

Chile's infant mortality rate was recorded as
24 per thousand-a 64 percent drop in nine
years. Although Chileans may have lost their
political freedom under the Pinochet dic-
tatorship, the junta which installed itself was
apparently not insensitive to the political
significance of appearing to "meet the basic
human needs" of the population beneath it
(Chilean infant mortality data from Peter
Hakim and Giorgio Solimano, Develop-
ment, Reform and Malnutrition in Chile,
Cambridge, MIT Press, 1978, and World
Health Statistics Annual 1983).
Cuba's accomplishments in infant health,
however, appear to be undercut by factors
more compromising than external com-
parisons alone. For Cuba's purported
achievements are directly contradicted by
another set of its own infant mortality
Infant mortality estimates can come from
two different sources. The first is the official
figures from the birth and death registration
system. Their accuracy depends upon the
extent of under-reporting. The second
source is from indirect methods, such as
those incorporated in the construction of
"life tables", which apply demographic tech-
niques to census data and vital registration
statistics to correct for under-reporting of
deaths, and to present internally consistent
estimates of survival probabilities by age
group. Unless registration of births and
deaths is universal and complete, infant
mortality estimates from such indirect
methods as adjusted life tables will be the
more reliable.
Cuba produced two life tables in the early
1970s. The first put the nation's infant mor-
tality rate at 40 per thousand in 1970. That
squared with the registration system's esti-
mate of 39 per thousand. For 1974, Cuba's
registration system put the infant mortality
rate at 29 per thousand: a 25 percent drop
in four years. The 1974 life table, however,
indicated that infant mortality had not
dropped at all. To the contrary: these figures
suggested it had risen by more than 11
percent, to over 45 per thousand (Figures
cited in United Nations Department Of
Economic And Social Affairs, Levels And
Continued on page 37


How To Figure Out Cuba

Development, Ideology and Mortality

By Sergio Diaz-Briquets

Aquarter-of-a-century after Fidel Cas-
tro came to power there are some
who question how valid claims that
the revolution brought social advancements
to the Cuban people are. The skeptics,
mainly exiles and ideological opponents of
the revolution, allege many of the vaunted
social gains are nothing more than well or-
chestrated efforts to deceive foreign observ-
ers into believing progress has occurred in
order to portray revolutionary Cuba in the
best possible light In contrast, the vast ma-
jority of foreign observers, including those in
academia and international organizations,
endorse the official position. Some of these
observers even suggest Cuba offers a model
to other developing countries. In.their view,
revolutionary Cuba has been able to resolve
many of the most crucial social problems
facing poor countries.
Regardless of this relative consensus,
there are sufficient reasons to believe there
is some truth to the skeptic's claims al-
though often these critics assume extreme
positions. There is little doubt revolutionary
Cuba has made progress in several social
areas, but it is also a truism almost every
other developing nation has done so over a
comparable time period. The important
questions are, therefore, not whether or not
revolutionary Cuba has made progress, but
if comparable progress would have been
possible in the revolution's absence, and
what means have revolutionary authorities
used to bring about social improvements.
In two spheres, health and education, revo-
lutionary Cuba has presumably made im-
pressive gains. This is not so in other areas,
such as housing, where conditions are be-
lieved to have either remained stagnant or

Beginning with the early 1960s literacy
campaign and major efforts to expand the
human and physical educational infrastruc-

Sergio Diaz-Briquets is acting executive di-
rector of the Institute for World Concerns at
Duquesne University in Pittsburgh, Penn-
sylvania, and author of The Health Revolution
in Cuba.

ture since then, revolutionary Cuba claims
to have attained one of the best educational
profiles in the developing world. Illiteracy is
said to have been nearly wiped out, average
levels of educational attainment exceed pri-
mary level, and enrollment rates in second-
ary and higher education are far greater
than they were in the past. Critics note
quantitative indices do not convey the poor
quality education students have received, at
least during the early years of the revolution,
or the heavy ideological content of Cuban
education. They charge that the revolution-
ary educational approach has weakened the
national value system since education is
geared towards the socialization of children
in a mold antithetical to the country's tradi-
tional culture. Some of these criticisms are
obviously laden with ideological overtones
and in this sense, depending on the observ-
ers orientation, can be validated or dis-
missed. The long-term symbolic and
cultural significance of Cuba's educational
content and their long-term consequences
should not be minimized however.
Concerning educational quality there is
evidence suggesting standards were partic-
ularly poor during the 1960s but improved
considerably during the 1970s and 1980s.
Some of the earlier difficulties were associ-
ated with the exodus of professional person-
nel, disruptions related to ongoing revolu-
tionary transformations, growth in number
of students due to the 1960s baby boom,
and efforts made to bring about a major
expansion of educational opportunities,
particularly for the urban poor and in rural
areas. By the 1970s, major quantitative
achievements began to be recorded, as the
consolidation of earlier educational ac-
tivities began to pay off. In relation to other
Western Hemisphere developing countries
with comparable educational attainment in-
dicators prior to the revolution, Cuba ap-
pears to have done better in increasing
enrollments in secondary education but not
necessarily at the primary and higher edu-
cation levels. Countries such as Costa Rica,
Panama, Chile and Jamaica have attained
nearly universal primary education enroll-
ment rates and have reduced illiteracy as
much or nearly as much as Cuba has. Other

countries have provided higher education
to a greater proportion of their population.
In brief, while it is true revolutionary Cuba
made some notable quantitative achieve-
ments in education, other countries did like-
wise. In relative terms, in fact, some
countries that in the 1950s were far behind
Cuba-Mexico, for example-made gains
far greater than those achieved by either
Cuba or some of the more advanced Latin
American and Caribbean countries. Why
the achievements of these countries are
praised far less and are not as well pub-
licized as those of Cuba remain to be ex-
plained but several hypotheses come to
mind. One of them is these countries view
achievements as a matter of course in their
socio-economic development: while mer-
itorious they are to be expected. Revolution-
ary Cuba, on the other hand, may feel it is
necessary to constantly announce what it
has done in order to justify its radical pol-
icies. Uncritical acceptance of officially in-
spired historical distortions and inflated
claims of achievements, particularly by
many foreign observers ideologically partial
to the revolution, likewise contributes to this
state of affairs.

In the health area, revolutionary Cuba
boasts having made enough progress to
make the country more comparable to de-
veloped than developing nations. These
claims are substantiated by indicating that
in the mid-1980s life expectancy at birth
exceeds 74 years and infant mortality rates
have declined to the mid-teens. Although
these indicators only encompass some of
the attributes of "health" they are among the
most useful and dependable summary
measures of a population's health stan-
dards. Cuban mortality indicators are just
somewhat less favorable than those of the
US and other industrialized countries. They
are also very similar to those found in more
advanced Latin American and Caribbean
To determine if revolutionary policies had
a perceptible impact on Cuban health and
mortality the following topics should be
evaluated: 1) how reliable are the statistical


estimates upon which the claims are based;
2) have the improvements resulted from
specific revolutionary policies; 3) how do
Cuban trends compare with those of other
countries; and, 4) what have been some of
the means used by the revolutionary au-
thorities to achieve the desired ends.

Dependability of Estimates
Many analysts of the Cuban revolutionary
experience, economists in particular, have
found serious inconsistencies, if not out-
right distortions, in statistics released by the
Cuban government. Some of these incon-
sistencies, it is assumed, have been pur-
posefully introduced to conceal specific
features of the Cuban economy or to exag-
gerate economic performance in some
areas. These data problems are so perva-
sive and obvious there is little debate as to
whether or not they exist; even some ana-
lysts highly partial to the revolution ac-
knowledge their presence. More contro-
versy revolves around the reasons for the
inconsistencies and about the extent of the
biases introduced.

Other analysts claim, likewise, social sta-
tistics are tampered with, or, at least, that
quantitative indicators are ineffective in
providing a true perspective on Cuban real-
ity. It is alleged, for example, that educa-
tional data on school enrollments by age
and level are misleading since promotions
from one grade to the next are routinely
made whether or not students meet mini-
mal criteria to advance to higher grades. It is
doubtful Cuba could have eradicated illit-
eracy, to cite another instance, since even in
economically advanced nations functional
literacy remains a major concern.
Comparable allegations have been made
about health statistics. One of the most se-
rious and credible of these accusations
came from a former mid-level official of the
health ministry who defected in 1981. This
official, a public health physician, maintains
that in at least one instance-the 1981
dengue epidemic-medical records were
falsified in order to make it appear the epi-
demic had been brought under control.
(Transcript of Interview with subject No.
229, courtesy of Sergio Roca, Research

Project on Efficiency of the Cuban Econ-
omy, Adelphi University.)
While it is virtually impossible to verify or
refute this charge through evaluation of
morbidity (prevalence of disease, as com-
pared with mortality which refers to inci-
dence of death) statistics, it is not
particular difficult to assess the quality of
demographic statistics used in estimating
basic mortality indicators, such as life ex-
pectancy and infant mortality. These statis-
tics, be they derived from censuses, vital
registration or demographic surveys, are
routinely examined by demographers for
completeness and internal consistency. A
variety of evaluation techniques are used to
judge how reliable are the statistics and
more importantly to determine within toler-
able confidence intervals, how valid are the
estimates obtained with the statistics.
A procedure often followed is to derive
estimates using different techniques and
data sources and comparing results. The
greater convergence among estimates, the
greater confidence in the estimates. Such
procedures have been used to evaluate


Cuban demographic statistics; demogra-
phers have concluded the statistics are "of
very high quality" (Kenneth Hill, "An Eval-
uation of Cuban Demographic Statistics,
1938-80," in Paula E. Hollerbach and Ser-
gio Diaz-Briquets, Fertility Determinants
in Cuba, Washington, D.C.: Committee on
Population and Demography, National
Research Council, National Academy Press,
1983). These conclusions are supported by
the high degree of consistency among inde-
pendent estimates and by conventional in-
ternal checks based on biological reg-
ularities and precise mathematical relation-
ships between demographic measure-
ments. Minor inconsistencies have been
observed but these fall well within accepted
bounds used in statistical studies.
No less significant is that in more than
one occasion negative statistical trends
have been reported (with the incidence of
some diseases, for example) by the au-
thorities. Fluctuations in some of the
health-related statistical series, infant mor-
tality in particular, also have been an-
nounced. The latest such instance occurred
at the close of 1985 when it became public
that the infant mortality rate had risen from
an all-time low of 15 infant deaths per thou-
sand live births in 1984 to 16.6 in 1985, an
increase of over 10 percent (Jose A. L6pez
Moreno, "Plan de desarrollo econ6mico y
social: objetivos para 1986," Granma,
31 December 1985). Occasional reports of
adverse health trends and fluctuations sug-
gests that if health statistics and estimates
are manipulated they are not manipulated
consistently. Considerations of this nature
enhance the general credibility of the health
and mortality-related data and estimates.
Since the demographic evaluations are
robust it can be concluded current esti-
mates of life expectancy and infant mor-
tality are correct. A life expectancy of 74
years at birth and an infant mortality of 16.6
per thousand in 1985 make Cuba one of the
developing countries, together with a few
others, with some of the most benign mor-
tality indicators. The favorable nature of
these indicators presumably also place
Cuba among the developing nations with
the best health standards (to the extent that
mortality indicators capture the underlying
health dimensions) in the world.

Result of Revolutionary Policies?
It is far easier to establish how dependable
are mortality estimates than to determine
how much of the improvement is a direct
result of revolutionary policies. One thing is
certain. In the 1950s, before the revolution,
Cuba had reached one of the most ad-
vanced mortality regimes in the Third
World. Thus it is likely improvements over
the last 25 years are nothing but a continua-
tion of an earlier favorable trend underway
since about the beginning of the century.
The evidence substantiating this view is

quite firm. Ken Hill, a noted mathematical
demographer in a study conducted under
the auspices of the National Research Coun-
cil of the US National Academy of Sciences,
estimated that as early as 1953 life expec-
tancy at birth in Cuba hovered around 60
years (Hill, op. cit.). Official Cuban esti-
mates place life expectancy in 1960 at 64
years, long before any measures instituted
by the revolution could have had any
marked consequences. To this day, many
countries in the developing world, including
some in the Western hemisphere, have yet
to attain such positive values. Table 1 shows
a series of estimated life expectancies from
the beginning of the century to 1984. As the
series indicates, mortality improvements
have been gradual and antecede the revolu-
tion by many years. In fact, some of the
fastest mortality declines were recorded in
the period immediately after the Second
World War when major medical and public
health breakthroughs made possible, in
Cuba as well as in every other country, major
improvements in health and mortality. The
rate of mortality decline during the post-war
years was faster than since 1959 despite
what some analysts have claimed (Ross
Danielson, Cuban Medicine, New
Brunswick: Transaction Books, 1979, p.
While we can conclude with some cer-
tainty what the levels of life expectancy were
towards the early 1960s, it is far more prob-
lematic to precisely estimate the infant mor-
tality trend in the years immediately
proceeding and following the revolutionary
takeover. It is likely infant mortality con-
tinued a gradual and uninterrupted decline,
particularly as basic social and public
health services were being extended to
marginal rural areas where some of these
services were barely available before. This
interpretation is based on the notion basic
and technologically simple interventions
(such as vaccinations, elementary medical
care and advice, etc.) not requiring highly
trained and specialized personnel-in short
supply at the time-were first made avail-
able to certain segments of the rural popu-
lation. Some of these life saving interven-
tions had been in existence for a long time
but were not made accessible to the isolated
rural poor. More recent successes in mark-
edly reducing mortality in countries far
more underdeveloped than Cuba strongly
corroborate this interpretation. Dramatic
improvements in health can be achieved
with simple to use low-cost technologies
applied by personnel with only rudimentary
training. This is likely to have occurred in
some rural areas of Cuba during the first few
revolutionary years.
There is some controversy here, some
analysts suggesting infant mortality at first
worsened. This position is based on the un-
critical acceptance of an unadjusted infant
mortality series. Technically sophisticated

analysts recognize that the unadjusted se-
ries underestimates the true mortality level
prior to the revolution. The increase in the
series after 1959 is likely to have resulted
from a more complete registration of infant
deaths as medical services were extended
to rural areas and as the country began to
experience the effects of the baby boom.
The absolute number of deaths among chil-
dren under one year of age increased even if
the infant mortality rate remained un-
changed or actually declined (Sergio Diaz-
Briquets, The Health Revolution in Cuba,
Austin: University of Texas Press, 1983).
Observers that ignore these developments
usually attribute the apparent infant mor-
tality increase to, among other reasons, a
deterioration in the provision of health ser-
vices as many physicians left the country, an
economic downturn, and a lack of medica-
tions due to the economic blockade im-
posed by the United States and other
The close relationship between infant
mortality and life expectancy indicates it is
far more likely no major reversal in the de-
clining infant mortality trend occurred in
the early 1960s. The life expectancies in
Table 1 suggest the infant mortality rate in
the late 1950s was in the order of 50 to 70
deaths per thousand live births. Thus, no
significant deterioration in this mortality in-
dicator is likely to have occurred during the
earlyyears of the revolution, but possibly the
opposite. It is possible, however, a relative
deterioration in infant mortality did occur
by the late 1960s. The plausibility of this
upturn is suggested by an unexplained in-
crease in infant mortality then and by rising
cause-specific mortality from diseases to
which children are particularly vulnerable.
This period was one of the most difficult for
the revolution.
By 1970 life expectancy exceeded 70
years and the infant mortality rate was down
to 38.8 deaths per thousand live births. In-
fant mortality has continued to decline
since then, although with occasional fluctu-
ations. In the fifteen years between 1970
and 1985 the infant mortality rate was
The data in Table 2 indicate Cuba has
followed a pattern of mortality change very
similar to other countries that in the early
1960s had mortality indicators similar or
somewhat less favorable. By 1985-90 the
differences in life-expectancy and in infant
mortality rates were narrow. Allowing for
measurement problems and data inconsis-
tencies it can be concluded the pace or mor-
tality decline was not very different from
county to county.
The early public health formula used by
revolutionary Cuba was simple: expand the
coverage of the health infrastructure to pro-
vide all the population with the most basic
health services. There was a need to expand
coverage to the most remote and inaccessi-


Table 1-Life expectancy trend in Cuba,
1900 to 1984.


Source: For 1900 to 1980, Sergio Diaz-Briquets,
The Health Revolution in Cuba, University of
Texas Press, Austin, 1983, Table 3. p. 19 and for
1984 "El medico de la familiar ha introducido tal
revoluci6n en los concepts de la asistencia
medical que podemos decir que el pais entero
serb como un hospital," Granma, October 16,
1985, p. 4.

Table 2-Life expectancies and infant mortality rates for selected countries,
1950-55 to 1985-90.

Cuba Costa Rica Jamaica Panama
Life Expectancy



Infant Mortality Rate
85 84
54 63
47 54
42 44
32 36
28 26
24 23

Singapore Korea



Source: United Nations, Department of International Economic and Social Affairs,
World Population
Prospects: Estimates and Projections as Assessed in 1982, Population
Studies No. 86 (ST/ESA/SER.A/86), New York, 1985.

ble regions, although in comparison to
many other countries, the inaccessible re-
gions were relatively few in number. That
areas completely lacking in services were
few is a tribute to the country's relative de-
velopment and to its favorable geography
which made few regions inaccessible. Ex-
pansion of health coverage almost by ne-
cessity entailed efforts to decentralize
medical facilities since historically they were
concentrated in Havana and other major
urban areas. In this sense, Cuba was no
different from other Latin American
While the initial public health policies had
a curative component they placed primary
emphasis on the prevention of disease,
something not easy to do where prevailing
sanitary conditions are poor. These policies
included a renewed emphasis on eradica-
tion of disease vectors (e.g., mosquitoes)
and widespread adoption of mass vaccina-
tion efforts in which newly organized mass
organizations actively participated. Com-
parable interventions were used by pre-
vious republican governments, the main
difference with the revolution was that for-
merly marginalized populations began to
be better served. These were also years in
which the government was forced to certify
poorly trained physicians and other health
technicians as the professional exodus from
Cuba gained momentum. According to
some estimates, approximately half of the
pre-revolutionary stock of physicians emi-
grated during the first post-Castro decade
out of political dissatisfaction. As noted,

however, many of the grass-root public
health interventions are not dependent on
highly skilled personnel, but rather on the
availability of essential, easily administered
Among the exiles were some of the best
Cuban physicians. Their departure un-
doubtedly had negative consequences for
the quality of Cuban medicine, particularly
in its curative aspects. Shortages of essen-
tial medications and equipment further ag-
gravated the medical crisis. This was a
particularly sensitive situation for the revo-
lutionary leadership. Before the revolution
even for many, although certainly not all, of
the urban and rural poor, hospital-based,
relatively effective medical attention had
been accessible. (For concrete examples,
even among some very poor Cubans, see
the volumes authored by Oscar Lewis and
collaborators based on anthropological
field work in Cuba. Oscar Lewis, Ruth M.
Lewis, and Susan M. Rigdon, Four Men,
1977; Four Women, 1977; and Neighbors,
1978, Urbana: University of Illinois Press.)
For the urban middle class the deterioration
was even more apparent.
The pre-revolutionary relative availability
of medical care had contributed to certain
expectations (Danielson, op. cit. p.223 also
suggests this interpretation). Cubans de-
manded, or at least hoped to have, a mini-
mum level of medical attention. This partly
explains why the revolutionary leadership,
even when confronting very difficult mo-
ments had to promise, and to the extent
possible provide, hospital based medical

care and the services of physicians. It is a
mistake to lose sight of the Western charac-
ter of Cuba and of the fact that the country's
geographical position and relative develop-
ment led to the emergence of expectations
more in line with those found in developed
than in developing countries.
In health care these expectations had be-
come partially fulfilled. They were to be
seen in a fairly elaborate and comprehen-
sive system of public national and regional
hospitals (in the context of a relatively poor,
developing country) and by the emergence
over many decades of a complementary pri-
vate health network via mutualism (prepaid
health plans), private hospitals and private
medicine. Some of these facilities were to
be found in practically every Cuban town of
any size. The best evidence of the favorable
influence these facilities had is provided by
the life expectancies achieved in the 1950s.
Few other countries at the time had made
comparable gains.
This is not to say major health deficien-
cies were not highly prevalent, although
some of the disease patterns associated
with high morbidity do not necessarily lead
to high mortality. In rural areas the deficits
were particularly acute, with exceedingly
high levels of parasitism and other infec-
tious diseases found in close association
with a poorly developed sanitary infrastruc-
ture (clean water, sewerage services, inade-
quate housing). Poor nutrition, an associ-
ated contributor to morbidity and mortality,
was also prevalent, but to a far lesser extent
Continued on page 39


Congo or Carabali?

Race Relations in Socialist Cuba

By Carlos Moore

Carlos Moore, who left Cuba in 1963 to
exile in Africa and France, stirred sharp
controversy in the Black world with his
expose of race relations in Cuba first pub-
lished in Presence Africaine, edited by Al-
ioune Diop, in 1965. In his pioneering
studies on race relations in post-revolu-
tionary Cuba, Moore has been one of the
first to examine closely the question of
whether there is a racial problem there
Twenty-seven years after Fidel Castro's
assumption of power, the state of relations
between blacks and whites in the context
of the Cuban revolution has, according to
Moore, been overtly neglected. He pro-
poses that ignorance of Black Cuban so-
ciety, culture and history in both pre-
revolutionary and post-revolutionary
Cuba, is a major factor barring meaning-
ful reading of Cuba's "ongoing racial
Such was the impact of Moore's origi-
nal 1965 article that the Cuban govern-
ment not only tried to stop it from being
published, and commissioned a rebuttal
written by Ren6 Depestre, but actually
made an attempt on Moore's life. Moore
affirms that Cuban intelligence agents
and diplomats tried to kidnap him from an
official diplomatic reception at the Presi-
dential palace in Tanzania in June 1974.
Moore identifies one of his aggressors as
Oscar Oramas, former Cuban ambas-
sador to Guinea, presently head of the
Cuban mission to the UN. Moore was sup-
ported in the debate, which reached inter-
national proportions, by Aim6 Cesaire,
Rex Nettleford, Alioune Diop and Cheikh
Anta Diop.
In February of this year, 22 years after
Moore's critique, Fidel Castro has only
now publically acknowledged the exis-
tence of a real racial problem in Cuba. In
his address to the 3rd Congress of the
Communist Party of Cuba, he offered the
following: "In order for the Party's leader-
ship to duly reflect the ethnic composition
of our people, it must include those com-
patriots of proven revolutionary merit and
talents who in the past hadbeen discrimi-
nated against because of their skin color.

From Into Cuba, by Barry Lewis and Peter
Marshall (Alfred van der Marck Editions,
1985). Used with permission of the publisher.

The promotion of all capable members of
our society and their incorporation into
the Party and its leadership must not be
left to chance." (Granma, 16 February
1986, Year 21, No. 7, p. 15.)
Carlos Moore has authored many pub-
lications on the subject of race relations in
Cuba. His two-volume work, Cuban Race
Politics, is forthcoming by UCLA Press.

F rom the days of slavery, the policy of
blanqueamiento (whitening) has
been central to race relations in Cuba.
For obvious reasons, white rulers during the
slave-colonial period (1774-1899) system-
atically claimed to speak on behalf of the
racial majority. Although racial census sta-
tistics have been consistently unreliable in
Cuba, they have been used both before and
after the revolution to affirm that the pre-
dominant population of Cuba is white.
The attitude of the revolutionary regime
on race and population figures underwent a
significant transformation between 1971
and 1981, directly related to the increasing

military involvement of Cuba in black Africa.
In that decade, two censuses were taken and
in 1975, Fidel Castro declared Cuba a
"Latin-African country." Black Cuban sol-
diers were explicitly called upon to fight and
die in black Africa to overcome the threat
posed by white-minority ruled regimes in
Rhodesia and South Africa. Racially speak-
ing, however, wasn't Cuba also a white-mi-
nority rule situation as his "Latin-African"
declaration of 1975 certainly did not clarify?
In any case, the revolutionary regime made
a clear break in 1983 with the policy it had
hitherto justified in terms of a new, non-
racial consciousness. For the first time cen-
sus results according to race were publicly
released. "Blacks," said the report in
Granma of 4 September 1983, made up 12
percent of the population, "mulattoes" 21.9
percent and "whites" 60 percent!
Election results and population statistics
have always posed serious problems in
Cuba. Consequently the disadvantaged
party has invariably claimed foul-play. In
face of every census, Cuban blacks have
maintained that Cuba is predominantly
populated by people of African descent.
The old saying goes: "El que no tiene de
congo, tiene de carabali (Whoever
doesn't have some Congo in him, has some
Carabali). Hence, any analysis of the "facts"
relating to racial demography in Cuba, prior
to or after the revolution must contend with
this "majority-minority" syndrome as an in-
tractable issue resting entirely on either
ethno-political self-interests or on abso-
lutely subjective criteria to determine who is
"black" and who is "white."

The Tripartite Racial System
According to the standards of a tripartite
racial categorization imposed by the ruling
white segment since the days of slavery
("white", "black" and "mulatto"), perhaps
only one-third of the black population of the
United States would qualify as "black" in
Cuba today. People like former UN Ambas-
sador Andrew Young, civil rights leader
Jesse Jackson, actor Harry Belafonte, Gha-
nian President Lt. Jerry Rawlings, former
Prime Minister of Grenada Maurice Bishop
and former heavyweight champion Joe

12/cArfBBEAN eviEW

Louis would not be considered "black" in
today's Cuba. In the 1971 and 1981 con-
sensus they would have been classified, ir-
respective of their protests to the contrary,
as mulattoes. Along that same line, former
Congressman Adam Clayton Powell Jr.,
Georgia Congressman Julian Bond, former
Senator Edward Brooks, entertainers Billie
Holiday and Lena Home would have been
unhesitatingly classified as "whites" in both
censuses undertaken by the new regime. In
fact, according to the racial definition
norms upheld by the new regime, it is ques-
tionable whether more than five of the US
Congressional Black Caucus members
would escape being classified either as
"mulattoes" or "whites" in a population
count either in contemporary or pre-revolu-
tionary Cuba.
The criteria for determining race in so-
cieties of the "Anglo-Nordic" type (Northern
Europe, North America, Australia, etc.) rest
on ancestry as well as on racial features
such as hair texture, skin color and facial
traits. But in societies of the "Latin-Arab"
type (Mediterranean Europe, Arab North
Africa, the Middle/Near East and so-called
Latin America), ancestry is entirely over-
looked with purely morphological features
remaining as the criteria determining race.
In societies of this type, such as Cuba and
Puerto Rico, "race" is an elastic and emi-
nently subjective reality and "race statistics"
are a potently emotional and highly political
issue. Fernando Ortiz, the Hispanic-Cuban
anthropologist, is not too far from the facts
when pointing out that at least one-third of
those set down as "whites" in Cuban cen-
suses are actually light-skinned, sharp-fea-
tured Afro-Cubans. Moreover, rather than
having remained "static" for the last thirty
years, the black Cuban population should
have increased since 1959, if only because
of the white exodus that followed Cuba's
entry to the Marxist orbit.
A purely statistical approach to race rela-
tions in Cuba will inevitably lead to the ma-
jority/minority contention. If a purely
statistical yardstick is used, the measure-
ments obtained will vary, even to the point of
contradiction, depending on what share is
apportioned blacks in the general popula-
tion. For example, acceptance of the official
version that non-whites constitute 30-35
percent of the total population, leads to the
conclusion that Afro-Cubans are "over-rep-
resented" in the military contingents sent to
Angola. The situation is practically reversed
and wholly different conclusions are derived
if one relies on the official estimates which
propose that blacks constitute more than
half of Cuba's population. The black share
in the military contingents in Angola (an
estimated 60 percent) then becomes "pro-
portionate representation."
By definition, the racial question is an
eminently subjective and not necessarily
quantifiable phenomenon. New conceptual

yardsticks are necessary to approach an un-
derstanding of it, particularly in situations
such as Cuba's, or the rest of "Latin" Amer-
ica, where this issue runs up against a ver-
itable brick wall of taboos.

The "Latin-Arab" Model
The racial question in Cuba is one of con-
tent rather than form, an unquantifiable,
extremely complex mass of intertwined per-
spectives and responses. The latter are in
turn the expression of the subconscious,
day-to-day enactment of intricate role-play-
ing strategies: commanding for whites,
obedience for blacks; independent assert-
iveness for whites, dependent docility for
blacks; high racial self-esteem for whites,
low or no racial self-esteem for blacks; sex-
ual fear of blacks by whites, quest for white-
ness through sexual proximity to whites or
near-whites on the part of blacks (assimila-
tionism); opposition to but penetration of
African cultures by whites; feelings of
shame of their African traditions by blacks,
but adherence to and defense of these
This enumeration merely emphasizes the
fact that no study of race relations in Cuba
can ignore either the view whites have of
themselves as whites and of blacks, or the
view that blacks entertain of themselves as
blacks and of whites. The author designates
these two different racial group perspectives
as the "white outlook" and the "black out-
look." An understanding of where they con-
verge, where they diverge, how they
conciliate or clash with one another is indis-
pensable to a comprehension of the dy-
namics of race relations in Cuba, past and
Before 1959 the existence of racism was
denied by whites, officially and on the street,
as well as by a large number of blacks. Since
1959 the existence of racism has been sys-
tematically denied by whites in government,
in exile and in the streets of Cuba. What has
changed on this issue because of the revo-
lution? The basic ingredients of racism and
its attendant conflicts (consistently masked
in Cuba as "economic" or "social" conflicts)
is derived from what I have chosen to call
the "Latin-Arab" model of race relations.
Cuban society has evolved within a pat-
tern of race relations of the "Latin-Arab"
type, as opposed to the "Anglo-Nordic"
model. Central to the "Latin-Arab" type is
the notion and practice that the race which
enjoys the dominant political, economic
and psycho-social position has a near-di-
vine mandate to rule. Conversely, the races
occupying lowly stations in the society
ought to agree to obeying their rulers in
exchange for the protection which the latter
consider to be in their best interest. Benev-
olent paternalism is the cement holding to-
gether the psycho-political structure
wherein whites monopolize power in the
name of the entire society, not only as a

ruling class but as whites.
The "right to rule," the "duty to protect"
and "rights granted from above" are essen-
tial elements of the "Latin-Arab model." In
this context, autonomous action by the so-
cial and racial underdogs is regarded as
tantamount to treason by the elements of
the ruling segment who consider the pro-
cess of power and decision-making as their
preserve as whites. In other words, in situa-
tions of the "Arab-Semitic" type, "harmony"
between the races is the norm rather than
open conflict. The latter only arises when
the modus operandi of that system is threat-
ened by the dominated segment, a threat
invariably originating in the refusal of a dis-
tinct culture, civilization, ethnic community
or ancestral tradition to die. This is the case
regardless of the form that death might take:
violent, swift eradication through physical
elimination (genocide) or protracted, 'soft'
substitution via a process of assimilation
Under the "Arab-Semitic" system, the
point where the subject segment says "No!"
is the critical point of rupture where the
congenial smile becomes a hateful grimace
and the abrazo turns into a wrestler's hold.
in situations such as prevail in Cuba, overt
racial conflict is generated only when the
dominated segment refuse to play their as-
signed role in society or propose the adop-
tion of a different or new set of roles.

White Superiority
Anthropologically speaking, no common
objective criteria to determine race exists in
Cuba. Yet in social, cultural and psychologi-
cal terms, race pervades the everyday life of
every Cuban, white or black. Cuban society
was racist prior to 1959 and is steadfastly so
today. Basically racial assumptions, which
cut across class lines, continue to govern
the existence of blacks and whites. This is so
despite the revolution. Moreover, it is under
its protective cover that most of the old and
new racial attitudes and assumptions are
perpetuated by Cubans of all walks of life in
their daily behavior.
The assumption of white superiority is a
deeply ingrained belief across racial lines.
Black inferiority is also internalized by both
blacks and whites. The whole range of com-
plex race relations in Cuba is set between
those two poles, not in legal terms but in the
more pernicious area of common social in-
tercourse. Politically, this situation translates
itself in the de facto belief that whites have
the right to rule and blacks the duty to obey.
Socially, whites also abrogate the preroga-
tive of assigning blacks a "place" in society:
neither separate and equal, nor together
and equal. In the economic sphere, blacks
have traditionally been concentrated in
physical labor, a situation justified in quite
cynical terms: "Negro robustness" and "ed-
ucational retardation."
It is on the cultural level, however, that the


clash of interests between blacks and whites
in Cuba assumes the character of a life-and-
death struggle. It is a silent war, with the
human psyche as the battlefield and with
weapons such as song and dance,
proverbs, popular jokes, religious outlook
and practice, language patterns, culinary
preferences and a sense of group history
and destiny. Both sides are stationed where
they have been since the days of slavery: the
powerful white-dominated State structure
on the one hand, and the Afro-Cuban broth-
erhood and cults on the other.
The notion that racial diversity is a tem-
porary phenomenon, doomed to rapidly
disappear in a melting pot process (mulat-
toization) is basic to the thinking of the revo-
lutionary regime which has given wide
popularity to Jose Marti's rather Pharisaic
belief that "cubano es mas que blanco,
mbs que negro" (Being Cuban is more than
white, more than black). Significantly
enough, that slogan was equally the motto
of the pre-revolutionary liberal and not-so-
liberal white intellectual. However much of
the theory of national integration relies on
the assumption that differences between
black and white in Cuba are merely skin-
deep, the reality of ethnic dynamics since
the revolution points in another direction.
Greater communication with the rest of the
non-white world, particularly Africa and the
Caribbean, has heightened the awareness
of race among black Cubans. The concomi-
tant self-pride and self-assertiveness has
brought about shifts in the entire perspec-
tive of a growing number of blacks. This is
especiallythe case among black youth born
since the revolution. Understandably, the
authorities find this development particu-
larly threatening.
In spite of government obstruction, and
perhaps to a great extent because of it,
black Cubans have in the last twenty-five
years of revolution become more race con-
scious than ever, at least since the period of
overtly racial mobilization by the Partido
Independiente de Color (Independent
Color Party), whose ill-prepared insurrec-
tional bid was drowned in blood, with US
support, in 1912. But it is equally true that
Afro-Cubans still live in the grips of a near-
paranoid obsession with "whiteness" and a
profound inferiority complex. Black Cubans
continue to believe that whites have an al-
most divine right to rule the country and
dictate its destiny.
This has led to an infinitely intricate and
paradoxical situation. On the one hand,
blacks claim that "Cuban" culture is funda-
mentally of the Afro-Cuban tradition and
that numerically speaking, Cuba is prepon-
derately non-white. On the other ha nd, they
continually strive in a variety of ways to at-
tain "white status" in order to escape the
psychological stress and socio-political dis-
advantage that being black in a white ori-
ented, eurocentric environment continues

to represent. The "black outlook" therefore
continues to be plagued by a terrible
Has the revolution significantly upset the
pattern of black self-hatred and its conse-
quent black-on-black aggression and vio-
lence? Government alarm, openly ex-
pressed since the 1970s, at the rapid
growth of a distinctly "black criminality"
faced by the regime is a direct result of the
monumental obstacles it places in the way
of the free expression by Afro-Cubans of
their distinct racial, cultural and historical
identity as a people. Since 1959 the Marxist

The Marxist regime has
gone further than any
other in denying blacks
the right to exist as

regime has channeled black violence and
aggression to its advantage, for its own po-
litical purposes: domestic consolidation
(state security organs, militia, the Territorial
Forces, the block-to-block Committees to
Defend the Revolution, or CDRs) or for stra-
tegic overseas expansionist and interven-
tionist goals (Special Forces designed for
overseas deployment such as the MININT
and the FAR).
Black Cuban troops slaughtering entire
village populations and "enemy" troops in
Black Africa (Erythrea, the Somali Ogaden,
the south and east of Angola) are engaging
in a quite familiar exercise of black-on-black
violence and aggression. The canalization
of black violence by the white regime for its
domestic and foreign political purposes has
been one of the major achievements of the
new rulers of Cuba. Inasmuch as the latter
view any manifestation of "blackness" as
divisive and threatening, they are automati-
cally inclined to fall back on the old familiar
patterns of black impotence: black docility
toward whites, black violence toward blacks,
black loyalty to the white regime, black dis-
loyalty toward blacks. This pattern has
found political legitimacy, for a black who
turns in another black to State security
organs is naturally regarded with higher es-
teem than a white committing a similar act.
The continuation, through governmental
encouragement of social rewards, of the old
pattern of black self-hatred and racial alien-
ation is perhaps the greatest single indicator
of the tenacious persistence of a fundamen-
tally racist and white-oriented system of
race relations in socialist Cuba.

The Myth of a Non-Racial Culture
The anti-segregationist measures of the

revolution were avowedly in favor of the "na-
tional" and "racial" integration of the black
population. In his only speeches dealing
with the racial question in Cuba (March
1959), Fidel Castro made it altogether clear
what his regime meant by "racial integra-
tion." This can be summed up as: elimina-
tion of all barriers preventing the entry of
blacks into administration, the labor mar-
ket, education and cultural centers, the me-
dia, security and defense agencies (armed
forces, police). But did the fabric of race
relations in Cuba rest on racial segregation?
Or was the latter in fact an aberration in a
system, such as the Latin-Arab one, which
can only function on an integrationist-as-
similationist strategy?
Integrationism was a vital part of the sys-
tem of race relations that prevailed in Cuba
prior to 1959, wherein blacks were ordered
to become like whites both socially and cul-
turally while waiting to become actually
white, not only in outlook but also in skin
color. Until 1959, however, no government
in Cuba had been prepared to meet segre-
gationist practices head-on and take the in-
tegrationist dynamic to its fall and only
logical conclusion: full insertion of blacks
into every aspect of public life in exchange
for the total abandonment by blacks of their
psycho-cultural, historical or social dis-
tinctiveness. Consequently, since 1959,
Cuba has been experiencing a process
aimed at the imposition of a "new" sup-
posedly non-racial outlook. This new social,
psychocultural perspective has been desig-
nated as "proletarian internationalism" by
the authorities. According to it, a "universal
culture" transcending all racial, ethnic, cul-
tural and civilizational frontiers is the only
worthwhile common goal of mankind. This
"universal" culture has a class content: it is
The major problem is that the revolution-
ary regime has endeavored to arrive at a
common "non-racial" and "universal" out-
look by attempting to stamp out the black
one: assaults on the Afro-Cuban cults; abo-
lition of the Afro-Cuban mutual aid So-
ciedades de Color; brutal persecution of
the secret male brotherhood, or Sociedad
de Abakua; unofficial offensive against
Afro-Cuban language patterns (Afro-Span-
ish) and black Cuban creole, or kalo; at-
tempts to discredit the Afro-religious
outlook as "primitive," "irrational" and "su-
perstitious;" the banning of the secular, vil-
lage happenings known as fiestas de solar,
during which guaguanc6 music is spon-
taneously derived. The listing of subtle,
when not drastic, government actions to
eradicate blackness in Cuba could go on.
To promote a common "non-racial" and
"universalist" outlook to which all Cubans
could adhere, Marxism was upheld as the
rational substitute for the distinctly ethnic
Afro-Cuban cults and brotherhoods. Politi-
cal pragmatism led the government to


adopt an increasingly conciliatory attitude
toward the Catholic church in Cuba and to
establish warm relations with the Vatican.
However, the Afro-Cuban cults enjoyed no
such protection; the regime never made the
slightest attempt to establish relations with
the babalorishas (spiritual leaders) in
Nigeria nor to pay the least homage to Ife,
the spiritual cradle of Yorubaland. Sacred
Afro-Cuban religious dances, prayers and
songs have been folklorized, put on stage
and treated as exportable tourist com-
modities, whereas the Euro-Slavic ballet
form, under Alicia Alonso, has been pro-
moted as both authentically "Cuban" and
In summary, the "new" common outlook
proposed as "nonracial" and "universalist"
to all Cubans was in fact distinctly Euro-
pean. To begin with, Marxism, imposed as
the "national" ideology, is the most accom-
plished version of the western rationalist tra-
dition. The promoted opera and ballet
forms, besides being strictly Western and
Eastern European, had no more "pro-
letarian" qualities than Marxism (an ideo-
logical elucidation of the alienated, atheistic
intellectual petit bourgeoisie of the Old
Continent). In fact, not a single cultural pro-
posal, social reform or political institution
proposed to Cubans since 1959 has had
even the remotest filiation to anything
home-grown, least of all "proletarian." Yet
the real, concrete spiritual, social, cultural
and linguistic creations have traditionally
emerged from the actual working class
people of Cuba, the blacks.
In essence, the "new," "non-racial" and
"proletarian" outlook proposed by the revo-
lutionary regime as the only means of
achieving national and racial integration
amounts to the imposition of another but
certainly not new outlook. It is recognizably
white, unmistakably European and quite
bourgeois in the nouveau-riche left-wing
sense. This brings us to one of the major
contradictions of the Cuban revolution. A
new order has assumed power in the name
of nationalism but has striven since 1959 to
uproot and inhibit the production of Cuba's
national culture.

The Myth of a Mulatto Culture
The contribution of Hispanic-Cubans to
what has become known as "Cuban cul-
ture" is negligible. Yet Cuban whites have
systematically attempted to co-opt as theirs
what is quite distinctly the product of the
Afro-Cuban contribution, i.e., a world view
which is rooted in the collective historical
experience, beliefs and traditions of Cuban
This view definitely runs counter to the
official one which gives new legitimacy to a
pre-revolutionary proposition, according to
which Cuban culture is an amalgam of
"Spanish culture and African elements."
Contrary to what pre-1959 and post-1959

Hispanic-Cubans prefer believing, Cuban
culture arose during the slave period and
not after. It is a culture of the slave bar-
racones (compounds) and not that of the
seigneurial mansions of white, Spanish
slave-owners. It is a culture of the cabildos
(town councils) and not of the white, Span-
ish Catholic clergy. It is the culture of a mass
of people from a multi-ethnic African back-
ground who worked the fields, cut the cane,
made the sugar and took the blows. Not the
culture of the white, Spanish military hier-
archy and/or soldiery, white overseers or the
late-comer white peasants imported from
Spain (guajiros) who also served as
ranchadores (hunters of runaway slaves).
The Hispanic strain has barely contributed
anything to this culture apart, of course,
from its imposed notions of socio-eco-
nomic organization and the Spanish
The widely adhered to belief in a syncretic
or mulatto culture wherein whites and
blacks supposedly contributed equally is
unfounded. It is symptomatic, however, of
the ignorance about what the real Cuba, the
popular world of the blacks or even of
grassroots whites, is all about. Cuban cul-
ture is an entirely popular phenomenon. It
permeates the lives and outlook of
grassroots whites in a way that they are
hardly aware of. Cubans are spiritually com-
mitted to a host of African ancestral spirits
and deities (If&, Chang6, Ochun...) that are
permanently invoked as sources of com-
forting, healing and encouragement.
Cubanness is inseparable from a cobweb of
"extended family" and friendship relations
wherein the sense of community is para-
mount and a mystical brotherhood is ex-
pressed in the term hermano. Cubanness is
the permanent quest for the sensual cele-
bration of life. In contrast, the psychological
world of most Hispanic-Cubans is domi-
nated by the idea of sin. It is a world bereft of
the binding tradition of song and dance and
a home-grown language.

Marxism Versus Negritude
Racism continues to be a vivid phe-
nomenon permeating the entire fabric of
Cuban society. If it were "neo-racism", as
some such as Rene Depestre have argued,
novelty would certainly have rendered it
transparent, which is not the case. What
makes racism in revolutionary Cuba such
an unobtrusive phenomenon is that one is
dealing with a time-tested, widespread pat-
tern of psycho-social behavior internalized
by both whites and blacks. In twenty-five
years of power, a regime that prides itself in
being the embodiment of "racial democ-
racy" and social egalitarianism has refused
to demolish the edifice of race relations es-
tablished over a period of several centuries
of black oppression and white supremacy.
The approved historians of Marxist Cuba
(Luciano Franco, Julio de Riverand, Oscar

Pinos Santos, Salvador Bueno, Juan de la
Riva) have generally ignored or minimized
black struggles of the slave, colonial and
even republican periods. At best, they have
portrayed slave uprisings much in the same
way as they would a natural calamity: inev-
itable, unpredictable and negative. The his-
tory books still remain mute about the black
uprising of 1912, which is invariably de-
nounced as "racist" (Bias Roca). Similarly,
the 1812 revolutionary uprising ("Conspir-
aci6n de Aponte") has been categorized as
"the first attempt to organize a racist insur-
rection in Cuba." (Juan de Riva).
The new official view of history ("histor-
ical materialism"), with its unilinear concep-
tion of societal changes as an orderly
succession of "modes of production"
("primitive communism" to "slavery" to
"feudalism" to "capitalism" to "socialism")
has provided white Cubans with a comfort-
ing view of Cuba's slave antecedents. In po-
litical and educational terms, black slavery
is dealt with as "simply" a socio-economic
category like any other. Black and white
Cubans alike are taught to view it as an
inevitable historical step on the ladder of
universal upward mobility towards an ideal
communist societal order. Naturally, such a
view of sociological and historical realities
has devastating effects on Cuban blacks.
Conversely, it serves to reinforce the tradi-
tional arrogance of Cuban whites.
Are Cuban leaders conscious of a possi-
ble danger resulting from their deep in-
volvement in Africa and their continued
problems with the "black question" in
Cuba? The vituperative campaigns against
"Negritude" embarked on from time to time
by the regime's theoreticians (Fernandez
Retamar, Lisandro Otero, Edmundo Des-
noes, Nicolas Guill&n) would clearly indicate
so. These writers have stressed the dif-
ferences between Cuban and US blacks,
concluding that the American Negro exhib-
its "emotional" behavior which precludes
any sound political analysis of the problems
affecting them. Writing in Casa, the review
of the regime's intelligentsia, Alberto Pedro
openly raised the issue of the danger of
Cuban blacks identifying on racial or cul-
tural grounds with American, Caribbean or
African blacks. "To pretend that all blacks
are brothers, he cautioned, "would be tanta-
mount to accepting the strictly racist prem-
ise that all blacks are equal."

The New Intolerance
In situations of inequality, denying the sub-
jected segment the right to express its
specific corporate interests is a sure way of
generalizing the corporate interests of the
dominating group. In other words, the inte-
grationist drive of the Marxist regime has
gone further than any other previous re-
gime in denying blacks the right to exist as
blacks, while legitimizing as never before
Continued on page 43



SGrenadian Party Paper

Revealing an Imaginary Document

By Jorge I. Dominguez

"Report to the Political Bureau, Central
Committee, Communist Party of Cuba,
from the Special Task Force on the US
Imperialist Aggression Against Cuba."
Professor Dominguez has classified this
report as a work of "social science fiction."
It is purely imaginary. However, refer-
ences are made to actual documents,
such as the "Foreign Relations Report,"
captured by US armed forces in Grenada.

he US imperialist aggression against
Grenada requires us to examine our
policies toward the disaster that felled
a fraternal party and government. This sec-
tion of our report summarizes some of the
lessons with regard to the general conduct
of Cuban foreign policy toward Grenada.

The Obvious Lessons
The United States can crush a revolution if it
commits the necessary military and politi-
cal resources to that end. We have known
that since the beginning of our revolution.
Our necessary response has been to arm
ourselves to raise the cost of a US invasion
of Cuba so that it becomes highly unlikely
unless there is general or all-out war. From
this perspective, the US invasion of Gre-
nada teaches us nothing that we did not
know already.

Jorge 1. Dominguez is professor of govern-
ment and member of the Center for Interna-
tional Affairs at Harvard University. He is the
author of Cuba: Order and Revolution,
coauthor and editor of Cuba: Internal and Inter-
national Affairs. Professor Dominguez is cur-
rently working on a book on Cuban foreign
policy This article was originally published in
Grenada and Soviet/Cuban Policy, edited by
Jiri Valenta and Herbert J. Ellison, Westview
Press, 1986. Reprinted in modified form with
permission of the publisher.

However, this obvious lesson had not
been learned by Grenadian revolutionaries.
Their 1981 report on foreign relations had a
conclusion on the "balance of forces in the
world" featuring phrases such as "The
USSR is the equal, at least, of the USA ...
US imperialism no longer holds sway over
mankind. Though it remains powerful, US
imperialism is on the decline."
There are important truths in that
Grenadian report. The global correlation of
forces shifted to favor the socialist countries

more than a generation ago. But the Grena-
dian comrades overestimated that shift in
the correlation of forces, especially in
the western hemisphere. They let their
guard down.
Recommendation: We have learned
the lesson of imperialism's continuing
might. We must make certain that other
revolutionaries, especially the Sandinistas,
do not miscalculate concerning the global
correlation of forces.

There are other obvious lessons of the
imperialist aggression against Grenada.
The US government does not feel bound by
international law. This utterly lawless inva-
sion was a naked display of power to achieve
imperialism's aims. This we also knew be-
fore; recall only the assassination plots
against Fidel Castro that even a US con-
gressional committee documented.
There is another obvious but more subtle
lesson. Imperialism attacks to serve its
ideological goals unrelated to its objective

interests. Grenada was invaded because the
US government did not like the revolution-
ary regime. The United States had no eco-
nomic stakes in Grenada. Grenada did not
have, nor could it be expected to have, the
military means to block passage through
the sea lanes. The US government would
never have allowed the Soviet Union, or us,
to use Grenada as a military base. Grenada
was also reluctant to make concessions to
us, even about the use of the airport. For


0- or

IM. ".f V rkiif^ ftf

instance, Grenada was unwilling to grant
Cubana de Aviaci6n special refueling con-
cessions to take effect upon completion of
the new international airport.
Grenada was also not subverting its
neighbors; nothing in the available docu-
mentation indicates that. Grenada, of
course, had a militant revolutionary govern-
ment, but not a stupid one. It had excellent
relations with fraternal and other progres-
sive opposition parties in the Caribbean,
playing an important leadership role

bean States which was eventually used by
the imperialists to give a veneer of legality to
their naked aggression. Grenada was an ac-
tive and constructive participant in CAR-
ICOM, the Caribbean community for
economic cooperation. Second, beyond the
eastern Caribbean, Grenada's NJM made
principled ideological distinctions among
armed groups. It did not support everyone
who claimed to be a revolutionary. For ex-
ample, it wisely gave no response to a re-
quest from Colombia's M-19 guerrillas "to

Salvadoran revolution.

Implications for Nicaragua and
Other Friendly Countries
Some have suggested that one conse-
quence of imperialism's new aggressive-
ness should be greater Cuban restraint in its
relations with other revolutionary govern-
ments in order not to provoke imperialist
aggression elsewhere. We reject this posi-
tion firmly. It would amount to surrender to
imperialism. We are aware of the dangers to

US Air Force photos, released by the Department of Defense.

among them. The NJM knew, however, that
it had to be cautious in the conduct of these
political relations in order not to give the
imperialists an excuse to attack. Conse-
quently, Grenadian revolutionaries limited
their militant support geographically and
First, they had to maintain good govern-
ment-to-government relations in the east-
ern Caribbean. Grenada joined and worked
well in the Organization of Eastern Carib-

develop best possible links" with the NJM.
This analysis might leave the erroneous
impression that the Grenadian government
did not support national liberation efforts.
That is, of course, incorrect. Beyond the
eastern Caribbean, the NJM supported
such struggles to the extent of its ca-
pabilities. Impoverished Grenada contrib-
uted no less than $50,000 to SWAPO's
struggle with South Africa over Namibia. It
worked with us and others to support the

other friendly governments, especially in
this hemisphere, of their close relations with
us. We owe itto them to be frank and candid
about this danger. But we should not fail to
pursue policies that serve our own interests.
Recommendation: We recommend no
major foreign policy change as a result of
the Grenada events.
Others have said that Cuba should have
reinforced its troops on Grenada to fight the
invasion. We reject this position firmly. As

- ___


President Fidel Castro told the Coard-Aus-
tin group in Grenada on 22 October, three
days before the aggression, "Cuba cannot
send reinforcements ... because of the
overwhelming US air and naval superiority
in the area."
Recommendation: We must tell the
Sandinistas clearly that Cuba will not be
able to send reinforcements if Nicaragua is
invaded because of the equally overwhelm-
ing US military superiority in the Central
American theatre. We should also reassure
the Sandinistas that our personnel on the
ground will fight. We must tell our African
allies that they should distinguish between
the circumstances of Grenada, on the one
hand, and Angola and Ethiopia, on the
other hand. Imperialism was fully engaged
in Grenada. The United States, in contrast,
never committed its military might in the
cases of Angola and Ethiopia. Cuban as-
sistance is possible only when imperialism
has not made a full-scale military com-
Some hypothetical questions have alsc
been raised. Should Cuba have sent rein-
forcements if only the Caribbean states had
invaded Grenada? We think not because
that would have given the excuse to provoke
US intervention. As President Fidel Castro
told the Coard-Austin group on 22 October,
"Jamaica, Saint Lucia and Barbados have
no forces to invade Grenada and, in that
case they [the Grenadian armed forces]
could defeat them with their own forces
without greater difficulties."
Recommendation: We should convey to
Nicaragua, and other friendly states, that
Cuba would not send reinforcements if the
fraternal armed forces can defeat the ag-
gressors on their own.
Another hypothetical issue is whether
Cuba should have sent reinforcements to
Grenada, independent of the question of US
military might, given Maurice Bishop's
murder and other evidence of the decom-
position of the Grenadian revolution. We
think not. As President Fidel Castro told the
Coard-Austin group on 22 October, "the
unfortunate developments in Grenada ren-
der the useless sacrifice entailed in the dis-
patching of such reinforcements in a
struggle against the United States morally
impossible before our people and the
The Coard-Austin group, however, has
made serious charges against Cuba. In Oc-
tober 1983, they believed that the "deep
personal friendship between Fidel and
Maurice [sic] has caused the Cuban leader-
ship to take a personal and not a class

approach to the developments in Grenada"
(emphasis in original). They also thought
that it was "clear that the Cubans' position
creates an atmosphere for speedy imperial-
ist intervention."
The ideological charge is rank slander. As
Fidel Castro explained on 15 October to the
NJM Central Committee, Cuba regarded
Maurice Bishop as the "central figure" of the
Grenadian revolution. The NJM itself had
supported Bishop as party and government
leader. Cuba did not invent Bishop's central
role. "Our promises are not to men. They
are to the peoples and to principle" (em-
phasis ours).
Recommendation: Cuba's views should
be communicated, with subtlety, to the
Sandinistas and other revolutionaries to
give them incentives to preserve revolution-
ary unity against the enemy. It should give
Cuba additional leverage to deal with its
allies: Cuba will not defend thugs mas-
querading as revolutionaries, precisely be-
cause Cuba's fundamental commitment is
to the revolution itself.
Do the Grenada events prove that Cuba is
an unreliable ally that created the conditions
for the imperialist invasion? We think not.
We have explained the concrete reasons
that distinguish the Grenada case from
those of Angola and Ethiopia as well as the
problem posed by the internal decomposi-
tion of the Grenadian revolution. The world
knows, moreover, that Cuban reservists in
Grenada fought more bravely and more
ably against impossible odds than Gre-
nada's own regular troops. The world
knows, too, that Cubans were the only for-
eigners who shed their blood for Grenada.
We were loyal and reliable allies of a revolu-
tion that committed suicide.
Recommendation: We need a major
propaganda effort, and work by relevant
ministries and by the party, to convey to our
allies the steadiness of our commitments.

Problems in Cuban-Grenadian
Several problems developed in our bilateral
relations. Interpersonal relations between
Cubans and Grenadians were, at times, not
good. The most serious problems occurred
at our most important civilian project: the
new airport. As early as 1981, Grenadian
workers were often distrustful of our inten-
tions in the building of the airport. There
was continuing friction between Cuban and
Grenadian workers in 1982. The Grenadian
workers felt that they were not getting
enough recognition in what was often de-
scribed as if it were simply a Cuban project.

In part because of interpersonal incidents,
the NJM Political Bureau observed in Au-
gust 1983 that there had been "a rise in
anti-Cuban sentiment" among the Grena-
dian airport workers.
Recommendation: More attention must
be given to interpersonal problems and
their political impact on our foreign opera-
tions by government and party agencies.
Our relations with Grenada suffered also
from the objective and subjective condi-
tions of underdevelopment in both our
countries. There are too many examples of
our shared incompetence, but the following
make the point:
a high-ranking Grenadian group en
route to the Soviet Union was housed in
deplorable conditions during their stay
in Havana;
although some 60 percent of the spare
parts negotiated between our two
countries for Grenada's fishing indus-
try had arrived by April 1982, some
boxes had not yet been opened and a
number could not be found;
as.late as August 1983, Grenada's use
of Cuban aid in the fishing industry was
so poor that we were considering re-
patriating our personnel;
by September 1982, only two of the ten
boats donated by Cuba for the Grena-
dian fishing industry were still working.
Recommendation: We must improve the
quality of our performance in international
work, recognizing the limitations that we
and the countries that we aid are likely to
continue to experience.
There was also a serious problem with
regard to our channels of communication.
This was primarily a consequence of the
problems that plagued the NJM party and
The Grenadian embassy in Havana did
not function properly, even though the am-
bassador was a member of the NJM Central
Committee. We communicated ordinarily
through Cuban personnel in Grenada and,
extraordinarily, when Grenadian leaders vis-
ited Cuba. The NJM party and government
did not inform their embassy in Havana
well. As Grenada's ambassador to Cuba,
Leon Cornwall put it to his comrades, "the
party forgets that there is an embassy in
In our understandable effort to solve
problems posed by this situation, we often
showed insensitivity. For example, at one
moment the Grenadian government had
asked Ambassador Cornwall to pass some

* *LA~i~m6*ti~t


information to our government. The am-
bassador had difficulty securing a meeting.
Simultaneously, a Cuban official, not a
member of the Central Committee of the
Communist party of Cuba, visited Grenada;
he got a meeting with four members of their
Political Bureau, including Primne Minister
Bishop, without delay.
Recommendation: This asymmetry
characterizes relations between imperialists
and their clients. It should not occur be-
tween fraternal parties. On the other hand,
we cannot stand idly by if another country's
internal procedures break down. Our error
was in not bringing up this problem our-
selves with the Grenadian comrades early
A related problem unfolded as a result of
the Grenadian embassy's nonpayment of
bills to the Cuban state enterprise in charge
of providing basic services to the embassy.
When no payments had been made for a
long time, the state enterprise cut off the
embassy's electricity, telephone service,
and telex machine service. The Grenadian
ambassador's home telephone service was
also cut off. Understandably, the NJM Politi-
cal Bureau was furious. This was stupid and
Recommendation: Basic services to an
embassy may not be cut off henceforth ex-
cept on the explicit authorization of Presi-
dent Fidel Castro.
The most serious problem in our collab-
oration was, of course, fatal. President Fidel
Castro has described how Maurice Bishop
had "very close and affectionate links with
our party's leadership." In contrast,
"[Bernard] Coard's group never had such
relations nor such intimacy and trust with
us. Actually, we did not even know that
group existed." Fidel Castro wrote to the
NJM Central Committee on 15 October:
"Everything which happened was for us a
disagreeable surprise." He went on to warn:
"In my opinion, the divisions and problems
which have emerged will result in consider-
able damage to the image of the Grenadian
revolution, as much within as outside the
This ignorance is inexcusable. The di-
mensions of our failure, however, should
not be exaggerated. Although Maurice
Bishop was in Cuba a few days before he
was deposed and killed, he did not tell us
about the NJM's internal problems, and we
did know that not all was well in Grenada.
Comrade Manual Pifleiro had told Grena-
dian Ambassador Cornwall as early as the
summer 1983, on the basis of reports from
our personnel in Grenada, that the state of

NJM party and government work was bad.
Our personnel in Grenada had also raised
the matter directly with members of the
NJM Central Committee.
Recommendation: The Ministry of the
Interior must improve our intelligence
gathering capability even in friendly coun-
tries, with special attention to possible splits
within the top revolutionary leadership.

The Dimensions of Cuban Policy
Toward Grenada
Cuba's policies toward Grenada were sum-
marized in the major bilateral agreements
between our countries. There are some
principles that we believe ought to be
We believe it prudent to retain the princi-
ple that military collaboration agreements
are secret, as stipulated by Article XII of the
Protocol for 1982-84. Host governments
should continue to be expected to provide
food, transportation, and health services as
well as "a small stipendium for the personal
expenses of every member equivalent to 30
US dollars." A host government should in-

cur some expenses to demonstrate its good
We are especially proud of our ability to
respond promptly to the military needs of
the Grenadian revolution. In April 1979,
within days of revolutionary victory in Gre-
nada, we transferred a substantial inventory
of weapons to Grenada. As General Hudson
Austin wrote to Arnaldo Ochoa concerning
the follow up on a visit to Grenada, our
military relations were excellent.
With regard to inter-party collaboration,
we commend the attention to detail evident
in the agreement to provide the NJM with
services such as training technicians on
howto draw billboards and posters, training
librarians and cartoonists for newspapers,
training specialists in sound equipment, or
assisting the NJM to prepare itself better to
struggle against organized religion, es-
pecially Roman Catholicism, in Grenada.
We thinkthat this agreement should be em-
ulated in the links between our party and
other fraternal parties.
Beyond the formal agreements, we be-
lieve that Cuba's central contribution to the

1LS!iS~a '--"---

CAI?BBEAN reviEw/19

Grenadian revolution was to serve as a bro-
ker between Grenada and other socialist
countries. As Grenada's ambassador to the
Soviet Union wrote: the Soviets are "very
careful, and for us sometimes maddeningly
slow, in making up their minds about who
[sic] to support. They have decided to sup-
port us for two main reasons. Cuba has
strongly championed our cause," and the
Soviets are impressed with the internal de-
velopment of the Grenadian revolution.
The fundamental importance of our bro-
kerage role cannot be underestimated. It
had many practical aspects, derived from
Grenada's poor transportation and com-
munications links with the outside world
and from its relative political unimportance.
For example, the 1982 Soviet-Grenadian
agreement stipulated that the transship-
ment point for Soviet supplies for Grenada
would be the port of Havana. Whenever ap-
propriate, we even provided the Grenadians
with Cuban technical personnel to help
them in their negotiations with the Soviets.
Similarly, Grenada and Vietnam made
their preliminary contacts in Havana, lead-
ing to Vietnam's grant of twenty scholar-
ships to Grenadians to study anti-chemical
and anti-radioactivity warfare, the use of US
weapons captured in Vietnam, and tech-
niques for the re-education of antisocial and
counterrevolutionary elements. A fihal ex-
ample is that Havana was also the trans-
shipment point for the sending of Czecho-
slovak rockets and warheads to Grenada.
Our brokerage had other political fea-
tures. For example, Cuba provided the prin-
cipal guidance for Grenadian and other
Caribbean delegates to the General Con-
gress of the World Center for the Resistance
of Imperialism, Zionism, Racism and Reac-
tion, hosted by Libya. Comrade Manuel
Pifieiro briefed the delegates on what to
support and what to oppose. So close were
Cuban-Grenadian relations that "there was
a line that Cuba was using Grenada to influ-
ence other Caribbean parties and organiza-
tions." Our collaboration with Grenada
enabled us to rally several delegations to
cool off support for Libya's ambitions. As
Comrade Pifieiro said to the Grenadian and
Caribbean delegates, "we should avoid giv-
ing support to the idea of Libya being the
center of the world anti-imperialist
This last example also illustrates how
Grenada helped us. Cuba might have rallied
other Caribbean delegations on its own, but
it was easier with Grenadian help. Grenada
also helped Cuba within the Socialist Inter-
national, of which the NJM has been a

member. We exchanged information, and
met with several Socialist International
members to coordinate the strategy for the
progressive forces to follow within that Inter-
national. We should continue to caucus with
these friendly Socialist International mem-
bers: the Radical party of Chile, the Jamai-
can People's National Party, El Salvador's
Nationalist Revolutionary Movement, as
well as what remains of the NJM.

The Soviet Union, Cuba, and
We have already alluded to Cuba's role as a
broker between Grenada and the Soviet
Union and other socialist countries. Now, we
wish to discuss two issues. At the beginning,
was the Soviet Union too slow in respond-
ing to Grenada's needs? At the end, was
there a pro-Soviet and an anti-Cuban edge
to the factional struggle within the NJM? We
believe that the answer to both questions,
with some qualifications, is no.
We already noted the characteristic So-
viet caution in responding to the Grenadian
revolution. The imperialists describe our
role as a Soviet proxy: they have the rela-
tionship exactly backwards. We took the
lead in building Grenada's links to the so-
cialist world. As late as the end of 1982, the
Grenadian embassy to Moscow plaintively
reported: "the Caribbean-as they [the So-
viets] repeatedly state ... is very distant
from them. It is, quite frankly, not one of
their priority areas." The Grenadian ambas-
sador to the Soviet Union raised with the
Cuban ambassador to the USSR the ques-
tion of the quality of the Grenadian-Soviet
relationship. Comrade Carlos Rafael
Rodriguez was consulted, replying "that
Cuba had taken fifteen years to establish
close PB [Political Bureau] to PB relations
and we [Grenadians] must work at it with
patience and determination." A good sum-
mary of the triangular relationship con-
cluded the Grenadian ambassador's report
to the Grenadian leadership: "We have to
work on the Soviets for some considerable
time before we reach the stage of relation-
ship that, for example, we have with the
In short, the Soviets were cautious and
slow, but no more than they are ordinarily.
From 1980 onwards, by the second year of
the Grenadian revolution, they were provid-
ing considerable military and economic as-
sistance. Of course, we would want the
Soviets to be associated in our endeavors
more quicklywhen we need them, but expe-
rience teaches us that this is not likely. Their
early relationship with Grenada was as good
or better as past history gives us reason to

Some members of the Coard-Austin
group may have had anti-Cuban attitudes.
Central Committee member Leon Cornwall
had been the Grenadian ambassador to
Cuba. He brought up his problems serving
in Cuba as well as the airport worker's issue
during the crucial fractional debates, al-
though he never linked his attitude to
Bishop to his attitude toward Cuba. The
Soviets knew Coard better than they knew
Bishop, because of Coard's visit to the
USSR and his more orthodox Marxist-Leni-
nist orientation, and it is likely they would
have felt more comfortable with him, but
there is no evidence they did much to help
him. Even though they were upset with
Bishop about the circumstances of his trip
to the United States in June 1983, when
Grenada failed to inform the Soviets of the
trip and the results of his meeting with US
Security Advisor William Clark, nothing in-
dicates they did anything to oppose his
There is, we conclude, no significant evi-
dence of anti-Cuban views, much less of
any link between such views and the over-
throw of Bishop. Nor is there any evidence
of a Soviet role in the events that led to, or
followed from, Bishop's overthrow. There
are, however, two differences in the Cuban
and Soviet responses to the events of Octo-
ber 1983: we condemned Bishop's over-
throw and murder while the Soviets
remained silent in public, and we fought
and died for the Grenadian revolution while
the Soviets only protested the invasion. The
Soviets made no move to help or hinder any
of the factions in the struggle, and they did
not have as much personnel on the ground
in Grenada as we did. This Soviet low profile
is consistent with their policy toward Gre-
nada since 1979.
The destruction of the Grenadian revolu-
tion, at the hands of the Coard-Austin group
and the imperialists, was a tragedy. We have
all learned from it, and the wisdom of les-
sons learned earlier has been reinforced. We
believe our party, government, and people
ought to be proud of our relations with Gre-
nada, while learning as well from our mis-
takes so that they do not recur. We believe
above all that this setback will, in due
course, be turned into a victory as the revo-
lutionaries of Our America become more
skillful and more committed to the cou-
rageous struggle that will culminate in the
defeat of imperialism. We are confident that
the march of history will lead to successful
revolutions by the peoples of this
iPatria o muerte!iVenceremos! O

* ft frL~tb)9~L~~fl


q a. - am -1

Report Redux

Thoughts on the Imaginary Document

By Nelson P. Vald6s
Translated by Gilbert L. Socas

Cuban youngsters learning to shoot. From the Cuban magazine, Verde Olivo.

Additional comments to the special com-
mittee's "Report on the Imperialist
Aggression of the US in Grenada." Ad-
dressed to the Political Bureau of the Cen-
tral Committee of the Communist Party in

ne of the fundamental aspects of

internal life of our Party must be
self-criticism. The additional com-
ments that we present in this report en-
deavor to take into consideration sug-
gestions and criticism that members of the
Political Bureau and the Secretariat voiced
about our first report. We believe that it is
essential to take into account such concerns
if we are to reach practical conclusions.
Our first report suffers from a variety of
weaknesses. It tends to be overly descriptive
and focuses only on our foreign policy, ig-
noring the internal dynamics of revolution-
ary processes in Cuba. Thus, these
comments are not designed to reverse the
recommendations and conclusions of our
first report, but to add new perspectives.
We should mention that although the

Nelson R Vald6s is associate professor of so-
ciology at the University of New Mexico. His
most recent book is on human rights in Cuba
(forthcoming by Westview Press). He is pres-
ently writing a book on Contadora.

ideas and conclusions are ours, they are
shared by comrades from the Political Bu-
reau, the Secretariat, and particularly our
Comrade President Fidel Castro, and thus,
this document should be construed as
being a collective effort.

About Obvious Lessons
1) The first report establishes that the US
can destroy every revolutionary process in
the hemisphere as long as it employs the
necessary means to attain that end. This
does not take into consideration a series of
variants. The report is deterministic in stat-
ing that it is only necessary for the US to use
economic and military means to destroy a
revolutionary process. If this were the case,
no revolution would survive in the hemi-
sphere and those revolutions would have no
means of defense.
We consider that the means used by im-
perialism should be taken into account, but
we also must consider those means avail-
able to the various revolutionary processes.
The dialectics and the conflicts between
both sides eventually determine whether a
revolution will be destroyed or not.
Our own experience has allowed us to
conclude that there are three essential ele-
ments necessary for the defense of a revolu-
tionary process: the unity of the revolution-
ary vanguard, the integration of the
vanguard and the masses, the organization

and use of arms by the people. These three
elements, make the revolutionary process
almost indestructible.
The case of the New Jewel Movement
demonstrates that the three elements were
not present at the time of the imperialist
-The Unity of the Revolutionary Van-
guard: individual passions, sectarian devia-
tions and other limitations must give way to
the collective interests of the masses as in-
terpreted by the political-military leader-
ship. Solid unity of the vanguard is essential;
this lesson was made clear by the Cuban
experience. Comrade Bishop's first error
was in not recognizing those sectarian ten-
dencies and eradicating them through the
organization of the masses. His second mis-
take was in going forward with building the
Party even though the political base that
would unite its members had not been es-
tablished. A collective aim can only be es-
tablished when the collective thinks and
acts as a whole. The concept of collective
aim and internal democracy has no point
when the revolutionary leadership is divided
by many individualities and fractions. Com-
rade Bishop confused the acceptance of
sectarianism with internal democracy. We
did not offer him a clear vision of this prob-
lem and how it was solved in Cuba.
-Organic Unity of the Revolutionary
Vanguard and the Masses: in order to take


power and maintain it, it is necessary to
establish strong political, ideological and
military ties with the masses. That organic
unity must be translated into a strong policy
with the masses. The vanguard must work,
influence, persuade, organize and mobilize
the masses and recruit natural leaders
among them. Comrade Bishop began this
process in Grenada, although he did not
pay it the attention that it merited. With the
assassination of Bishop and other leaders,

a military intervention are not the resources
of the enemy but the internal unity of the
revolutionary process.
Grenada was not invaded because the
imperialists disliked the system that existed
there; it was invaded because the oppor-
tunity for invasion presented itself. It should
also be noted that the upper political and
military circles of the US were alert to the
opportunity. It did not even take them two
weeks to have all their forces and equip-

they will exercise pressure on the Western
European allies of the US, particularly in
places like Berlin. At least that is what the US
should believe would happen.

Other Appraisals
In our first report, we failed to analyze cer-
tain aspects of the Grenadian process that
are significant because of their implications
concerning our own revolution. These are
the following:

Soviet intelligence facility near Havana. US Department of Defense photo.

that relationship was broken. The vanguard
lost the support of the masses and thus lost
the ability to mobilize them. It should be
noted, though, that Bishop's group enjoyed
the support of the masses, but they did not
know how to utilize that support to isolate
the sectarian majority within the New Jewel
-Arms for the People: Arms are indis-
pensable for the triumph of any revolution,
and to preserve its complete continuity and
realization. In the case of Grenada, Bishop's
group preferred not to deploy the revolu-
tionary militia against the Army, and the
Army eventually disarmed the militia. A
people without weapons cannot defend its
revolution. The militia was disarmed be-
cause the Army was afraid of it. This is per-
haps the most serious contradiction in the
whole Grenadian process.
Thus, we must add to our first report that
imperialism can succeed in the destruction
of a revolutionary process by using its con-
siderable economic, political and military
resources when a totally united revolution-
ary vanguard is inexistent, the relationship
of the vanguard and the masses is not solid
and the people are disarmed. It should be
noted that imperialism did not invade until
these elements were absent in Grenada.
Consequently, the variants that bring about

ment ready when they saw an opening in
the Grenada situation. This signifies that the
US had at least a contingency plan should a
situation such as Grenada arise. We should
learn from their flexibility and put it to use in
our own policies.

About the Relationship Between
Cuba, Grenada and The USSR
The main points of this triangular relation-
ship were detailed in our first report.
Nonetheless, we must emphasize certain
No revolutionary process should depend
on the Soviet Union for its own defense. We
have repeatedly reminded revolutionaries
in Grenada, Nicaragua and Angola of this
fact. Still, it must be clearly understood that
the Soviet Union can, under certain condi-
tions, offer military aid to the different revo-
lutionary movements. Grenada and Cuba
are exceptions. The Grenadian revolution
was young and it still had much to develop.
In the case of Cuba, we must observe that
although we do not depend on the Soviets
for our own strategic defense, we can at the
same time expect that the Soviets will take
tactical measures to help us in our own
defense if we need it. An invasion of Cuba by
US forces does not mean that the USSR will
not do anything. It is to be expected that

1) Our intelligence system failed com-
pletely at recognizing the internal strife
within the New Jewel Movement. We must
also determine whether the Soviets and
other socialist allies had knowledge of this
situation, and if they did know about it, why
we were not informed. This must be
2) Our Party and our people were misin-
formed by our own military and political
advisors of battles that apparently never
took place. This false information was given
to the whole world and consequently it
made our revolutionary leadership seem ir-
responsible and melodramatic. Those re-
sponsible for such misinformation must be
punished, regardless of rank or distinction.
3) There are those that believe that the US
invasion of Grenada obliges us to imple-
ment a policy of confrontation toward the
government of Ronald Reagan. We do not
agree. Our foreign policy must be based on
two fundamentals: first to unite with other
countries and democratic, progressive
forces, and to take the necessary steps to
isolate the US. In other words, our foreign
policy must be interwoven with that of other
countries, even non-socialist governments.
Thus, we will not isolate ourselves, but in-
stead become part of a general movement
to oppose the United States. We must as-

22/cAiBBEAN r-EviE

sume a leadership role in that movement,
but from an international law perspective
which stresses a policy of dignity and re-
sponsibility. The second principle of our for-
eign policy should be to promote peace in
the Caribbean and Central America. Peace,
and not confrontation, will be beneficial to
us. In other words, we must constantly ex-
press our willingness to collaborate in the
effort for peace, as long as this does not
violate our principles of sovereignty.



New Jewel Movement meeting. NJM photo.

4) Consequently, our foreign policy to-
ward Grenada during October 1983 repre-
sents one of the best examples of the policy
of principles that our revolution maintains.
Some groups have suggested that Cuba
should have lent its support to the Coard
and Austin faction, and that when the
Cuban revolution refused to send regular
troops they contributed to the success of the
American invasion. That is an idealistic
position and does not take into considera-
tion the military situation in Grenada at the
time. Also, it ignores the ideological-politi-
cal position of the revolution. Let us sum-
marize the events in Grenada and the
principled positions taken by our revolu-
tionary government:
October 12: Maurice Bishop is deposed by
the majority of the Central Committee and
placed under house arrest. We did not act
for three days.
October 15: Fidel sends a message to the
new revolutionary leaders in Grenada, em-
phasizing Cuba's intent to abstain from in-
terfering in internal matters, but also
expressing grave concern over the new sit-
uation. We called upon their level-headed-
ness and unity by declaring that we held
"hopes that the difficulties would be over-
come with wisdom, serenity, loyalty to prin-
ciples and generosity." Therefore, Cuba did

not give support to either Bishop or the
Coard-Austin group, but instead asked for
unity. We also said that we would continue
our policy of aid toward Grenada "indepen-
dently of changes" within the Party.
October 19: The people liberate Bishop, the
army opens fire against the people and
Bishop, together with other collaborators, is
October 20: Fidel sends another message
to the new government, stating that "no

doctrine, no principle or position that is
called revolutionary and no internal divi-
sion, justify horrendous proceedings such
as the physical elimination of Bishop and
the group of distinguished, honest and dig-
nified leaders killed yesterday." With this
message, the new government is entreated
to clarify the circumstances of the deaths
and to chastise in an "exemplary" fashion
those responsible if Bishop and the others
were indeed killed in cold blood. Cuba does
not rush in any way to take a step toward
collaborating with Grenada, but instead de-
mands that the crime be investigated and
the guilty punished. Only this could pre-
serve the revolutionary process. "If the
Grenadian revolutionary process can be
preserved, we will do whatever possible to
help." In this manner, even after Bishop's
death, we called on the new group to save
the revolution.
October 21-22: Relations between Cuba
and Grenada become tense and cold. Rela-
tions with the new government are still un-
defined. Nevertheless, the new government
did not seriously consider our suggestions
in respect to the crime recently committed.
October 22: A Yankee invasion was immi-
nent. Fidel sends a new message to the
government of Grenada, explaining that the
deployment of regular Cuban troops is not

feasible for "objective reasons" (US military
superiority in the area); "internal policy in
Grenada" (the divorce of the people and the
new government); and "political considera-
tions" (Cuba does not want to defend a gov-
ernment of criminals). Fidel declared that
the government of Grenada had to think
of a way to achieve a reconciliation with
the people, by clarifying the murders and
purging those responsible.
October 23: Fidel again contacts our em-

bassy in Grenada and establishes that "the
unfortunate incidents in Grenada make it
morally impossible before our people and
the world to offer the fruitless sacrifice of
sending reinforcements to do battle against
the United States." But at the same time that
we did not consider it politically prudent to
send troops, we did not abandon Grenada
in those difficult circumstances "... be-
cause of a question of honor, morality and
the dignity of our country, we maintain
Cuban personnel there, even when powerful
Yankee naval forces move toward Grenada."
In conclusion: When Bishop lost power
and was arrested, we urged that peaceful
and political solutions be found. When
Bishop and his collaborators were mur-
dered, we urged them to explain the crime
and bring those responsible to justice. We
also suggested possible political solutions.
When the Grenadian revolutionaries ig-
nored our suggestions and instead asked
for reinforcement troops, we considered
that request impossible. But we continued
to suggest that measures be taken to unite
the leadership and the masses and con-
tinued to help according to our ca-
pabilities. When the invasion occurred, we
defended ourselves. In spite of these difficult
and adverse conditions, Cuba held fast to a
policy of principle. O


Is the Cuban Economy Knowable?

A National Accounting Parable

By Jorge Salazar-Carrillo

Saguatequimbia, Caombia;
Caombia, Quimbiambiambia

Anonymous Afro-Cuban Saying.

Though a late starter, Cuba's System of

National Accounts (SNA), developed
in the 1950s, became effective right
away. The revolutionary regime that came
to power in 1959, in fact consolidated its
statistical base, the resultof a multi-pronged
attack to better classify and expand the col-
lection of basic data (spearheaded by the
Cuerpo de Economistas in the Ministry of
finance, the Junta de Planificaci6n and the
Banco Nacional de Cuba). The Cuerpo de
Economistas established important spe-
cific analytical differentiations to allow for
the recognition of current and capital ex-
penditures by the government, as well as to
functionally characterize public expendi-
tures. A number of studies on the economic
impact of various taxes, and the recommen-
dation of tax reform that included a then
pace-setting value added tax, were made.
An effort was mounted to complete an in-
put-output table highlighting the Cuban in-
dustrial sector, which had expanded
considerably during the 1950s. This input-
output table was later transferred to the Min-
istry of Industry and became the basis for
the 1963 Cuban input-output table-the
first, and only one in existence until the
most recent unpublished attempt.
At the Planning Board, an Economic
Commission for Latin America (ECLA )
mission, which visited Cuba during the
spring and summer of 1959, worked closely
with technicians attempting to establish the
basis for a Cuban economic plan. This re-
quired the revamping of the statistical
sources available to the Junta. During parts
of 1959 and '60 a number of important
economic reforms were put in place. All of
Jorge Salazar-Carrillo is chairman and pro-
fessor of the Department of Economics at Flor-
ida International University and a founding
member of IESCARIBE, a basin-wide study
group researching the economics of the Ca-
ribbean. He is a non-resident staff member of
the Brookings Institution.

the statistical efforts that were then
mounted, however, ended impotent-for-
mal publications recognizing these early
statistical successes were lacking. Even the
national economic accounting efforts so
painfully established and back tracked dur-
ing the 1950s were interrupted.
It took some time for the economic ac-
counting principles of the centrally planned
economies to make its mark during the first
part of the 60s. The ECLA experts, which
had by the beginning of 1960 established a
permanent mission in Havana, influenced
efforts to resume various estimates of the
Cuban national economic accounts and
their supporting structure. Up to the middle
60s, the statistical reporting system was
kept up, though most of it was kept beneath
the surface.

The only real constant price series are to
be found in this period. Even though the
national estimates begin to follow first, the
material balances approach, and then
global social product and gross material
product approaches-background statis-
tics were kept to estimate the key compo-
nents of these aggregates. Thus the
Ministry of Finance brought the input-out-
put tables of the early 1960 period to com-
pletion, using 1963 prices. An aggregate
price deflator was derived from the constant
and current price estimates of global social
product (GSP) and gross material product
(GMP). Inflation, a key component of any
accounting or balancing system was at this
time not yet shunted into oblivion.
The Cuban economy began to generate a
large number of complex problems. The
development strategy pursued from '61 on-
wards, was based on a diversified economy
with a leading pole of industrial activities,
using moral rather than material incentives
for increased labor productivity. This strat-
egy necessitated a large expansion in the
economic aid that the Soviet Union pro-
vided Cuba and appeared to have brought
about the replacement of the ECLAteam by
technicians from Eastern Europe.
Estimates for this period (1966-1970) for
the GSP and the GMP are reported only in
current prices, which were equivalent to
constant prices series, since prices of ra-
tioned consumer goods were frozen in
1962. In 1965 those for intermediate and
industrial products were also frozen. How-
ever, as" products moved from the frozen
prices lists to the parallel markets, or disap-
peared all together into black markets,
some price pressures arose. But, the fact
that inflation is repressed does not mean
that constant and current prices series are
the same, rather that different methods
have to be used to estimate inflation. Thus,
during the second half of the 60s, a new
methodology, unconnected with the pre-
vious one, began to rule the Cuban eco-
nomic accounts or balances. Since there is
no explanation for the differences with the
antecedent system, it is not possible to
chain the estimates into one series.
At this time, Cuban political leaders be-


gan to support wars of liberation in the
Americas. The Cuban statistical system
went underground and the reporting of offi-
cial Cuban data, still under the responsibility
of the Junta de Planificaci6n, vanished. At
this time, there was a deliberate attempt to
change methodologies and to use the re-
porting system for political goals.

The 70s
At the beginning of the 70s, the interna-
tional economic scene was changing in
favor of primary producers Cuba's strategic
change to favor sugar production over in-
dustrial production, was relatively beneficial
at this point, though it made it more depen-
dent than ever on the Soviet Union. The
Cuban economic performance was wearing
down the Soviets, who had just extended
the ten billion dollar interest-free Cuban
debt, for fifteen years. Planners in Russia
insisted Soviet technicians steer their
Cuban counterparts into more orderly rou-
tines. However, with the buoyancy of pri-
mary product prices and the initial
successes of African maneuvers by the
Cubans, they had too many cards in their
favor. They did accept the installation of a
centrally planned economic system and a
command economic structure, but the lack
of debt repayment to the Russians, as well
as the ample hard currency provided by the
skyrocketing of the price of sugar and other
raw materials, gave Cuba economic free-
dom as against the Russians. Thus, not
many inroads were made as a result of the
urgent prodding of the USSR toward the
establishment of a formal and comprehen-
sive planning system.
A new methodology to calculate global
social product dawned in 1970. Though
there are still large gaps and concealing
high levels of aggregation, the system fol-
lows the pre-1960 turnover methods typical
of the centrally planned economies. This
procedure involves a large amount of dou-
ble counting. With a third change in as
many quinqueniums, the period from 1970
to 1975 was guided by a lack of economic
accounting characteristic of 'war commu-
nism'. Cuba appeared intent not to allow
anybody to decipher its economic fortunes.
The second part of the 70s was an age of
reckoning. As the primary materials boom
turned sour, Soviet planners gained the up-
per hand. Having failed to articulate an eco-
nomic plan, the Junta de Planificaci6n was
deprived of responsibility in collecting, pre-
paring, concocting, generating and ag-
gregating statistics. The Comit6 Estatal de
Estadisticas was given the honor of con-
tinuing to confuse the users of Cuban fig-
ures. The first plan they devised covered the
period 1976-1980 when the Sistema de
Direcci6n y Planificaci6n Econ6mica was
inaugurated. At this moment, the fourth re-
vision in the methodology for calculating
global social product was introduced, and

the regular presentation of GMP data was
interrupted. The former is methodologically
more important as it made it even more
difficult to elaborate a continuous series to
trace the evolution of the Cuban economy.
This is reinforced by the latter, since one way
to convert data from the material product

Cuban economic policy
makers do not want
knowledge of the Cuban
economy to get out.

system to the system of national accounts is
based on estimates of GMP Cuban eco-
nomic policy makers do not want knowl-
edge of the Cuban economy to get out.
The system of calculating the global so-
cial product changed substantially in the
late 70s, from the turnover method (which
leans towards double counting and.the use
of purchasers' prices) to evaluating much of
the economy at the ex-plant level (the basic
exception being agriculture which con-
tinues with the turnover system). The ex-
plant approach uses the establishment as
the basis for evaluation, and allowing a bet-
ter determination of value added. At the
same time, a number of price changes were
put into practice which affected intermedi-
ate and raw material transactions in the
economy. The opening of the Cuban econ-
omy caused by the material boom played
havoc in the Cuban system by bringing an
awareness of what international prices really
were during a period of inflation. All this
reform questions how much inflation had
diluted the supposed growth that took place
in the Cuban economy during the 70s.

Recent Alterations
The latest stage in the saga of Cuban eco-
nomic accounting and balancing has to do
with a new flirtation with concepts used in
Western society. There is currently a pro-
pensity at this moment in the Cuban eco-
nomic milieu to report on the gross
domestic product (GDP) rather than the
GSP or GMP There are several obstacles
that make this an exercise in futility: 1. There
is no basis for estimating the contribution of
capital to value as the lack of depreciation
and replacement statistics, indicates. These
make it possible to calculate net material
product, the usual base for converting ma-
terial product estimates into gross domestic
product. 2. Changes in stocks or inventories
have been practically absent when estimat-
ing Cuban national aggregates. 3. The basic

difference between the material balance
and the national account system, the es-
timation of non-productive services, have
almost never been calculated and are diffi-
cult to estimate. 4. The turn-over ap-
proach's implicit double counting, and the
double counting included almost by defini-
tion in the global social product concept,
make it difficult to use GSP as a basis for
conversion. 5. The physical indicators re-
ported in Boletines and Anuarios Es-
tadisticos, represent value rather than
volume indicators, the result of the inflation-
ary process. The assumption peddled by
the Cuban government that the series are in
constant prices, because of previous
freezes and infrequent price variations is
Lately, several sources (e.g. the World
Bank) have provided estimates of gross do-
mestic product supposedly under the
methodology of the system of national ac-
counts used in the West. These are rough
approximations that attempt to establish a
conversion from the MPS to the SNA system
undertaken in 1982. This experiment
counted with the support of the State Statis-
tical Committee and the ECLA, which
jointly worked under the supervision of the
United Nations and an Eastern European
expert to establish a parallel between the
two series in Cuba. This only rendered a
presentation of the economic accounts or
balances for Cuba under the two systems at
1974 prices and used the ex-plant or estab-
lishment method of evaluation. No further
attempt has been made to extend this effort
to other years. A number of doubts have
been raised by the 1974 estimates, which
disagree with other estimates concerning
the importance of non-productive service
sectors. Even this belabored effort has not
escaped the pall of doubt.
The attempt to measure the degree of
inflation afflicting the Cuban economy and
the value of its aggregates in real terms
(constant prices) has not made significant
progress. The second 5-year plan of 1981
to 1985 expected to follow successful
efforts in Eastern Europe, the Soviet Union
and China. However, with the curtailing of
the peasant markets, the sugar and oil
economy prices, debt repayment, trade and
finance to other countries, this iniatitive is
being questioned at the political level. Suc-
cessive changes in the economic policy-
making team and the frequent changes in
development strategy during the first quin-
quenium of the 80s, all suggest this. With
aid from the Soviet Union to Cuba now cal-
culated at four billion dollars a year, not to
mention the defeat suffered in Grenada, the
stalemate in Central America and the loss of
influence in Africa, it appears that the
Cuban hierarchy is more intent than ever in
thickening the smoke screen that has im-
peded a real evaluation of the level and rate
of growth of the Cuban economy. O


Cuba As An Oil Trader

Petroleum Deals In A Falling Market

By Jorge F. P6rez-L6pez

A report issued by the Cuban National
Bank in February 1985 contains a
remarkable statistic. For the three-
year period 1983-85, the Bank estimated
that reexports of oil and oil products were
Cuba's most significant hard currency earn-
ers (i.e., exports which generated convert-
ible currencies such as US dollars, German
marks, Japanese yen, British pounds, etc.),
accounting for 40 percent of such earnings.
Over the same period, sugar exports con-
tributed 21 percent to hard currency export
earnings while tobacco, fish and shellfish,
nickel, manufactured goods, and all other
exports taken together contributed about
39 percent.
There is no mystery as to why Cuba reex-
ports Soviet oil. Servicing of the debt held by
Western creditors and acquiring essential
imports from capitalist nations require ade-
quate convertible currency balances. The
primary source of hard currency revenues is
merchandise exports; because there has
been a significant shortfall in revenues gen-
erated by domestically produced exports (as

Jorge F Pdrez-L6pez is an international econ-
omist with the Bureau of International Rela-
tions at the Bureau of International Labor
Affairs, US Department of Labor, in Wash-
ington, D. C. The views expressed in this arti-
cle are entirely his own and do not reflect those
of the Labor Department.

a result of the very low world market price for
sugar and the failure of projected sales of
other products to materialize), oil reexports
have risen to fill the gap.
Between 1983 and 1985, the Cuban Na-
tional Bank had estimated that Cuba's hard
currency merchandise exports would
amount to 3.8 billion pesos ($4.3 billion at
the official exchange rate), about one-third
of which would come from sugar exports,
about one-half from non-sugar exports
(nickel, tobacco, fish and shellfish, man-
ufactured products, etc.) and roughly one-
sixth from oil reexports. Based on these
projections, the Bank estimated that Cuba
would record a sizable surplus in its convert-
ible currency merchandise trade balance.
[The official peso-US dollar exchange rate
for some recent years, in terms of US dollars
per peso, are: 1980, $1.41; 1981, $1.28;
1982, $1.20; 1983, $1.16; 1984, $1.13;
1985, $1.07].
Actually, during this period, hard currency
sugar exports were off the mark by 40 per-
cent (750 million pesos actual v. nearly 1.3
billion pesos projected) and non-sugar ex-
ports by 25 percent (1.4 billion pesos actual
v. nearly 1.9 billion pesos projected) for a
combined shortfall of nearly 1 billion pesos.
Because oil reexports overshot their pro-
jected value by 107 percent (1.4 billion pesos
actual v. 680 million pesos projected), the
deficit in the hard currency trade account
was limited to 240 million pesos. Without the
ability to reexport Soviet oil products, Cuba
would be faced with whopping deficits in its
hard currency balance of trade.
The rapidly growing relative importance
of fuel exports in Cuba's export basket is
illustrated by data in Table 1. Whereas prior
to 1975 Cuban exports of fuels were insig-
nificant in relation to total exports, in the
second half of the 1970s they accounted for
about 2 percent of the value of exports, in
1980-81 for 4.2 percent, in 1982 for 6.9
percent and in 1983 and 1984 for an in-
credible 10.6 and 10.1 percent, respectively.

Soviet Oil Imports and Reexports
Since mid-1960, when the Cuban govern-
ment nationalized the refineries of the three
international oil companies operating in the
island, the Soviet Union has single-hand-
edly met Cuba's needs of crude oil and
Two peculiarities have made oil trade
with the Soviet Union highly beneficial to
Cuba. First, Cuba does not have to use
scarce convertible currencies to purchase
Soviet crude oil and products. In principle,
these imports are bartered for Cuban prod-
ucts (sugar, nickel, citrus, etc.) which are
exported to the Soviet Union. In practice,
Cuba has run sizable deficits in its overall
bilateral trade with the Soviet Union which
Moscow has financed routinely through an-
nual extensions of soft currency credits.
Second, since 1973 prices of Soviet oil
exports to Cuba have tended to be substan-
tially lower than world market prices. This
has come about because, in trade with its
Council for Mutual Economic Assistance
(CMEA) partners, including Cuba, the So-
viet Union has not raised oil export prices
immediately to match world market price
increases. Thus, while world market oil
prices quadrupled between 1973 and 1974,
Soviet export prices to CMEA remained un-
changed. In 1975 the Soviet Union did be-
gin to adjust prices of oil exports to CMEA
annually using a multi-year moving average
of world market prices. As international oil
prices rose steadily through the second half
of the 1970s and early 1980s, the price the
Soviet Union charged its allies for oil ex-
ports also rose, although it remained below
the world market price. Undoubtedly, dur-
ing the 1970s and early 1980s, the Soviet
Union transferred substantial resources to
its allies through subsidized oil prices.
The oil world market price peaked in
1982 and since then has plummeted by
more than 50 percent. Meanwhile, intra-
CMEA prices, calculated on the basis of a
moving average of previous prices, rose


Table 1.

Relative Importance of Selected Product Groups
In Total Cuban Exports


Food 7 live Non-fuel raw
animals materials



Sources: Anuario Estadistico de Cuba 1984 and issues for 1982 and 1983.




through 1985, so that in that year, the gap
between oil world market and intra-CMEA
prices had virtually disappeared. Through
the first quarter of 1986, there is no evi-
dence that the Soviets have reduced oil ex-
port prices to their Eastern European allies
in line with the fall in oil world market prices.
(Leslie Colitt and David Buchanan, "Oil
price plunge hits Eastern Europe," Finan-
cial Times, 19 February 1986, p. 8.')
In December 1979, Castro announced
that in 1977 and 1978, Cuba had "acquired
the right" to export, for hard currency, sur-
plus naphtha refined from Soviet crude. In
fact, a review of available statistical data sug-
gests that whether or not it had the right,
Cuba had engaged in such sales before
1977; Cuban trade statistics indicate that
there were naphtha exports in 1975 and
1976, and statistics of Western European
nations show imports of refined oil products
from Cuba as early as 1972. Naphtha ex-
ports started at modest levels but increased

rapidly: 3 million pesos in 1975, 25 million
pesos in 1977, 72 million pesos in 1980,
nearly 70 million pesos in 1982 and 1983,
and 32 million pesos in 1984 (Table 2).
Beginning in 1980, the Cuban oil export
business changed drastically. For one, rather
than consisting primarily of naphtha, the ex-
port basket broadened to include crude pe-
troleum and other products. As shown in
Table 2, during 1981-83 naphtha exports
accounted for only about 14 percent of fuel
exports. In 1984, the most recent year for
which data are available, naphtha repre-
sented only 6 percent of the value of fuel
exports. And the revenue generated by oil
reexports other than naphtha, and their vol-
ume, have skyrocketed: nearly 100 million
pesos in 1980, 160 million pesos in 1981,
270 million pesos in 1982,515 million pesos
in 1982, and 520 million pesos in 1984.
Cuba has not released information on the
volume of oil reexports. However, using a
price of 250 pesos/metric ton for 1980-82

Illustration by Angel A. Marti.



h h. I Il l I

and 200 pesos/metric ton for 1983-84, it
can be estimated that Cuban non-naphtha
reexports probably amounted to some
400,000 metric tons (MT) in 1980, 650,000
MT in 1981, 1.1 million MT in 1982 and
nearly 2.6 million MT in 1983 and 1984.
The mechanics of accomplishing these
large reexport transactions are not entirely
clear. Considering that Soviet oil exports to
Cuba must travel some 6,500 miles from
the Black Sea to Cuban ports, transporting
this oil back to Europe from Cuba would be
uneconomical. It would seem more likely
that shipments of Soviet crude are being
sent directly from the Soviet Union, on
Cuba's account, to European purchasers.
This would be consistent with the reference
in the Cuban literature to oil "reexports to
the Soviet Union" and would explain why
import statistics of probably European re-
cipients of such reexports fail to reflect fully
the anticipated volumes. For example, im-
port statistics of Western European nations
(all 10 members of the European Eco-
nomic Community plus Austria, Portugal,
Sweden and Spain) report oil imports from
Cuba valued at $85 million (about 71 mil-
lion pesos at the official exchange rate) in
1982, $113 million (97 million pesos) in
1983, and $50 million (44 million pesos) in
1984, while Cuban sources record exports
of nearly 5 times that value in 1982, 6 times
in 1983, and 12 times in 1984.
The National Bank Report describes how
the reexports of Soviet oil benefitted Cuba
in 1984 and 1985. According to this source,
Cuba went to the world market in 1984 and
1985 and used hard currency to buy sugar
valued at about 100 million pesos. (Since
the average world market price for sugar
was around 5.2 cents/pound in 1984 and
around 3 cents/pound in 1985, the Cuban
purchases probably were in the neighbor-
hood of 800,000 MT in 1984 and 1.4 mil-
lion MT in 1985.) The sugar purchased in
the world market was then reexported to the
Soviet Union; the Soviet Union paid Cuba
for the sugar exports in soft currencies but,
since the price which Cuba receives from
the Soviet Union for sugar exports is sev-
eral-fold higher than the world market price,
these sales brought revenues of 517 million
pesos in 1984 and 1012 million pesos in
1985. Subtracting the original outlay of 201
million pesos used to purchase the sugar,
Cuba netted about 1,330 million pesos in
the two years.
To close the loop, Cuba then turned
around and used the revenue from the
sugar sales to purchase Soviet fuel, in soft
currency, and probably at below the world
market price. In 1984, Cuba obtained nearly
2.5 million MT of liquid fuels under this
arrangement, of which about 2.4 million MT

were reexported for hard currency and
100,000 MT used domestically. In 1985,
slightly over 4.2 million MT of Soviet fuels
were purchased, of which about 2.2 million
MT were used domestically and about 2.0
million MT were reexported. According to
the National Bank report, oil reexports gen-
erated 498 million pesos in hard currency in
1983, 484 million pesos in 1984 and 428
million pesos in 1985.

Short-term prospects
Speaking at the First Energy Forum in De-
cember 1984, Fidel Castro was at his
pedagogical best as he explained to workers
the benefits which accrue to Cuba from fuel
reexports and exhorted them to maximize
exportable volumes of fuel by stepping up
domestic oil production and reducing con-
sumption. As he explained, the Soviet
Union has already "guaranteed" certain lev-
els of oil exports to Cuba for the next five
year period (reportedly about 11 million MT
per annum); to the extent that Cuba can
divert some of these imports from domestic
consumption (either because of increased
domestic production or reduced consump-
tion), they will be available to be reexported
for hard currency. Although Castro was gen-
erally optimistic about increasing domestic
oil output, he emphasized his preference for
focusing on conservation, noting that con-
servation will bring immediate, tangible re-
sults, while the benefits from additional oil
production are less certain. The recent drop
in the oil world market price could have an
adverse impact on Cuba's ability to rely on
oil reexports as the premier export hard
currency earner.
Oil Production: Using financial and tech-

nical assistance from the Soviet Union and
Romania, the Cuban government under-
took an ambitious program aimed at boost-
ing petroleum production in the 1960s.
Production averaged 50,000 MT/year in
1960-67 and rose to over 200,000 MT/year
in 1968-69 when output peaked at the
Guanabo field. During the 1960s, domestic
production of oil accounted for no more
than 1.8 percent of apparent consumption
of liquid fuels.
In the first half of the 1970s, domestic oil
production slipped to about 140,000
MT/year but recovered in the second half as
production from new fields east of Havana
pushed output above 200,000 MT/year.
Over the entire decade, the share of con-
sumption of liquid fuels accounted for by
domestic production hovered around 2.4
In the 1980s previous exploration began
to pay off-with dramatic increases in oil
production recorded in 1982 and 1983.
Domestic production in 1980 and 1981
averaged approximately 260,000 MT,
540,000 MT in 1982, 740,000 MT in 1983,
and 770,000 MT in 1984. While it is difficult
to estimate precisely the domestic share of
apparent consumption in the 1980s given
that Cuba has not published data on the
volume of oil reexports, a-rough guess is
that it probably was around 2.8 percent in
1980, 2.5 percent in 1981, 5.3 percent in
1982 and 7.5 percent in 1983.
Cuban authorities are optimistic on the
potential for further increases in oil produc-
tion. Reportedly, the focus of exploration
activities is offshore, in areas east of Havana
and near Varadero. Cuba has engaged in
discussions with several foreign oil com-

28/CA?,BBEAN viEw

Table 2.

Cuban Fuel Exports

(in thousand pesos)

as a%
Year Total Naphtha of Total

1975 2698 2698 100
1977 67081 24490 37
1978 45958 28945 63
1979 55949 53935 96
1980 168377 71957 43
1981 178823 15590 9
1982 338339 66404 20
1983 586613 68879 12
1984 552286 31883 6

Sources: Anuario Estadistico de Cuba 1984 and issues for 1982 and 1983.

panies (Finland's Neste Oy, Spain's His-
panoil, France's Elf Aquitaine, Mexico's
Pemex) regarding possible joint ventures in
offshore oil exploration. Castro has pre-
dicted that by 1990, Cuban oil production
will reach 2 million MT per year. (Vice-Presi-
dent Carlos Rafael Rodriguez has also re-
ferred to a production level of 2 million MT
per annum, but has indicated this could be
achieved by the year 2000, 10 years later
than predicted by Castro.)
Energy Conservation: The elevation of
energy conservation to a national priority
underscores both the importance which the
regime attributes to fuel conservation and
the widely held perception that Cuba uses
energy inefficiently. In the past, frequent
(and often contradictory) changes in energy
policies, coupled with a lack of economic
incentives to curb consumption and distor-
tions created by price-subsidized oil im-
ports from the Soviet Union, have frustrated
efforts to save energy.
In June 1983, the Council of State ap-
proved the creation of a National Energy
Commission charged with developing a na-
tional energy policy and making recom-
mendations to the Council of Ministers on
the rational use, conservation and develop-
ment of energy resources, and on research
on new energy sources. To dramatize the
importance of energy conservation, Fidel
Castro and other top leaders attended a Na-
tional Energy Forum held in December
1984. In preparation for the event, workers
held meetings at their workplaces to discuss
energy conservation problems and solu-
tions; reportedly, 87,000 concrete sug-
gestions regarding how to save energy
emanated from these sessions.
Increasingly, Cuba is resorting to tradi-
tional "capitalist" levers to encourage con-
servation: higher energy prices and material
incentives to those enterprises and workers
who are successful in curbing consump-
tion. Measures already implemented to ra-
tionalize energy consumption include: 1) a
new tariff for residential electricity users
which charges the same rate per unit of
electricity consumed regardless of con-
sumption level; 2) the new flat-rate residen-
tial tariff has also been applied to small
users of electricity in the state sector (phar-
macies, small warehouses, retail stores); 3)
time-of-day differential pricing has been
applied to large electricity users; 4) under
the Economic Management and Planning
System, state enterprises are rewarded if
they reduce energy consumption and
penalized if they exceed it; and 5) a system
of bonuses for workers of enterprises suc-
cessful in curbing consumption has been
implemented nationwide.
Whether the current energy conservation

offensive will turn out to be more successful
than previous conservation efforts remains
to be seen. Certainly, the prospect of turn-
ing savings of liquid fuel into hard currency
balances is a strong incentive for conserva-
tion. The National Bank has reported that in
1984, approximately 180,000 MT of liquid
fuels were saved, an encouraging sign but a
very modest amount when compared to the
levels of oil reexports in 1982 and 1983, two
years during which oil imports from the
Soviet Union averaged over 11.7 million MT
and exceeded the level of imports antici-
pated for the next five-year period.
The plunge in world market oil prices
apparently will have a significant adverse
impact on Cuba's ability to continue to rely
on oil reexports for the bulk of its hard cur-
rency export earnings and will only have a
positive effect on the import bill after a lag.
Lower oil world market prices means
lower prices for the products which Cuba
reexports to the world market for hard cur-
rency. At a world market price of $15 per
barrel, it can be estimated that the price at
which Cuba would be able to sell reexported
Soviet crude is about 43 percent lower than
in 1983-84 and 54 percent lower than in
1980-82. Thus, at 1986 prices, the esti-
mated 2.9 million MT of oil reexported in
1983 would have brought about 335 million
pesos (compared to actual revenue of 587
million pesos) and the estimated 2.75 mil-
lion MT reexported in 1984 would have
brought about 315 million pesos (com-
pared to actual revenue of 552 million
pesos.) To look at it another way, at 1986
world market prices, Cuba would have had
to export 4.1 million MT of oil and oil prod-
ucts to reach the same level of hard cur-
rency earnings generated by the 2.9 million
MT of reexports recorded in 1983 and more
than 3.9 million MT to reach the level gener-
ated by the 2.75 million MT of reexports in
1983. These reexport volumes appear un-
realistic given current domestic production
and consumption patterns and presumed
future levels of Cuban oil imports from the
Soviet Union.
The beneficial impact of a lower oil im-
port bill will be delayed because the Soviet
Union uses a moving average formula to set
the price at which it exports oil to its allies.
Unless the formula is changed or scrapped,
sharply lower world oil market prices in
1986 will not be reflected in Soviet export
prices to Cuba and other CMEA nations
until 1987, and then only partially. Assum-
ing prices remain at the level of about $15
per barrel for the next five years, the full
impact of this price decline will not be felt by
CMEA importers of Soviet oil until 1991.
Finally, as the price at which the Soviet
Union sells oil to Cuba falls, so may the price

at which the Soviet Union buys Cuban sugar
by virtue of an arrangement which sets the
export price of sugar based on changes in
prices of a basket of Cuban imports from
the Soviet Union, including oil.

Long-Term Prospects
An analysis of whether Cuba can count on
oil reexports as a source of hard currency
earnings in the long term depends on how
one responds to two basic questions: first,
will Soviet oil production continue to grow
in the future to permit Moscow to continue
to meet its own domestic needs as well as
those of its CMEA allies (including Cuba)
and its needs to export oil for hard cur-
rency? And second, will the Soviet Union be
willing to continue to incur indefinitely the
opportunity costs associated with allowing
Cuba to reexport Soviet fuel for hard
With respect to the first question, ana-
lysts agree that the Soviet Union faces oil
problems. To be sure, the Soviet Union is
extremely well endowed with energy re-
sources and the probability that it will be-
come a net oil importer in the immediate
future-as predicted in a Central Intel-
ligence Agency report issued in the late
1970s-is low. However, the evidence is
overwhelming of Soviet difficulties in main-
taining output levels and in finding new
reserves to take the place of those which
have been used up. End-of-the-year reports
from Moscow suggest that 1985 was not a
good year for the Soviet oil industry. Thus,
Continued on page 43



Fidel and the Friars

Castro Confesses to Friar Betto

Reviewed by Paul E. Sigmund

Fidel y la Religibn: Conversaciones con
Frei Betto. Havana: Oficina de
Publicaciones del Consejo de Estado,

A best-seller in Cuba (where it is supposed
to have sold over 600,000 copies) and in
Brazil, this is the record of 23 hours of taped
interviews with Fidel Castro by a Brazilian
Dominican friar, Frei Betto. The book is
significant because it signals a renewed
effort by Castro to form what he calls "a
strategic alliance" with the Catholic left in
Latin America. It is also valuable for bio-
graphical information on Castro's religious
upbringing and education in Catholic
schools, insights into the way he thinks
about moral, ethical, and political ques-
tions, and his changing attitude concerning
the longstanding practice of discrimination
against religious believers.
Such a rethinking would have been im-
possible when Castro took over twenty-five
years ago. While the Catholic Church did
not have the influence in that country that it
exercises in Nicaragua or Brazil, it was
strong among the upper and upper-middle
classes, particularly those educated in the
private schools that were often run by re-
ligious orders. By the second year of the
Cuban Revolution (1960), the Cuban
bishops had announced that "the enemy is
within the gates" and shortly thereafter Cas-
tro had closed down all the private schools
and expelled the clergy of Spanish citizen-
ship. Along with the departures of many
Cuban priests, this reduced the number of
Catholic clerics from approximately 800 to
265, and accelerated their emigration from
Cuba because of Castro's perceived hostility
to religion.
Later in the decade, significant
changes-what amounted almost to a rev-
olution-took place in Catholicism world-
wide. The Vatican Council (1963-65)
modernized the church and opened it to the

Paul E. Sigmund is professor of politics and
director of the Latin American Studies Pro-
gram at Princeton University. Currently he is a
Fellow at the Wilson Center writing a book on
liberation theology

world. The Latin American Bishops Con-
ference (CELAM) meeting at Medellin, Co-
lombia, in 1968 addressed "social sin" and
"institutionalized violence" and denounced
Latin American dependence as a cause of
underdevelopment. The Medellin bishops
called for "liberation," and a group of theo -
logians, led by the Peruvian Gustavo
Guti&rrez began to write about a specifically
Latin American "theology of liberation" that
applied what the Medellin conference had
called "the preferential option for the poor"
through the use of (mostly Marxist) "tools of
social analysis" to analyze the causes of un-
derdevelopment. They also stressed the im-
portance of listening to the poor and
oppressed in the newly emergent Christian
Base Communities and applying biblical
texts to the problems of oppression, dic-
tatorship, and exploitation. They argued for
a rejection of European models of liberal-
ism, whether in politics, economics, or the-
ology, calling for a vague humanistic
socialism that would be a superior embodi-
ment of the Christian message.
In the one case where there seemed to be
a possibility of a transition to socialism,
Chile under Allende (1970-73), the Bishops
formed the Christians for Socialism, who
welcomed Castro on his visit to Chile in late
1971. It was in Chile that Castro first began
to make the argument that the Christian
message was better embodied in regimes
like his own than in capitalist systems. He
repeated this argument in 1977 to Protes-
tant clergymen in Jamaica under the Man-
ley government, and it became more
important in Nicaragua in 1979 when Marx-
ists and Christians combined to overthrow
the Somoza government. The Marxist-
dominated Sandinista government con-
tinues to enjoy the support of a part of the
Nicaraguan church, and four priests partici-
pate in its government at the ministerial
A number of these developments were
already anticipated in Brazil prior to the
1964 military coup, when Catholic youth,
student, and labor groups became politi-
cally radicalized and began to cooperate
with Marxist groups. One of those was a
young leader of the Young Catholic Stu-
dents (JEC) who was imprisoned for a brief

time after the coup for his views. A year later
he entered the Dominican Order, and in
1969 Frei (Friar) Betto was imprisoned
again, this time for four years. Thereafter he
involved himself in the expanding Christian
Base Community movement and wrote an
important book on the subject. He also
worked with the union movement in the Sho
Paulo area. In 1980 he met Castro at the first
anniversary celebrations of the Nicaraguan
revolution, and thereafter began to visit
Cuba on a regular basis (financed for the
most part, he writes, by Canadian and Ger-
man Christians-did they know where their
money was going?). His frequent visits
culminated in what appears to have been a
policy decision of the Cuban government to
encourage an opening to the Catholic left.
His book is introduced by Armando Hart,
the Cuban Minister of Culture, who talks
about "a lasting and permanent strategic
alliance" between Christians and Commu-
nists in defense of the poor, and refers to the
essentially "anti-dogmatic" character of
Marxist-Leninism, quoting Lenin and ob-
serving that Castro typifies this "in an ex-
ceptionally masterful way."
Besides the actual taped interviews, the
book also includes two sermons delivered
by Frei Betto in Cuba which are unusually
good examples of the approach of libera-
tion theology, and extended discussions of
the progress made in Cuba (20,000 doctors
vs. 3,000 after the Revolution, 10,000
schoolrooms, 260,000 teachers, etc.), there
are implicit or explicit comparisons with
Brazil where, to use the illustration cited by
another Brazilian and then repeated by Cas-
tro later in the book, 37 million people live
in the lifestyle of the developed world while
the rest of the population, another 100 mil-
lion, live in or near poverty.
When Castro speaks of the religious ele-
ments in his upbringing, we learn that his
mother was very devout, but his father, a
Spanish (Galician) immigrant who owned
800 hectares of farmland in Eastern Cuba
was more interested in politics. At the age of
four and a half, young Fidel was sent to the
Christian Brothers' school in Santiago, liv-
ing with a poor schoolteacher and later
boarding at the school. After he rebelled
against the school authorities at the age of


seven, he transferred to the Jesuit school in
the same city. His secondary school years
were spent as a boarder at the prestigious
Jesuit-run Colegio de Bel6n in Havana. He
expresses admiration for the self-discipline
and high moral commitment of the Spanish
Jesuits at the two institutions, although not
for their Francoite political views. In fact, it is
on the grounds of the similarities of their
moral commitments that he argues for co-
operation between Christians and Commu-
nists. Both are against greed, egoism,
exploitation, and both call for respect for the
family, self-sacrifice, and austerity. At one
point Castro even says that if Che Guevara
had been a Christian, one could have called
him a saint. Comparisons are made to the
Sermon on the Mount, and to Christ's de-
nunciation of the wealthy, and Castro says
that he is reading the works of the leading
liberation theologians.
This leads Betto to ask about discrimina-
tion against Christians for admission to the
Communist Party membership. Castro ad-
mits that believing Christians are now ex-
cluded from the Party, but citing the
Nicaraguan example, says that he believes
that "it is perfectly possible to be a Marxist
without ceasing to be a Christian, to work
together with the Marxist Communists to
transform the world." Religion, he says, is
not necessarily an opiate although it can be
so used by oppressors and exploiters. He
attributes the tensions between the party
and religion to past historical circum-
stances, and asserts that the revolution will
not be complete until all discrimination, in-
cluding religious discrimination, is
Frei Betto's response is to argue that the
Latin American left has taken the wrong
approach to the poor by stressing atheism
in its approach to the Latin American
masses. Referring to what he estimates are
100,000 Christian Base Communities in
Brazil, he suggests that it is more effective to
build on religiously-based concepts of
equality, fraternity, and social justice, as the
liberation theologians have done.
Castro discusses his disagreement with
the Catholic stand on birth control, but oth-
erwise he is at pains to emphasize his agree-
ment with the Catholic left. He thus seems
to have now recognized that the future of
radicalism in Latin America will not come
from Marxist-Leninist parties as such, but
from "strategic alliances" with Christian
radicals such as took place in Nicaragua.
Since the interviews took place, there
have been three public dialogues between
the Cuban government and the Catholic
bishops, and in February 1986 a National
Congress of the Church was authorized. The
Congress pressed for the ending of religious
discrimination in party organizations, called
for church access to the media and "re-
ligiously-neutral" education (i.e., an end to
anti-religious propaganda in the schools).

El Padre Rafael Almanza y Jorge Bayona Posada en la Iglesia de San Diego, Bogota. 1915.
Museo de Arte Moderno de Bogota.

One Cuban bishop observed that Castrds
change of attitude toward Catholicism was
the result of a normal process of reevalua-
tion of one's roots that takes place as one
grows older (Castro will be 60 in August). It
also seems to be part of an astute reassess-
ment of the possibilities of a new base for
revolution in Latin America-in the Chris-
tian left rather than Marxist sectarianism (al-
though Castro resists Bettds argument as
to the "confessional" character of the Com-
munist Party).
It could be argued that this realization
comes too late. The appeal of liberation the-
ology is greatest in times of brutal oppres-
sion anti exploitation, such as was the case
in nearly every country in Latin America
during the 1970s. It is less likely to draw
broad support when reformist govern-
ments, many of them of Christian inspira-
tion, are elected to power in countries like
Peru, El Salvador, Argentina and Guat-
emala. There is no question, however, that
this book is an indication of a change in the
character of the Latin American left that is
probably as important as the Catholic
"opening to the left" in the early 1970s and

the lowering of the ideological barriers to
Christian-Marxist collaboration on the part
of the Marxists. Obstacles remain, however,
and they include Marxist materialism, its
doctrines of class hatred and class struggle
(Betto mentions these), and its insistence
on absolute control of the minds and hearts
of the young.
The church's post-Vatican 11 commitment
to democracy and human rights is also
likely to make it difficult to argue, as Castro
attempts to do, that his regime embodies
Christian values. Castrds effort to forge a
new revolutionary alliance of Marxist-Leni-
nists and Christians is likely to fail, therefore,
except in the special circumstances of a
national uprising of the Nicaraguan type.
But this is only the beginning of a campaign
to broaden pro-Cuban revolutionary senti-
ments among the members of the Catholic
left. These are likely to share the combina-
tion of uncritical glorification of the Cuban
dictator and profound religious beliefs ex-
pressed by Frei Betto at the end of the 23
hours of interview; "I was overwhelmed by
fraternal admiration of Fidel and a silent
prayer of praise to God the Father." 0

CAiBBEAN r-view/31

The Mythical Landscapes of a

Cuban Painter

Wifredo Lam's La Jungla

By Juan A. Martinez

Tepid dawn of heat
and ancestral fear...
Aiinm Cesaire

Wifredo Lam is one of a few Latin

American artists who have played a
distinguished role in the history of
modern European art. His contribution to
the late phase of Surrealism alone warrants
him a place in the School of Paris. Lam's
artistic development can be traced from the
academic naturalism of his years in Spain
(1923-1937) through a period of transition
heavily influenced by Picasso (1938-1942)
to a highly individual vision, which emerged
in the 1940s and continued to grow in
the 1950s.
Yet for all that has been published on the
art of Wifredo Lam, the very important in-
fluences of African and Oceanic sculpture,
Afro-Caribbean folklore and even that of
Picasso, his work remains inconclusive.
Sometimes even basic facts about his life
and his major paintings are elusive or con-
tradictory. An analysis of the genesis, form
and iconography of Lam's best known
painting, La Jungla (The Jungle) is over-
due and will contribute to a better under-
standing of his work, particularly in relation
to the issues raised above.
Wifredo Lam was the son of a Chinese
father and a Black mother. He was born in
1902 and spent his childhood in the town of
Sagua la Grande, Cuba. When he was four-
teen, Lam went to live in Havana, where he
soon thereafter enrolled in La Atademia de
San Alejandro(Cuba's Art Academy) and
participated in group exhibitions. In 1923
he went to Madrid to study painting and
remained there until 1938, when the unrest
of the Spanish Civil War took him to Paris.
His stay in that city was short but important
as he became an intimate of Picasso and
the Surrealists. World War 11 forced him to
leave Europe altogether and seek refuge in
his native Cuba, to which he returned in
1941. In the decade that followed, Lam de-
veloped a unique artistic vision rooted in his

Juan A. Martinez is associate professor of art
history at Miami Dade Community College.

La jungla, 1942-43. Oil on paper. Museum of Modern Art, New York. (Figure 1)

long European apprenticeship and his cul-
tural heritage. In the 1950s he returned to
Europe, where he earned an increasing in-
ternational reputation. He died in Paris in
La Jungla is a gouache on paper
mounted on canvas, measuring over seven
by seven feet (Fig. 1). It was begun in late
1942 and finished the next year. In 1944
Lam had his second one-man exhibition at
Pierre Matisse Gallery in New York, where he
first exhibited La Jungla. The exhibition,
and La Jungla in particular, were well re-
ceived. The art critic Edward Alden Jewell

wrote in the New York Times (11 June
1944), "That Lam is a painter of power and
imaginative fertility, the largest of the paint-
ings (La Jungla) without question attests."
About this time there was a Cuban group
exhibition at The Museum of Modern Art, in
which Lam refused to participate because
of disagreements with its organizers. Ini-
tially this event created tension between the
artist and the museum, which already
owned two of his paintings. However,
James Johnson Sweeney became Director
of the Department of Painting and Sculp-
ture at MOMA in 1945, and soon thereafter


La luz de la selva, 1942. Tempera on paper. (Figure 2) La silla, 1942. Oil on canvas. (Figure 3)

the museum acquired La Jungla; since
then it has been on public view at the in-
stitution. Recently it traveled with the exhi-
bition "Primitivism in Twentieth-Century
Art: Affinity of the Tribal and the Modern"
(1984-85) and was chosen with one hun-
dred and twenty five other paintings as a
"few of the best and most representative" of
the museum's extensive collection.
The stylistic origins, composition and
symbolism of La Jungla will be studied in
that order to better understand its role in the
stylistic development of the artist, its com-
plex iconography and artistic value. In con-
cept, form and content, La Jungla begins
to evolve in Lam's drawings for Andr6
Breton's poem Fata Morgana (1940). In
these drawings Lam's fluid and precise line
begins to trace highly imaginative com-
positions of human, animal and plant life in
a state of metamorphosis (Fig. 5). Elements
of Surrealism, African masks and the visual
language of Picasso are the basis of an
emergent individual vision.
Upon his return to Cuba, Lam painted the
flora and aspects of Afro-Cuban culture in
gouaches showing female figures, masks,
animal parts, leaves, flowers and tree trunks

blending in ambiguous and evocative com-
positions of a fertile nature still populated by
all sorts of "spirits." In 1942 he worked on at
least three paintings in which the pictorial
and conceptual elements that reached their
culmination in La Jungla begin to appear.
La Silla (The Chair) 1942, shows the full
effect of Cuba's flora upon Lam, while also
alluding to Afro-Cuban folklore (Fig. 3). Its
background of sugar canes and wide leaves
(tobacco?) painted in tonalities of green and
yellow reflect a rich and sensual nature. At
the time, the artist used to say to his second
wife Helena Benitez, "What a difference be-
tween Cuba's nature with its ceibas, poin-
ciana trees and sugar cane fields compared
to the manicured French gardens or the dry
.austerity of Castille." In the foreground of
the painting appears a chair, on which rests
a vase full of leaves. This common motif is
invested with the suggestions of an im-
provised altar to some unknown divinity in
the midst of Mother Nature.
In La Luz de la Selva (The Light of the
Jungle) 1942, a moon-faced female figure
holds a child while standing on the fringe of
a dense vegetation (Fig. 2), the background
being similar to that of La Silla. The image

is firmly drawn in a fully understood cubist
composition that unites figure and back-
ground, and on the surrealist level, man and
nature. The dark blues and greens accentu-
ated with white, along with the presence of
the moon figure indicate a night scene. The
impenetrable landscape and the strange
creature from which it grows suggest the
fecundity of nature in the Caribbean and
aspects of Afro-Cuban folklore related to
beliefs and fears about the supernatural
powers of nature. Lam recollected that as a
child he was told by his elders on the mater-
nal side of his family, not to look at the moon
after dinner, or see its reflection on the water
for it would stun him and take him away. To
the African descendants of Cuba the moon
was a powerful entity, which they sur-
rounded in mystery and myth. In this paint-
ing, as in La Jungla, the moon-face figure
acts as "the light of the jungle" as well as a
symbol of African beliefs, that long endured
in the Caribbean, about the magic powers
of nature and the moon in particular. Alejo
Carpentier in Ecu&-Yamba-O echoes the
same folklore when Menegildo, a typical
Afro-Cuban and the main character of this
novel, says "La luna es ma/a" to the person

CARBBEAN r'eIwew/33

who stays unprotected under its light.
Another painting of 1942, El Hombre
con Tjyeras (The Man with Scissors), is
strongly related to La Jungla in the treat-
ment of the background, the masked figure
and the motif of a pair of scissors (Fig. 4).
The background repeats the characteristic
Cuban-Caribbean landscape of the sugar
cane field, which reaches its monumental
expression in La Jungla. The figure's sali-
ent features are its mask, fruit-like breast,
and large feet. The masked face, which
holds a prominent place in the composi-

tion, is rather complex and demonstrates in
part the artist's debt to "primitive" art. Lam
came into full contact with African and
Oceanic sculpture in Paris, where he shared
in the enthusiasm of so many modern art-
ists for the art of these cultures. African
masks in particular influenced him to the
extent that Lam used the mask motif quite
frequently in his paintings and that his
masked faces partake of a primitive quality
in the extreme simplification of the facial
features. At times, he even borrowed spe-
cific details from Senufo and Baule styles.

However, Lam's treatment of the mask is
unique in that it shows multiple faces in one
head and combines facial features with
other parts of the body. In El Hombre Con
Tijeras, the figure's large head consists of a
frontal and a three-quarter view. The eyes,
noses and mouths of each face are com-
bined with suggested male genitals that
hang from their lips, while a pair of breasts
grows out of the left side of the head. About
the scissors, Lam said referring to the same
motif in La Jungla, "they are the scissors
that put an end to our colonial past." The
composition is made up of a limited yet
highly evocative vocabulary of signs that
express the strong African presence in
Cuba linked to its sensual, fertile nature. The
image in this and other paintings of the
early 1940s suggest African beliefs, which
lingered in Cuba, about the magic union of
human, animal and plants. Moreover, Lam
was among the first to give aesthetic and
symbolic form to these realities so imbed-
ded into the fabric of everyday life in the
As the title indicates, La Jungla strikes a
vision of a luxuriant jungle populated by
strange, menacing creatures performing
some primeval ritual. Sustained observa-
tion reveals that the vegetation is not wild,
but made up of sugar cane shoots, tobacco
leaves, plantain or palm leaves and other
less identifiable plants. Four figures appear
in front of the vegetation yet remain a part of
it. They stand on large feet that anchor them
to the earth; one foot steps on a puddle of a
red substance. The legs of the figure, to-
gether with the shoots of the sugar cane,
create a staccato rhythm that reverberates
across the painting. The visual rhythm of its
composition is not unlike the sound of hand
drums playing Afro-Cuban music. Between
the legs of the left figure, a devilish mask
appears. The torso of the figures are made
up of pairs of breasts, leaves, buttocks and
tails flowing in and out of one another. Body
parts turn into succulent fruits while plants
suggest parts of the human anatomy. The
four beings wear masks, which are subtly
integrated into the composition. Three of
the figures' masks combine, as usual in
Lam's paintings during this time, simplified
facial features with phallic symbols; the
other takes the form of a moon-face. The
hands of the figures are raised, one holding
a pair of scissors and the others bearing
offerings. In all, a terrifying vision of sexu-
ality, fertility and ritual.
The composition is firmly drawn and ex-
ecuted in thin oils of a predominantly blue-
green tonality, accentuated by reds and yel-
lows. The drawing reveals Lam's mastery of
a personal calligraphy that is swift, elegant
and independent of Picasso. The pigment is
delicately brushed and splashed, using a
palette of brilliant colors that reflect the sun-
drenched, evergreen atmosphere of the
Cuban landscape. La Jungla summarizes


the first stage of Lam's mature style, which
consists of a unique synthesis of Cubism
and elements of African sculpture. The lat-
ter's influence can be seen in Lam's treat-
ment of the masked faces, emphatic
handling of buttocks and breasts, and the
simplified representation of limbs, hands
and feet. The shallow, non-illusionistic
space and fragmentation of forms, that sug-
gests the metamorphosis of animal, human
and plants, are the contribution of Cubism.
The complex iconography of La Jungla
has invited a variety of interpretations,
though all agree that it is one of the artist's
finest works. Fernando Ortiz was the first to
point out that contrary to its title, the vegeta-
tion of the painting is composed of domes-
ticated plants. The predominant motifs in
the painting's background are sugar cane
and tobacco, the two most cultivated and
valuable crops of Cuba. Ortiz's interpreta-
tion of the painting also touches upon its
religious, social and economic symbolism.
He saw its figures and landscape as an ex-
pression of "creation, fecundity and work." It
should be noted that the two plants most
frequently found in the background of
Lam's paintings at this time, sugar cane and
tobacco, are also the subject of a contempo-
rary and milestone essay by Ortiz on the
history of these crops, their characteristics
and socio-economic importance, "Contra-
punteo cubano del tabaco y el azucar,"
(1940). Michel Leiris believes that the four
figures or characters which appear in the
painting symbolize both the four elements
of classical cosmologies and socialist hopes
amidst the carnage of World War II. Alain
Jouffroy has looked at La Jungla through
the contemporary eyes of a Third World
consciousness and sees it as a prophetic
manifesto. Max-Pol Fouchet believes that
the painting, consistent with its title, if not
the painted vegetation, is a place of "men-
ace, aggressions, known and unknown
dangers. A barbarian and monumental
poem." Fouchet takes the opposite view of
Ortiz, yet both interpretations seem the
most plausible given the painted image it-
self. The contradiction between wild and
domesticated nature is resolved in this
painting by an image that represents spe-
cific cultivated plants in such opulence that
they seem to be in their original, natural
Remarks by Lam on La Jungla go a long
way to illuminate its complex image.
Among the brief statements that he maae
about the painting throughout the years, the
following seems the most complete: "In La
Jungla African myths are in active function
within the Cuban landscape of the sugar
cane field. All of Cuba's destiny, up to the
present, has revolved around the cultivation
of sugar cane and its economic results."
Thus to the artist the iconography of this
painting dwells on two elements: "the typi-
cal Cuban landscape of the sugar cane

Drawing, untitled, circa 1940.

field" with all of its socio-economic implica-
tions and "African myths" still active in
Cuba and other parts of the Caribbean.
These two elements, as we shall see, are
interrelated and have contributed in great
measure to shape Cuban and Caribbean
history and culture. To the extent that the
background of La Jungla represents a
sugar cane field, it evokes memories of a
long colonial past which imported to the
island both this crop and African slaves to
cultivate it, harvest it, and work in the sugar
mills. In time the cultivation, production and
export of sugar took over the Cuban econ-
omy and still dominates its socio-economic
order. Displaced, ill-treated and destitute,
African slaves did bring to Cuba a rich
heritage that lived on with their descendants
and contributed to the mainstream of
Cuban society in the areas of music, dance,
religion and pharmacology. Thus the back-
ground of the painting symbolizes Cuba's
colonial past and present economic condi-
tions (the European heritage), whereas the

(Figure 5)

masked figures allude to Lam's African an-
cestors and their legacy. The "Cuban scene"
of the sugar cane field acts as home to
transplanted African folklore.
While the above interpretations are all
valid, further exploration of the painting
leads to a more specific reading of its con-
tent. The use of masks, the hands holding
offerings, and the red stains on the ground
insinuate a scene of ritual. Nighttime, open-
air ceremonies involving dance, food offer-
ings and animal sacrifices to African di-
vinities are still performed all over the
Caribbean. Lydia Cabrera tells us in her
book El Monte, "In the Cuban countryside
exist, as in the jungles of Africa, the same
ancestral divinities and powerful spirits,
that still today, he (the Black Cuban) fears
and worships." Afro-Caribbean cults wor-
ship a pantheon of divinities and spirits that
rule the world and the destiny of every
human being. The action of the figures in
this painting refers to these ceremonies of
dances, food offerings and animal sacri-


fices to ancestral deities. Dance is alluded to
in the rhythm of the composition itself.
Food offerings to honor the "OrishAs"
(Afro-Cuban divinities) are seen in the fig-
ures' hands. Animal sacrifices are not di-
rectly represented, yet a red substance that
could be identified as blood is seen. More-
over masks, a universal paraphernalia of re-
ligious rituals, are worn by all the figures.
Further evidence that the subject matter re-
fers to Afro-Cuban religious rituals is offered
by the figure on the left in La Jungla.
Fouchet describes this being as partly
human and partly horse "its tail, nose and
hair are equine." In Afro-Cuban ceremonies
the priest, initiate or someone in attendance
is often momentarily taken over by a divinity
who uses him/her as a medium to commu-
nicate directly with humans. The person
overtaken (the medium) is referred to as a
"horse," which the deity rides. Thus, the
peculiar combination of human and horse
forms that make up the figure in question
offers a visual symbol of a trance state,
which Afro-Cuban cults called "bajarle el
santo." Ingemar Gustafson has pointed out
the predominance of the horse-human
motif in Lam's paintings of the 1940s,
which image is "symbolic of the complete
union between the possessed and the di-
vinity, who speaks through his (the pos-
sessed) mouth," during ecstatic rituals.
Another motif that points to Afro-Cuban
cults and their ceremonies is the mask that
appears between the lower part of the legs
of the figure under discussion. The unique
feature of this mask versus the others in the
painting is that it has three horns, one rising
out of the forehead. "Iremes" or "diablitos,"
the name of devilish beings important to
the Afro-Cuban cult known as the
nanigos" are often represented with
horns. The "lreme Embema...dances with
three horns, one in the middle of the fore-
head." Thus, La Jungla is about an Afro-
Cuban religious ceremony of dance, offer-
ings and tranformations set in the midst of a
luxuriant sugar cane field. The sugar cane
field shares qualities with "el monte", those
wild patches of land that throughout the
world have been the sacred and gathering
places of many cults and religions.
Lam was keenly aware of Afro-Cuban re-
ligious beliefs and practices. As a child he
was introduced to the folklore of his African
ancestors by his mother and his god-
mother, Antofica Wilson, who was the
priestess of a "Yoruba" or "Lucumrni" (Afro-
Cuban cults) sect. Lam later remembered
the world of Antoflica Wilson, "my god-
mother was able to conjure up the elements.
In my childhood, I visited her house full of
African idols. She gave me the protection of
all the divinities, Yemayi, goddess of the
sea, Chang6, god of war..... Upon Lam's
return to Cuba in the early ,1940s, he be-
came friends with three individuals who are
authorities on Afro-Cuban folklore: Lydia

Cabrera, Fernando Ortiz and Alejo Carpen-
tier. They helped Lam renew his contact
with the traditions of his Afro-Cuban ances-
tors. He had by 1943 held numerous con-
versations on the subject of Afro-Cuban
religions with Lydia Cabrera, and had ac-
companied her to rites in the neighbor-
hoods of Pogolotti and Regla, predomi-
nantly black suburbs of Havana. These
most likely made Lam recollect similar
events he witnessed as a child in Sagua la
Grande. Thus, Lam's acquaintance with
and interest in Afro-Cuban folklore, particu-
larly its cults, ceremonies and deities cor-
roborates their impact on La Jungla's
In La Jungla, layers of suggestions and
affiliations fill the painting. On a universal
level it represents a primeval ritual in a jun-

gle. A closer look reveals Cuba's domestic
yet exuberant nature, populated by a group
of strange beings who are involved in some
kind of action and whose sexual and re-
productive organs are emphasized, as well
as their close relation to the earth. Further
observation of the painting, combined with
knowledge of its original context and the
artist's life, uncovers deeper layers of the
inspiration and symbolism: an Afro-Cuban
ceremony taking place in a sugar cane field.
A fitting symbol of the region's cultural ma-
trix, a synthesis of European and African
elements. In perspective La Jungla stands
as a powerful artistic statement of an assert-
ing personal and Cuban-Caribbean cultural
identity, based on the region's strong Af-
rican heritage and luscious nature. O




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Did Fidel...
Continued from page 7

Trends Of Mortality Since 1950, New York:
United Nations, 1982).
This anomalous inconsistency has been
noted by foreign demographers. Kenneth
Hill of the National Academy of Sciences
recently completed a careful analysis of
Cuban population data. For the most part,
he found their reliability to be very good,
and getting better. He found only one ex-
ception to this rule: Cuban infant mortality
statistics. According to Hill: "From the early
1970s on, the consistency between the indi-
rect and official (estimates of infant mor-
tality) disappears. The indirect estimates
indicate constant or even rising child mor-
tality, while the official figures show a con-
tinued rapid decline... The sharp drop from
the mid-1970s to 1980 is not supported by
the available child survivorship data..." (Ken-
neth Hill, "An Evaluation Of Cuban Demo-
graphic Statistics, 1930-80").
Interestingly, the reported rapid decline in
infant mortality is also inconsistent with
Cuban morbidity data. Infant mortality, by
the registration system's tally, is said to have
dropped more than 45 percent between
1969 and 1977, yet over those same years
the reported incidence of acute diarrhea
was up 15 percent; chicken pox rose 35
percent; hepatitis was up 44 percent, and
measles almost doubled. Table 1 compares
reported incidences of various infectious
parasitic diseases in Cuba between 1970
and 1982. Over those years the official esti-
mates states that infant mortality dropped
by well over half. Yet the incidence among
the general population of most diseases
listed in Table 1 actually rose between 1970
and 1982: acute diarrhea, acute respiratory
infection, chicken pox, hepatitis, malaria,
measles, and syphillis all appear to be more
prevalent at a time when infant mortality is
said to have been falling sharply. The para-
dox is sharpened in Table 2, which com-
pares reported incidences of certain
infectious and parasitic diseases in Cuba in
1982 and in the USSR in 1974. In many
categories, the incidence appears to be
higher in Cuba: these include acute respira-
tory infection, malaria, measles, men-
ingococcal infections, mumps, and possi-
bly acute diarrhea. Yet in 1974, the last year
for which the USSR published its infant
mortality data, the USSR's adjusted infant
mortality rate was more than twice as high
as Cuba's stated infant mortality rate in
1982. Morbidity and mortality statistics
generally correspond for national popula-
tions; the uncoupling of Cuba's morbidity
and infant mortality trends since the early
1970s is a puzzle whose answer is yet to be

Table 2. Reported Incidence of Selected Communicable or Infectious Diseases: Cuba
1982 and USSR 1974 (or most recent previous year) (incidence per 100,000 population)


Cuba, 1982

USSR, 1974 Ratio, USSR =

Acute Diarrhea 8,732 (409) (1966) NA
Acute Respiratory Infection 27,441 18,623 147
Brucellosis 0.6 5.6 (1966) 11
Chicken Pox 191.5 419.4 46
Diptheria --- --- NA
Hepatitis 208.4 223.6 93
Malaria 3.4 .1 (1969) 2830
Measles 239 149 160
Meningococcol Infections 8.2 6.7 122
Mumps 261 247 (1966) 106
Polio --- --- NA
Scarlet Fever 2.3 146.2 2
Tetanus 0.2 0.2 100
Typhoid 1.3 6.6 20

Notes: "---" = less than .1 per 100,000; "NA"' = not applicable; "( )" parenthetical figure for USSR
for acute diarrhea refers incidence of bacterial dysentery.
Sources: Republic of Cuba,Anuario Estadistico de Cuba 1983 (Havana: Comite Estatal de
Estadisticas, 1984)
Murray Feshbach, A Compendium of Soviet Health Statistics (Washington: US Bureau of
the Census, Center for Interventional Research, January 1985).

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OPS 10 ** Crosby, Benjamin L. "Divided We Stand, Divided
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OPS 11 Trejos, Juan Diego. "Costa Rica: crisis
economic y political estatal 1978-1984." May
OPS 12 Delgado, Enrique. "El impact de la crisis
econ6mica en la region centroamericana y en
Guatemala." May 1985.
OPS 13 Orellana, Victor Antonio. "El Salvador: crisis y
reform structurall" May 1985.
OPS 14 Mayorga, Francisco J. "Nicaragua: trayectoria
econ6mica 1980-1984" July 1985.
also available in English translation
** also available in Spanish translation

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make checks payable to "Latin American and Caribbean
For further information contact:
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Florida International University
Miami, Florida 33199; (305) 554-2894


If Mr. Hill's estimates are accurate, Cuba's
vital registration system was missing only
about 2 percent of the nation's infant deaths
in 1970, but would appear to have been
missing fully 44 percent by 1978. Such a
deterioration in statistical coverage would
be extraordinary-not only because of the
high priority Cuba says it gives to health
care, but because the reliability of vital sta-
tistics for all other age groups continued to
The sloppiness that seems to have al-
lowed reported infant mortality rates to fall
when actual rates may have been stationary,
or even possibly rising, sounds increasingly
suspicious as one learns its background.
Since 1972, all infant mortality figures have
been treated as "preliminary"-subject to
revision at any time. This proviso has been
used to make major alterations in official
figures far in the past: the 1973 infant mor-
tality rate forIsla de Juventud, for example,
was lowered by almost a quarter between
the 1977 and the 1982 editions of Cuba's
Statistical Yearbook.
Changes in the Cuban statistical system
in the early 1970s, moreover, relieved the
precursor of Cuba's present State Statistical
Committee of authority to check on the ac-

curacy of infant mortality numbers. Figures
are now provided directly by the Ministry of
Health, whose performance they also im-
plicitly measure. Perhaps most inter-
estingly, the preliminary results of the 1981
census, which would help overseas demog-
raphers to check the reliability of recent
Cuban infant mortality numbers, have been
strangely garbled. Instead of giving the cus-
tomary population by age and sex, this pre-
liminary report lumps all people under 16
into a single undifferentiated category. No
foreign observer can say with certainty why
this was done; it does have the effect, how-
ever, of confounding indirect techniques of
estimating Cuba's infant mortality rate.,
Are Cuban authorities deliberately falsify-
ing statistics on their nation's infant mor-
tality rate? No outsider can answer this
question definitively. It is, however, worth
remembering Cuba's past treatment of sta-
tistics designated as important by the revo-
lutionary authorities. In the 1960s Cuba
altered and deleted reports on the all-impor-
tant sugar harvest to impede "the enemies
of the revolution", as President Castro ex-
plained at the time. In 1983, documents
uncovered in the invasion of Grenada show
Maurice Bishop, the late prime minister,

praising "the Cuban experience of keeping
two different sets of records in the bank,"
and recommending that "comrades from
Cuba...visit Grenada to train comrades in
the readjustment of the books (Granma, 2
January 1965, cited in Carmelo Mesa-
Lago, "The Availability and Reliability of
Statistics in Socialist Cuba," Part 2, Latin
American Research Review, No. 2, 1969;
Wall Street Journal, December 16, 1983).
According to Cuba's own life tables, infant
mortality fell by about 32 percent between
1960 and 1974. Over roughly that same
period, according to their life tables, infant
mortality fell 40 percent in Panama, 46 per-
cent in Puerto Rico, 47 percent in Chile, 47
percent in Barbados, and 55 percent in
Costa Rica. If Mr. Hill's National Academy of
Sciences reconstructions are correct, infant
mortality in Cuba would have fallen by only
25 percent between 1960 and 1978. If his
estimates are reliable, the revolutionary
Cuban experience would represent not the
most rapid, but instead virtually the slowest,
measured rate of progress against infant
mortality in Latin America and the Carib-
bean for that period (Levels And Trends Of
Mortality Since 1950; World Population
1983). 0

Who speaks for heCaribbean?

Cf^'aribcleant Please send asubsitrip t4or thabperiod ,. -
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How to...
Continued from page 11

than in other developing societies. In the
aggregate the Cuban diet was adequate, al-
though, of course, summary measures
commonly mask distributional inequities.
Unsanitary conditions, inadequate diets,
and infectious diseases are main accom-
plices in high infant mortality in poor coun-
tries, and certainly took a toll among
children of the more dispossessed pre-rev-
olutionary peasantry.
Yet, infant mortality from the diarrheal
diseases, a poverty-related syndrome in the
modern world, and other infectious afflic-
tions are easily preventable when mothers
are properly taught how to avoid infection,
or take necessary steps to avoid more
nefarious consequences. The key to mor-
tality reductions from diarrheal diseases,
one of the main reasons behind the decline
in infant mortality-since to this day its
morbidity prevalence in rural Cuba is likely
to be high-is the widespread availability of,
at a minimum, primary health care. The
revolution's focus on the most vulnerable
segments of the population, illustrated by
the construction of several dozen small
rural hospitals during the early 1960s, pro-

duced intended results. Within a few years,
among other things, most pregnant rural
women were receiving at least some pre-
natal attention and a majority of all births
were taking place in hospital facilities.
These primary .health care facilities were
instrumental in increasing the scope of vac-
cination campaigns and other essential
public health interventions.
The health authorities also took advan-
tage of public health developments not
available before the revolution: in essence
these were medical and public health break-
throughs made in developed countries.
Among these are a number of new antibiot-
ics and pest-control chemicals, as well as
vaccines against diseases such as measles
and polio. Many other countries have put
these medical advances to good use. Much
later, other more simple and inexpensive
techniques were adopted by Cuba. A good
example are the oral rehydration techniques
developed by international agencies in Asia
and other locations primarily for use in de-
veloping countries.
Every developing country today relies on
comparable mechanisms to improve health
standards. All over the world results are visi-
ble as appreciable gains in conquering
mortality continue, although at times at an
uneven and uncertain pace. Success de-
pends on the vigor and equity with which
health strategies and programs are pur-

sued, although it would be naive to mini-
mize the socio-economic, geographic,
cultural and even climatic context serving
as backdrops to specific interventions.
Costa Rica, Panama and Jamaica in the
Western Hemisphere, and Singapore, Tai-
wan, and South Korea in Asia, among other
countries, are nations that have depended
on at least some of the same means as
Cuba to attain similar results. In some im-
portant respects, however, Cuba's ap-
proach to health care and mortality
reductions have been peculiar.

Idiosyncrasy and Ideology in
Cuban Health Care
As any student of Cuba has learned, to un-
derstand any facet of the revolution, it is
critical to first investigate how Fidel Castro
sees an issue and how his views about that
issue have changed over time. This is evi-
dent in health matters. Castro's concern
with health and health care antecedes the
revolution. His position, stated as early as in
his well-known defense during the trial fol-
lowing the 1953 Moncada attack, was une-
quivocal. Access to health care should be
universal. His objective since coming to
power has been to fulfill this populist prom-
ise. Few efforts have been. spared to do so
despite the fragility of the Cuban economy,
and the many crises it has faced. What is
extraordinary about the Cuban health sys-

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uj-e1-6O,986 i-ternational
lisitute ePSoiogy, -28th
international congress. Albufeira,
Portugall. apers .invited forl topics
--inlding-Th-e Boudedness of
N: tiitnal Sociologists, Providing
-: Grnp:etitiv RBesearh --Training in
n:- -idrdeyetrped Natiens, ,Cop-
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-- -zTation Riquir --aptitaisrTmon-
t*ac Fdgar--EBorgatta,- ISPresi-
:e4t- -Dep refient fSocip0gy,
-DK40-, Uniersity of Washington,
SD-eaie, i-98195i
ugit-13 1986. Ameirican Asso-
Ciatton- of -eaches of Spanish
an- Por t guese fi _nIualo eet-
A1rg. J-Itel- robil ding, Madrid;-

. F-rnhels;f-Earnffiet m of Reo ance
1 ng7agp aCdlassi University
- of~blalffaJdUnivert AL 48
Ai i-t -2-2; 1986 XIth Worid
iogress Socilo gyorgan-
-- i F-ylS .j N .e -e. -ii--ndia.-
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tem is it serves as a political and ideological
weapon. Castro, in his compulsive desire to
confront the US decided long ago to chal-
lenge "imperialism" in the statistical "health
battlefield." Castro believes that some day
Cuba will attain better health indicators than
the UIS and that such achievements will con-
vincingly prove the moral and political su-
periority of the revolution. Fidel Castro is
inflexible and unforgiving towards those
who let him down in his statistical epic with
the US. Even his long-term associate, Ser-
gio del Valle, Health Minister for many years,
lost his job in a recent high level political
reshuffle. His demise may have come about
because Castro blamed him for the 1985
infant mortality upturn.
It is no exaggeration to state that Castro,
and hence the rest of the revolutionary lead-
ership, is obsessed with health. Since the
early 1960s a disproportionate amount of
national resources-especially for a poor
country-have been allocated to the health
sector-without much attention given to ei-
ther efficiency or competing economic
needs-and especially to maternal-child
health. There is certainly nothing intrin-
sically wrong with this approach. It can be
defended on various grounds and is a strat-
egy many other countries would like to or
have followed. What is unique about Cuba's
approach is the zeal with which it is pursued.
While Castro correctly claims the average
Cuban receives health care with virtually no
out-of-pocket expenses, he omits to men-
tion the heavy burden the health care sys-
tem represents to the Cuban economy.
Health care in Cuba does not come cheap.
Only the peculiar nature of personalized
Cuban totalitarianism and substantial for-
eign subsidies make the health care system
viable. Although there are no figures to un-
questionably support the assertion that
health care costs are excessive, there is suf-
ficient related evidence to substantiate this
First, contrary to what occurs in othei
developing countries, health care in Cuba is
heavily dependent on physicians and hospi-
tal care. A number of facts and figures can
be used to demonstrate the high levels of
costly inputs characterizing the national
health system. By 1985 there were 485 in-
habitants for every physician (although
many of these doctors were in international
service), one of the lowest ratios in the
world (L6pez Moreno, op. cit.). Thousands
more doctors are expected to graduate in
coming years. By the end of the century
Cuba may have as many as 40,000 physi-
cians. Some of the medical services offered
entail high and perhaps excessive, per cap-
ita cost. A Cuban pregnant woman, for ex-
ample, visits a physician, on the average,
between nine and ten times. This exceeds
the norm recommended by the Pan Ameri-
can Health Organization. Most births take
place in hospitals, but not just any hospital.

In 1978, 77 percent of all confinements oc-
curred in hospitals equipped with spe-
cialized personnel and expensive equip-
ment (Paula E. Hollerbach, "Mortality-
Related Policies and Trends in Pre- and Post-
Revolutionary Cuba. Center for Policy Stud-
ies, The Population Council, unpublished
[no date], p. 37). The figure is even higher
today. No other developing country with re-
sources as limited as Cuba can afford this
desirable but expensive luxury.
Health care costs must have continued to
spiral with the recent introduction of amnio-
tic fluid tests to detect congenital malfor-
mations. While the evidence here is not
entirely clear, the goal of the health au-
thorities appears to be to routinely examine
all pregnant women to reduce as much as
possible births of defective children. The
examination procedure itself carries some
risks to the fetus; in those cases where the
test is positive, abortion is recommended.
Upon the concurrence of the women the
abortion is performed (Ciro Bianchi Ross,
"Derecho a la vida," Cuba Intemacional,
Vol. 16, No. 176, July 1984, pp. 36-43).
Whether or not one is troubled by the prac-
tice of induced abortion, it is clear screening
and subsequent abortive procedures entail
substantial financial costs. Not to be ig-
nored is that induced abortion to eliminate
genetically defective children can help re-
duce infant mortality. Congenital malfor-
mations are one of the leading causes of
deaths among infants, even more so when
other causes of death of infectious origin
have been brought under relative control
(Maria del Carmen Menendez Valonga,
"Mortalidad en el nifio cubano menor de 15
afios," Revista Cubana deAdministraci6n
de Salud, Vol. 8, July-September 1982, pp.
The above observation leads into a very
interesting area about which very little is
known. If in fact, "therapeutic" abortions
can contribute to infant mortality declines,
how have countries like Costa Rica and
Panama, where even abortions for medical
reasons are illegal (although many are per-
formed anyway) been able to reduce infant
mortality nearly as much as Cuba? Cuba is
the only Latin American country in which
induced abortion is legal-in 1983, 43 per-
cent of all pregnancies were terminated
(there were a total of 124,791 induced abor-
tions Repfiblica de Cuba, Comit6 Estatal
de Estadisticas, Instituto de Investigaciones
Estadisticas, "Principales aspects demog-
raficos de la poblaci6n cubana en el aflo
1984." Havana, April 1985). Another inter-
esting question follows from the above. In a
country where the prevalence of induced
abortion is so high and pressures to reduce
infant mortality so prevalent, is induced
abortion used as a medically justifiable in-
tervention in other situations? Cuban physi-
cians frequently note maternal and child
health is negatively affected by births to very


young or very old women, or to women who
have had many children. It follows abor-
tions might be frequently performed for
preventive needs. If so, abortion further
contributes to infant mortality decline.

Problems in the Health Sector
Are the effects of the interventions dis-
cussed counteracted by other factors? The
evidence is meager but there is sufficient
information suggesting Cuba is confront-
ing some potentially serious health hazards.
Many of these are as much a consequence
of under-development as they are of revolu-
tionary policies.
Among these problems environmental
pollution ranks as one of the most critical.
The waters in and around Havana harbor,
for example, are regarded as some of the
more polluted waters world-wide. Quality
control problems plague many manufac-
turing centers in the country. One of the few
documented instances concerns a con-
traceptive pill manufacturing facility in
which production had to be curtailed due to
hormonal contamination among workers
(United Nations Fund for Population Ac-
tivities, Evaluation of the Contraception,
Abortion and Related Research/Evaluation
Components of the Cuban MCH Pro-
gramme and of UNFPA Contributions to
that Programme, New York, March 1982).
There are reports of excessive use of agri-
cultural and other insecticides with little at-
tention given to potential ill-health and
ecological consequences. Dengue epi-
demics over the past few years might have
been connected with the over-use of insec-
ticides. Overuse could lead to the develop-
ment of insecticide-resistant mosquitoes.
Many other countries in their enthusiasm to
raise agricultural productivity and control
insect pests have made similar costly
Other problems are associated with the
provision of clean potable water and sewer
availability. A greater percentage of the pop-
ulation now appears to receive water from
aqueducts, although shortages are con-
stantly reported in cities. Water scarcity is in
some measure the result of failures to main-
tain existing distribution networks. Progress
in the provision of sewerage services ap-
pears to have been quite limited. Outbreaks
of gastro-intestinal disease can in part be
blamed on the unsanitary disposal of
human waste.
Added to these difficulties are seemingly
endless medicine shortages and persistent
complaints about quality of medical care,
particularly in "polyclinics." It is perplexing
how the population, despite the large num-
ber of trained physicians, keeps complain-
ing about medical care in polyclinics,
including the limited time physicians have
to examine individual patients. As a conse-
quence of these complaints, often freely re-
ported in the official press, Castro is

"credited" with having devised a different
approach to medical care-the Cuban ver-
sion of the family or community doctor.
While in some respects the Cuban family
doctor is comparable to similar specialists
abroad (e.g., emphasis on preventive medi-
cine, close physician-patient contact) the
Cuban variant is distinctive in some re-
spects. The Cuban family doctor is ex-
pected to reside in the same neighborhood
where the population he serves lives. Castro
even plans to have them occupy personal
quarters above the consultory where they
will work.
The Cuban family doctor concept is ex-
pected to be extended to the whole country
by the year 2000. If the plans are eventually
carried out, twice as many physicians as are
now available will be required as well as
major capital outlays to build the facilities
deemed ideal. This latest innovation, by the
way, says something about the "institu-
tionalization" of the revolution and the sup-
posed distancing of the top political
leadership from the long-term and day-to-
day technical decisions. The family doctor
concept as presently advocated by Castro
may someday join the much vaunted con-
struction micro-brigades of the 1970s and
what now appears to be the much down-
graded polyclinics, as one more of the fi-
nancial and inefficient white elephants
created by the revolution.
It is worth noting, finally, revolutionary
overemphasis on maternal and child care
may have led to the neglect of somewhat
other public health concerns. I already men-
tioned the problems with environmental
sanitation but there are others as well. The
needs of the elderly, for example, may have
been downplayed. Not enough efforts may
have been made to reduce the high inci-
dence of mortality resulting from accidents
and suicides.
In the absence of the revolution, Cuba
would have been as likely to bring about
comparable health improvements (as mea-
sured by the underlying mortality indica-
tors). Most of these improvements are the
result of public health and medical technol-
ogy advances while some respond to social
policies that help curtail the incidence of
disease and possible death. The revolution
appears to have instituted some of the nec-
essary social policies earlier than other
countries, but as the case of Costa Rica and
other countries show, if implemented these
social policies have similar consequences
regardless of the political environment in
which they are introduced (Luis Rosero-
Bixby, "Infant Mortality in Costa Rica: Ex-
plaining the Recent Decline," Studies in
Family Planning, Vol. 17, No. 2, March-
April 1986, pp. 57-65).
A very important conclusion emerging
from the examination of the evidence, and
one informally verbalized by many interna-
tional experts, but seldom for the record, is

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that Cuba's approach to health care is non-
transferable to other Third World countries.
Its costs are prohibitive and many of its
characteristics are tied with historical fea-
tures of the Cuban revolution. The emer-
gence of the revolutionary health system to
some extent was dictated by existing popu-
lar expectations and by the availability of a
fairly well developed medical establishment.
Another ingredient in the system's viability
is the totalitarian nature of the Cuban state
since it permits directing scarce resources
to politically expedient priority areas. Re-
source allocation decisions can be made
without regard to cost or efficiency and
without evaluating other trade-offs more
open societies have to contend with. Re-

source allocation is solely determined as
the top political leadership sees fit, but for-
eign subsidies ease some of the resource
allocation constraints. It is worth consider-
ing that while Costa Rica during the 1970s
implemented many costly health policies
similar to those of Cuba and with compara-
ble results, Costa Rica does not have the
burden of supporting a huge army. Nev-
ertheless, the expansion of the Costa Rican
health service has resulted in a major incre-
ment in financial outlays thatweighs heavily
on the country's resources. Some of the
mechanisms used to bring about mortality
declines in Cuba, lastly, would be consid-
ered objectionable in other societies. L


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Congo or...
Continued from page 15

the role of whites as the beacons of Cuban
society. Fidel Castro's assault on the monied
classes was not an assault on the white out-
look, the cultural traditions of Hispanic-
Cubans, let alone against the "Latin-Arab"
model of race relations. If anything, the rev-
olutionary regime's unofficial but effective
imposition of a ban on any discussion by
blacks of matters concerning race, its open
hostility to anything dealing with self-con-
scious blackness, represents the most for-
midable assault against black culture in
Cuba since the end of the colonial period.
The new climate of racial intolerance to-
wards blacks is best exemplified in the re-
gime's insistence that blacks demonstrate
their gratitude for its having eliminated ra-
cial discrimination by an unswerving politi-
cal loyalty and ideological discipline. Blacks
who are not on the side of the revolution, or
who are critical of any of its aspects, are

considered "ungrateful traitors." The only
position a black can uphold in socialist
Cuba is therefore in support of the govern-
ment. Non-revolutionary blacks, not to
mention counter-revolutionary ones, are
targets of avowedly racist hatred since white
revolutionaries consider it "normal" in such
cases to openly vent their bigoted ideas with
political impunity.
Black Cubans have learned to accommo-
date to a communist regime. They make all
of the public demonstrations of loyalty ex-
pected of them and participate in every mo-
bilization organized by the government and
Party, while keeping their thoughts for dis-
cussion among themselves. Because of the
omnipresent state security organs and par-
allel organizations (the block-to-block
Comites de Defensa de la Revoluci6n,
Committees for the Defense of the Revolu-
tion, CDR's) double care is taken, even
among blacks, to exercise discretion re-
garding whom they talk to. Does black Cuba
support the revolution despite the prevail-
ing and perhaps widening disparity be-
tween white power and black aspirations?

Ethnically speaking, the term "Afro-Cuban"
designates a pluri-ethnic situation, for the
Afro-Cuban community is far from being
monolithic. After two and a half decades of
overt accommodation and covert re-
sistance to the totalitarian aspects of the
revolution, only one answer would seem to
approach the truth of an otherwise complex
situation: black Cubans as a whole, includ-
ing those who openly defy the system, do
not support any of the would-be alternatives
to the present regime. On the other hand,
there seems to be a general underground
desire for a change within that same system
that would allow blacks to occupy the place
they feel is theirs in Cuba as blacks.
There continues to be a recognizable
"white outlook" in Cuba. And of course a
"black outlook" as well. They coexist in a
paradox of denial of tensions on the one
hand, and, in crisis, of mutual accusations.
Racism is all too alive in revolutionary, so-
cialist Cuba, well entrenched behind an all-
encompassing ideology/religion which tol-
erates white supremacy but does not ac-
commodate black distinctiveness. l

Continued from page 29

"Western analysts estimate the 1985 pro-
duction was about 597 million MT-a drop
of almost 3 percent from the 1984 level,
which was already down 0.5 percent from
the 1983 level of 616 million tons." (Celes-
tine Bohlen, "Oil Slump Hurts Soviet
Plans," The Washington bPost, 20 January
1986, p. A15.) And regarding exports, an-
other report states, "The Soviet Union ap-
parently suffered a major drop in oil exports
in 1985. Informed Western commercial
sources said the decline cost the Soviet
Union $4.3 billion in much needed hard
currency income. The sources estimated
that Soviet oil exports to the West last year
amounted to only 60 percent of the pre-
vious year's exports..." (Albert Axebank,
"Soviet Oil Exports Off Sharply," The Jour-
nal of Commerce, 15 January 1986,
pp. 1A, lB.)
Even if the current Soviet plan to make
heavy investments in the oil industry in an
attempt to reverse the negative output and
export trends are successful, it is clear that
long-term problems remain. Oil production
in the Soviet Union is increasingly shifting
to Siberia where inclement weather and re-
moteness require additional resources in
exploration, production, and transporta-
tion. Under these conditions, continuing to
supply its allies for repayment in soft cur-
rency places a considerable burden on the


Table 3

Soviet Oil Exports to the World, to CMEA and to Cuba
(in thousand metric tons)
Exports Exports
to Cuba to Cuba
as a % as a %
Total Exports Exports of Total of Exports
Year Exports to CMEA to Cuba Exports to CMEA
1970 96.0 47.0 6.0 6.3 12.8
1971 105.5 54.0 6.8 6.4 12.6
1972 107.0 57.0 6.7 6.3 11.8
1973 119.0 63.0 7.2 6.1 11.4
1974 116.0 67.0 7.8 6.7 11.6
1975 130.0 72.0 7.8 6.0 10.8
1976 149.0 78.0 8.2 5.5 10.5
1977 152.5 81.0 9.8 6.4 12.1
1978 165.6 85.0 9.2 5.6 10.8
1979 164.0 91.0 9.6 5.9 10.6
1980 163.5 93.0 10.2 6.2 11.0
1981 161.0 93.0 10.8 6.7 11.6
1982 169.5 86.0 11.4 6.7 13.3
1983 183.5 88.0 12.1 6.6 13.8
Total Exports: Central Intelligence Agency, Directorate of Intelligence, Handbook of
Economic Statistics, CPAS 85-10001 (September 1985), p. 134 and earlier issues.
Exports to CMEA: 1970-Office of Technology Assessment, Technology and Soviet
Energy Availability (Washington: U.S. Government Printing Office, 1981), p. 288;
1972-76-Marshall Goldman, The Enigma of Soviet Petroleum (London: George
Allen & Unwin, 1980), p. 94; 1971, 1977-82-Ed A. Hewett, Energy Economics
and Foreign bPolicy in the Soviet Union (Washington: Brookings, 1984), p. 163;
1983 estimated based on estimate of Soviet exports to Eastern Europe from
Jan Vanous, "East European Economic Slowdown," Problems of Commu -
nism 31:4 (July-August 1982), p. 15 and Soviet exports to Cuba from column 3.
Exports to Cuba: Anuario Estadistico de Cuba, various issues.

Soviet Union; permitting an ally to import
oil for soft currency for reexport to the hard
currency area is an example of extraordi-
nary generosity.
The argument that Cuba's energy needs
are miniscule when compared with Soviet
oil production and exports and therefore
the opportunity costs incurred by the Soviet
Union in supplying oil to Cuba are insignifi-
cant deserves examination. Estimates in
Table 3 suggest that during 1981-83, ex-
ports to Cuba accounted for 6.7 percent of
total Soviet oil exports, compared to about
6 percent in 1979-80 and in 1971-76. With
regard to Soviet exports to CMEA nations,
the share accounted for by exports to Cuba



The Caribbean Review Award is given
annually to honor an individual who has
contributed to the advancement of
Caribbean intellectual life. The winner of
-the seventh annual award is M. G.
Smith. He joins previous recipients
Gordon K. Lewis, Philip M. Sherlock,
Aim6 C6saire, Sidney W Mintz, C. L. R.
James and Arturo Morales Carri6n.
M. G. Smith is an anthropologist of
enormous productivity and intellectual
courage. Born in Jamaica in 1921, he
has just retired from Yale University
where he was Franklin M. Crosby Pro-
fessor of Human Environment. In the
1940s, he wrote poetry and at least one
play. Since the 1950s, he has published
more than 15 books and monographs,
60 articles, and numerous comments
and reviews.
His research interests in the English-
speaking Caribbean and Africa parallel
each other. His books on pluralism-
especially The Plural Society of the
British West Indies-mark the begin-
ning points of all serious discussion of
pluralism in the Caribbean. M. G. Smith
is an appropriate addition to the dis-
tinguished lists of Caribbean Review
Award winners.
The award committee consists of
Lambros Comitas (chairman), Colum-
bia University; Fuat Andic, University of
Puerto Rico; Locksley Edmondson,
Cornell University; Anthony P. Maingot,
Florida International University; and
Andr6s Serbin, Universidad Central de
The Caribbean Review Award rec-
ognizes individual effort irrespective of
field, ideology, national origin or place of
residence. In addition to a plaque, the
recipient receives an honorarium of
$250, donated by the International Af-
fairs Center of Florida International

was about 13 percent in 1981-83 compared
to 10.8 percent in 1979-80 and about 11.5
percent in 1971-76. Thus, not only is Cuba
a significant recipient of Soviet oil, but its
importance relative to other importers, par-
ticularly CMEA nations, has increased in
recent years.
Rather than speculate on the second
question, it is more useful to use an exam-
ple to illustrate what can happen to a CMEA
nation depending heavily on Soviet oil im-
ports for domestic consumption and reex-
ports when there is a change in Soviet
policy. Like Cuba, Bulgaria is poorly en-
dowed with energy resources. Traditionally,
Bulgaria has depended on the Soviet Union
for the bulk of its imported liquid fuel. In the
second half of the 1970s, Bulgaria began to
reexport, for hard currency, considerable
amounts of Soviet crude oil and products;
during the period 1974-80, Bulgaria's reex-
ports of Soviet oil for hard currency grew at
an average annual rate of 80 percent and in
1980 these reexports accounted for 23 per-
cent of the value of Bulgarian exports to the
industrialized West. Apparently, Bulgaria
fared well with regard to reductions in So-
viet oil shipments to Eastern European na-
tions which became effective in 1982.
Yet recently, the Soviet-Bulgarian oil rela-
tionship has taken a new turn. A press item
from November 1985 reports the situation
as follows: "In the past, Bulgaria's ability to
avoid the energy and foreign payments
troubles of other Eastern Bloc countries
was ensured by privileged deals with the
Soviets, such as its purchase of oil at low
ruble prices for processing and resale for
dollars in the West. The present cutback in
Soviet assistance, however, appears as dra-
matic as the past generosity. Although offi-
cial figures are secret, western experts
believe Soviet supplies of oil to Bulgaria
began to drop last year and this year may be
as much as 30 percent lower than in the
past. Significantly, the share of reexported
Soviet oil in Bulgarian energy exports
dropped by 50 percent between 1983 and
1984, and Bulgarian earnings from energy
sales in the West decreased almost as
much." (Jackson Diehl, "Bulgaria Beset by
Economic Woes," The Washington bPost, 8
November 1985, pp. A33, A42.)
Generous quantities of liquid fuel imports
and the ability to reexport, for hard cur-
rency, liquid fuels not consumed domes-
tically, are probably two of the most
important economic concessions which
Cuba has wrested from the Soviet Union in
recent years. Undoubtedly, without the abil-
ity to reexport Soviet oil products for hard
currency, Cuba's hard currency balance of
payments situation during the first half of
the 1980s would have been chaotic and
would have seriously hampered the coun-
try's ability to renegotiate its debt to Western

In the short term, and given Soviet crude
imports at fixed levels, Cuba's ability to con-
tinue to obtain significant amounts of hard
currency from oil reexports depends on the
success of its energy conservation program
and in increasing domestic oil production.
Assuming Soviet oil supplies for the next
five years at about 11 million MT per year,
and considering that apparent domestic
consumption of liquid fuels is somewhere
around 10 million MT at most 1 million MT
of the imports from the Soviet Union are
potentially exportable. If domestic produc-
tion can be maintained at around 800,000
MT this would raise the exportable balance
to 1.8 million MT a substantial level, but
considerably less than the estimated 2.9
million MT reexported in 1983 when oil im-
ports from the Soviet Union reached 12.1
million MT
As a result of the sharp drop in oil world
market prices, Cuba must increase the vol-
ume of reexported oil significantly (by over
40 percent) if it is to match the levels of hard
currency earnings reached in 1983-84. In-
creases in reexports of this magnitude ap-
pear unrealistic given domestic production
and consumption patterns and presumed
"guaranteed" levels of oil imports from the
Soviet Union. Thus, it can be safely as-
sumed that in the future, the significance of
oil reexports as a hard currency earner will
decline significantly. It is ironic that at the
time that Cuba has joined the rank of the oil
exporters, the price of oil is declining!
Notwithstanding Castro's romantic char-
acterization of the oil relationship between
Cuba and the Soviet Union-which he re-
cently capped with the hyperbole "We have
never lacked a single ton of petroleum in
this country!"-the evidence is quite con-
vincing that, at times, the relationship has
been less than harmonious. The clearest
example of this disharmony occurred in
eary 1968 when slowdowns in Soviet oil
deliveries, generally attributed to political
differences between the two nations, caused
serious economic dislocations in Cuba. In
fact, it was in response to the oil shortages
of 1968 that gasoline rationing and a na-
tionwide oil conservation program were
Clearly, in the first half of the 1980s, oil
reexports represented a windfall to the
Cuban economy. In the short term, oil reex-
ports are likely to continue to make a contri-
bution to hard currency earnings, albeat a
much smaller one than during the first half
of the 1980s. The longer-term prospect for
oil reexports is uncertain because it de-
pends on the willingness of the Soviet
Union to continue to permit Cuba to reap
the benefits of selling, for hard currency, oil
which was obtained through barter. As has
apparently happened in the case of Bul-
garia, there is nothing to prevent the Soviet
Union from changing this policy at a future
date. O

44/cAffBBEAN revIEW

First Impressions

Critics Look at the New Literature

Compiled by Forrest D. Colburn

Calories Count in Cuba
No Free Lunch: Food and Revolution in
Cuba Today. Medea Benjamin, Joseph
Collins, and Michael Scott. San Francisco:
Institute for Food and Development Policy,
1984. 240 p.

The authors of this book state that their goal
was to "get beyond polemics and to investi-
gate firsthand the food realities in Cuba to-
day...the achievements, problems, and
issues raised by Cuba's agricultural and
food experience." They achieved their pur-
pose admirably. One of the great frustra-
tions of food policy analysts interested in
understanding this aspect of the Cuban rev-
olution has been the lack of data. This book
goes far in filling that void in the literature. It
provides very useful factual data and des-
criptive analyses for the specialist and non-
specialist alike. Food systems reveal much
about societies, and this book provides a
window through which anyone interested in
Cuba should peer.
First, a word about methodology. Medea
Benjamin lived and worked (and ate) in
Cuba from 1979-82; field trips were taken
by all the authors during 1980-83. The proj-
ect was initiated only after prolonged dis-
cussions with the government, which
agreed to allow the researchers broad ac-
cess for their interviewing and to exercise
no editorial influence. Their interviews
spanned a wide spectrum, from high level
officials to private farmers. This book is not
a collection of journalistic quick impres-
sions but a serious attempt to penetrate
reality in a systematic fashion. That there
are data and methodological weaknesses is
doubtless, but they do not negate the book's
contribution to the literature.
The first chapter sets forth the pre-revo-
lution baseline conditions. There was high
per capital income but extreme income dis-
tribution disparities: 1.5 million landless,
heavy land ownership concentration, 42
percent illiteracy in the countryside, hunger
among the poor, predominance of sugar,
and great economic dependency on the
United States. These were the conditions
that gave rise to the revolution, so that
changes in the country's food system were
central to the revolutionary government's

Forrest D. Colburn teaches politics at Prince-
ton University.

agenda for change.
Hunger was to be abolished by the revo-
lution. Central to this was ensuring that all
people had adequate access to food. Chap-
ters two through six examine how Cuba has
attempted to do this. Incomes were in-
creased through job generation, wage
raises, and dramatic improvements in in-
come distribution. Effective demand rose
more than food production. Scarcity breeds
speculation, so to control this the govern-
ment nationalized food distribution and
controlled prices. Shortages still remained,
so rationing was introduced.
To increase supply and to undermine the
black market, the government introduced
in 1980 a "dash of capitalism" in the form of
private farmers' markets (Chapter Five).
Supply increased and prices were less than
on the black market, but were still high and
caused tension between producers and
growers. Rather than eliminate the markets,
the government chose to compete with
them by selling nonrationed goods in gov-
ernment stores.
Has increased access achieved the goal
of eradicating hunger? Chapter Seven an-
swers with a resounding yes. It is one of the
major achievements of the revolution. In
Latin America Cuban consumers are only
second to the Argentines in per capital food
availability. The rations provide four-fifths of
the caloric needs and total intake exceeds
the minimum nutritional requirements.
Free and universal health care and dietary
adequacy have made Cuba's the lowest in
Latin America. In fact, as Chapter Eight
points out, excess caloric, carbohydrate,
and saturated fat intake have led to obesity
and heart disease problems similar to those
in industrialized nations.
Chapters Nine through Twelve examine
the food production side. Sugar continues
to dominate Cuban agriculture, generating
85 percent of the exports (Chapter Nine).
One of the critical decisions facing revolu-
tionary governments is how to organize
their food production efforts. Cuba's agrar-
ian reforms have increasingly chosen state-
owned farms as the desired production
model (Chapter Eleven). By 1983 they con-
trolled 80 percent of the land. Large-scale,
mechanized farming has been the technol-
ogy choice. The privately held land is split
equally between individual farmers and co-
operatives (Chapter Twelve). Although the
state farms offer some economies of scale,

the relatively smaller private farms have
shown higher productivity rates and lower
costs per unit of output (including for
The final chapter re-examines US policy
toward Cuba. The revolution's history and
its food system have been significantly
shaped by US actions, so this political anal-
ysis is in order. It is clear that the political and
economic embargo was counterproductive;
none of its objectives were accomplished
and, in most cases the opposite occurred.
The Reagan administration appears to have
learned nothing from this history and is re-
peating the mistake with its embargo of
Although the authors comment with ad-
miration on the social gains achieved by
Cuba, and deservedly so, they also provide
a frank critique of many of the govern-
ment's decisions and its institutional per-
formance. Problem areas are clearly
revealed along with the accomplishments.
The book is balanced, informative, and will
educate its readers.
Harvard University Graduate School
of Business Administration
Boston, Massachusetts

Costa Rica and the Beast
Estado empresario y lucha political en
Costa Rica. Ana Sojo. San Jose: Editorial
Universitaria Centroamericana, 1984.
297 p.

In Estado empresario y lucha political en
Costa Rica, Ana Sojo describes the ever
increasing role of the state in the economy
of this small Central American country.
State participation in the economy actually
was strong even in the colonial era: the state
controlled the production and commerce of
tobacco and held a monopoly over aguar-
diente. Beginning in 1948, the state as-
sumed responsibility for the country's
industrial strategy which had the unin-
tended consequence of meshing the public
and private sectors into a web of interde-
pendence. Sojo's study, however, concen-
trates on the period from 1970-1978,
arguing that during these years state par-
ticipation in directly productive activities
had developed into a full-blown state cap-
italism, and that this beast is the origin of


much of the present political conflict in
Costa Rica.
Sojo analyzes in depth two concrete
cases of recent state intervention. The first
example was the purchase of the country's
only refinery (RECOPE), and the subse-
quent use of this enterprise to finance the
purchase of other companies such as the
FERTICA fertilizer plant. The second exam-
ple is the creation and management of the
state investment company, CODESA. Both
of her examples illustrate the repercussions
of direct state participation in the economy,
including its manipulation to serve those in
power. Although members of the private
sector bemoan the expansion of the state's
activities, they are quick to exploit it for op-
portunities for self-enrichment.
The author's zest for castigating the
powerful who profit from state capitalism
leads her to slight questions of efficiency in
the public sector, a foremost concern for
most Costa Ricans. Still, Sojds study is use-
ful. Despite divergent political systems and
ideologies, all of the Central American na-
tions are increasing the role of the state at
the expense of the private sector. It is impor-
tant to understand what this change means
for the embattled economies of the isthmus.
Managua, Nicaragua

Thoughts From a Policy-Maker

En defense de Mexico: pensamiento
economic politico. Jesus Silva Herzog.
2 Vols. Mexico: Editorial Nueva
Imagen, 1984.

Don Jesus Silva Herzog has been one of the
foremost exponents of the Mexican school
of political economy, the breeding ground
of the leading professional economists in
the country. Other well known yet younger
laborers in the path actively opened by Silva
Herzog have been Victor Urquidi, Edmundo
Flores, Javier Marquez, Ram6n Fernandez,
Antonio and Raul Ortiz Mena and Oscar
Sober6n. They inspired and partially
trained the next generation of Mexican
economists such as Leopoldo Solis, Javier
Alejo, Manuel Uribe, Saul Trejo, Manuel
Gollas, Jose Manuel Gil Padilla, Gerardo
Bueno, Carlos Tello and the present Minister
of Finance of Mexico, Jesus Silva Herzog, Jr.
The latter still maintain the tradition of
breadth and depth that characterized the
earlier representatives of the school. (More
recently, the newly trained economists of
Mexico have become more mechanistic, al-
though they partially reflect the impact of
their forebearers.)
Don Jeshs, now in his nineties, started
contributing to economics in the late twen-
ties. These volumes represent a collection

of his best articles, spanning close to sixty
years of professional life. Volume one is
more analytical in content and includes his
economic views on Mexican petroleum,
capitalism and economic development and
agrarian problems. The second volume has
a historical bent and emphasizes his
thoughts on Mexican economic history, as
well as the historic-ideological bases for
classical and neoclassical economic doc-
trines in the nineteenth century, both in
Mexico and the advanced world.
What is striking in the first volume is the
extent t6 which Silva Herzog influenced not
only ideas, but economic policies in Mexico,
from the late twenties on. He was involved in
the key decisions of Mexican national policy,
as expressed in the handling of oil explora-
tion and production in the country and the
eventual nationalization of these resources,
as well as in the far-reaching Mexican agrar-
ian reform and other agricultural measures.
Clearly, the thoughts of this personality were
to an inordinate extent transcribed into ac-
tion through Mexican policy-making in the
1930s, and represent a crucial blending of
the worlds of academia and empiricism.
Thus, these volumes should represent inter-
esting as well as important reading for pro-
fessionals from both these worlds, which
seldom come together.
The second volume, which analyzes the
historical evolution of the Mexican economy
up to the 1920s, concisely reviews the
efforts of the country to preserve its eco-
nomic independence from European
power intervention, and the "manifest des-
tiny" of the United States. The views of eco-
nomic liberalism in the nineteenth century
are seen as generating from the conditions
and ideas prevalent in the advanced world
during that century. These intellectual con-
structs were impressed upon the rulers of
their formal and informal colonies. All this is
illustrated by essays examining the trade
relationships of Mexico before and after the
colonial period.
Altogether this useful collection contains
twenty-one short essays by this influential
political economist, making them available
to a broader readership, and perhaps resur-
recting them from the unfortunate destiny
of obscurity that lands upon many intellec-
tual edifices.
Florida International University

Anniversary Publication
Slave Populations of the British
Caribbean 1807-1834. B.W. Higman.
Baltimore: The Johns Hopkins University
Press, 1984. 781 p.

The study of New World slavery has pro-
duced more than its share of brilliant

scholarship. Add B.W. Higman to this exclu-
sive category for his monumental new work
which is an exhaustive demographic survey
of the last three decades of British West
Indian slavery. Some would argue, of
course, that Higman already is one of the
leading contemporary scholars of slavery
anywhere; his award-winning Slave Popu-
lation and Economy in Jamaica,
1807-1834 (Cambridge University Press,
1976) and his many scholarly articles deal
ing with social and demographic charac-
teristics of British Caribbean slave popula-
tions have consistently broken new ground.
Higman's new book is an impressive ex-
tension of his earlier work. It is based upon a
wide array of records kept by Caribbean
slaveholders in the early nineteenth century,
records maintained partly because 3f de-
mand created by the "unprecedented inter-
est shown in the slave population by
abolitionists and missionaries" of the time.
The first half of Higman's volume is a top-
ically-organized narrative that includes
chapters about environments, rural and ur-
ban habitats, and the distribution, health
conditions, and changing number of British
West Indian slave populations. The chapter
discussions are illustrated by innumerable
maps, tables, charts, and population pro-
files. The second half of the volume is a
300-page statistical supplement that con-
tains an astonishingly large volume and va-
riety of data in tabular form.
Higman's analysis focuses on the quan-
tifiable material conditions of Caribbean
slaves. He argues that these conditions help
explain the slaves' lives better than do the
"ideas, beliefs, values, and perceptions cen-
tral to idealist paradigms." He does not,
however, confine his presentation to a ster-
ile data inventory. Everywhere he points out
the significance of his findings-about
slaves' physical characteristics, differing Af-
rican origins, nutrition, work routines, and
much more-in light of current scholarship
and conventional wisdom. Anyone who has
written, taught, or researched about British
Caribbean slavery will gain fresh insight and
new ideas from this superb study.
The book's US $65 price tag unfortu-
nately puts it all but out of the reach of the
many West Indian scholars for whom it will
be indispensable. Perhaps a cheaper paper
edition is planned. It is surprising that the
Johns Hopkins Press apparently has
not publicized the coincidence that it has
published one of the most important books
ever written about British Caribbean slaves
on the 150th anniversary of their

Virginia Polytechnic Institute
and State University
Blacksburg, Virginia


Race and Revolution
Slave Emancipation in Cuba. The
Transition to Free Labor, 1866-1899,
Rebecca J. Scott. Princeton University
Press, 1986. 319 p.

This is a monumental work which analyzes
new-found primary sources in an attemptto
understand "gradual emancipation" in
Cuba. Scott attacks her subject by looking
at social institutions and relations, changes
in landholding, and the organization of pro-
duction. Her work argues that the abolition
of slavery should not be seen simply as an
imposition from the metropolitan power,
nor from economic contradictions and nec-
essities. Rather, emancipation reflected the
responses of slaves, masters, and policy
makers to a range of internal and external
Those who originally designed gradual
emancipation wanted to minimize certain
kinds of social change. The Cuban sugar
economy needed new workers to compen-
sate for the ending of the international slave
trade, while at the same time planters
wished to maintain control over their en-
slaved work force. It was also in Spain's in-
terest to safeguard the colonial tie and to
resolve the volatile issue of slavery in a way
that was minimally disruptive. To this end,
Spain passed the Moret Law of 1870 and
developed a system ofpatronato or appren-
ticeship which prevented mass freeings,
while at the same time allowing for immi-
gration and a reorganization of the labor
To some degree, the gradualist strategy
worked to the extent that the labor supply
was not composed of substantial amounts
of free labor until 1883. Yet gradualism was
only partially successful to this end. Even
though the patronato system offered little
change in the actual conditions of the
slaves, politically they were increasingly
brought into the legal culture through the
mechanisms of complaint, appeal, and self-
purchase. As Scott points out, no matter
how compromised the patrocinado was,
economically and socially there was greater
opening for challenge and contention:
"When patrocinados took seriously the
limited opportunities the patronato offered
for extending their rights, they called into
question the legitimacy of their master's
rule and gained experience in confronting
it." These legal confrontations were fueled
by raised expectations for freedom and
Here is where Scott's central theme
emerges: "The Afro-Cuban's experience in
cooperative action and political activity
shaped their subsequent behavior." When
insurrection broke out again in 1895, it's
not surprising that Afro-Cubans played a
much more solid role than in the first revo-
lution, (The Ten Years' War). Plantation slav-

ery had shaped the first an
struggle. Gradual emancipati
labor were essential to the se
struggle. While the revolution
popular support across race an
frustrations of the 'emancipa
enced the revolution in no sma
The nineteenth century Cut
tionary leader Jose Marti, by
racial unity, created the base
the struggle was built. The ope
the closed world of the plant
political mobilization more feas
lization which would end with Sp
her last major colony in the N
Rebecca Scott's thorough histo
sis not only provides an insight
transformation from slavery to
but also gives a sociological el
political mobilization during a re

Rare Bird
Nicaragua Under Siege. Marlen
and Susanne Jonas, eds. San F
Synthesis Publications, 1984. 2i

Editors Dixon and Jonas, affiliate(
Francisco's Institute for the Stu
and Crisis and scholarly experts
America, have assembled an e
valuable collection of material
aragua. The editors begin with
and valuable critique of the de
and content of the report of th
Bipartisan Commission on Centi
under the leadership of Henry
The opening article of Nicarag
Siege is a theoretical piece by M
on and Ed McCaughan that acco
antagonism toward the Nicarag
tion as a product of the worldl
crisis," the decline of US imper
the consequent erosion of US
and geopolitical hegemony over
bean basin. The policies of t
States toward Nicaragua under t
administration they attribute to
syndrome." This refers to "the su
acter of failing empires [which] s
a regression to earlier forms of
tary intervention." During this "ir
empire" Ronald Reagan and the
reactionaries" that advise him pu
less militarist policies" that risk
nuclear conflict with the Soviet
value of the Dixon-McCaughan e
summarizing an important M
spective on Central America, but
reader will have already noted an
tone unlikely to win over conserve
publicans, and admirers of Pres
gan. Most contributors to the bo

ti-colonial share the editors' view of the Nicaraguan
on and free revolution and US policy. Despite (perhaps
cond major because of) its explicit biases, the volume
had broad provides a vast amount of useful and accu-
d class, the rate factual and documentary information
dos' influ- on Nicaragua, its revolution, and the US-
11 way. financed war against them. Much of this
an revolu- material is not easily accessible to the aver-
calling for age US citizen, so that the book provides
ipon which wealth of interpretive material from a per-
ening up of spective that in contemporary American
ition made journalism is as rare as the whooping crane.
ible: "Mobi- The book is divided into seven sections.
ain's loss of One details the escalating hostility of US
lew World." policy and actions against Nicaragua, their
rical analy- effects on the economy, food supply, fuel
into Cuba's supplies, and the nation's population. An-
free labor, other describes the regional military con-
ucidation of text, with particular attention to the Central
evolutionary American Defense Council (CONDECA),
the US military buildup in Honduras, and
Honduran cooperation with the US and
DAVID KYLE counterrevolutionaries against Nicaragua.
A third presents Nicaragua's 19 July 1983
peace proposal and Daniel Ortega's speech
to the United Nations General Assembly.
Others deal with defense of the revolution
e Dixon through the "revolutionary vigilance" pro-
rancisco: gram, women's participation, the controver-
50 p. sial Draft Law, and the experiences of two
soldiers on the Honduran border; the Sand-
inista leadership's official policy on religion
ed with San and an article discussing the Church-State
dy of Labor conflict; the Political Parties law and prepa-
on Central rations for the 1984 elections; perspectives
eclectic but on the revolution and US hostility toward it,
ls on Nic- and a comparison of the American and Nic-
an incisive araguan revolutions by former Junta mem-
velopment ber (and present Vice-President) Sergio
ie National Ramirez.
ral America The book does not present a "balanced"
Kissinger. picture of Nicaragua's revolution and US
jua Under policy toward it. However, even-handedness
arlene Dix- orolympian scholarly Objectivityare not the
unts for US book's aim. Nicaragua Under Siege seeks
uan revolu- to counterbalance the flood of negative, and
d capitalist often false, propaganda emanating from
ialism and Washington. The material presented is
economic vastly more accurate than most of what offi-
the Carib- cial Washington dishes out, if no less ideo-
:he United logical. The book thus succeeds in its
:he Reagan purpose and provides a teaching and infor-
"the Suez nation resource of great value.
icidal char-
items from JOHN A. BOOTH
direct mili- North Texas State University
nplosion of Denton, Texas
rsue "reck-
provoking The Good Doctor

Union. I ne
ssay lies in
arxist per-
the careful
natives, Re-
ident Rea-
ok roughly

Witness to War: An American Doctor in
El Salvador. Charles Clements, M.D., New
York: Bantam Books, 1984. 271 p.

This is a personal account of the war in El
Salvador by Charles Clements, an Ameri-
can physician who provided conventional


and unconventional medical care to 9,000
inhabitants in a guerrilla-controlled area on
the slopes of extinct volcanoes northeast of
San Salvador in the Guazapa Department
in 1982 and early 1983. An Air Force Acad-
emy graduate and C-130 pilot in Viet Nam,
Clements took the first step along the road
to El Salvador as a Quaker and pacifist
when he began treating Salvadoran refu-
gees in the Natividad Medical Center in Sali-
nas, California in 1980. Wanting to do more
to alleviate their suffering, he resolved to go
to El Salvador. After being rebuffed by Sal-
vadoran officials and engaging in secret ne-
gotiations in Mexico City, he walked from an
unknown Honduran village across an un-
marked border with a 75-pound backpack
of medical supplies in March 1982.
Often, with only a candle for light, Clem-
ents performed surgery with razor blades
and used dental floss for sutures. With an
engaging style that holds the reader's atten-
tion, Clements discusses the routine of
working with partially trained aides andcop-
ing with the health problems of the campe-
sinos related to their "inadequate diet,
chronic diseases, woeful sanitation, lack of
education and warfare."
We find Clements succeeding in bridging
part of the cultural chasm that separates
medicine in urban United States from that
in a Third World nation. He makes some
progress in getting people to drink water in
which willow barks have soaked to treat
their headaches as well as to supplement
their diet with iron by drinking water in
which nails, rubbed with a piece of lemon,
have soaked overnight. These remedies are
used to substitute medicine available only
at high cost from pharmacies, a cost of pos-
sible arrest as well as of money.
Several themes appear frequently
throughout the book: the incompetence
and cruelty of the Salvadoran Army and
deathsquads, including the US-trained
Ram6n Belloso Battalion; the violent anti-
Americanism witnessed by Clements; and
the belief of the Salvadoran guerrillas that
they are creating a new social, economic
and political order.
The Clements testimony raises ques-
tions. Why do Salvadoran conscripts who
do not appear to want to fight, cut off the
breasts of young women guerrillas, hack up
wounded combatants or civilians with ma-
chetes or nail dead cats through pictures of
religious figures such as Archbishop
Romero? Why do low-level guerrilla com-
manders such as Paco, leader of one of
eleven columns that attacked San Salvador
on election day in March 1982, allow them-
selves to become spies and betray the
cause for which they are.ostensibly
It is difficult to determine whether Clem-
ent's seeming bias against Honduras was
absorbed from the Salvadorans who main-
tain a historical enmity toward their neigh-

bors to the Northeast. He is in error when he
says" fully 300,000 Salvadoran campe-
sinos were forcibly repatriated from their
small plots in Honduras to whatever space
they could find in their overcrowded home-
land after the so-called Soccer War of
1969." In fact, many of the Salvadorans liv-
ing in Honduras before 1969 failed to legal-
ize their status as alien residents despite the
creation of mechanisms to regularize the
immigration process through a two-year
1967 bilateral treaty. The war broke out not
only after the infamous soccer match, but
after Honduras had been facing competi-
tion from El Salvador in the Central Ameri-
can Common Market and after the
Honduran Agrarian Reform Institute began
repatriating Salvadoran nationals back to El
Salvador in response to internal pressures.
Anyone who has visited Tegucigalpa for
more than three days in the past twenty-five
years would snort at Clement's compari-
sons of the Central City around the statue of
Francisco Morazan to Saigon in 1970.
It is obvious that many units of the Sal-
vadoran Army are now fighting a different
war than they were in 1982. The assassina-
tion of many local officials by guerrillas
erodes the "moral high ground" held by the
guerrillas in the treatment of their oppo-
nents in 1982. There may be hope in the
attitudes of some guerrilla leaders whom
Clements talked to such as Raul Hercules or
the Suchitoto "fighting major" who em-
braced each of the compaieros as they
brought down wounded soldiers in a deliv-
ery arranged by Clements and who spoke of
peace in 1983.
The book is interesting for those who
have spent some time in the region as well
as for the untraveled in the lives and dreams
of ordinary Salvadorans and Central
Texas Tech University
Lubbock, Texas

The Divided Kingdom
Spain and the Loss of America. Timothy
E. Anna. Nebraska: University of Nebraska
Press, Lincoln, 1984. 343 p.

Between 17 March 1808 (the uprising of
Aranjuez against Godoy and the result of the
abdication of Charles IV) and 19 December
1824 (the battle of Ayacucho), one of the
most formidable empires of the planet's his-
tory disintegrated. For some observers and
scholars, sixteen years were too many to
terminate the corrupted structures of the
overseas colonies of Spain. For others, it is
still a mystery as to why the empire that
lasted three centuries ceased so quickly
to exist.
Most experts tend to agree that indepen-
dence should have come in 1814 when Fer-
dinand VII returned to Madrid after the

defeat of Napoleon. The fact that the
criollos had to fight until Bolivar's victory at
Ayacucho has to be attributed to a com-
bination of factors, among them the inertia
of colonial social structures, logistical diffi-
culties and the impressive slowness in com-
munication between Spain and America,
and among the different regions of the colo-
nial empire.
In spite of the immense bibliography col-
lected since the times of independence, one
topic did not receive deserved attention:
Spain's own perception of its loss of the
American colonies, especially in the circles
of power (the King, the Cortes, and the dif-
ferent councils). Timothy E. Anna, a pro-
fessor of history at Manitoba, well known
already for his other works on the period,
explains in this solid volume, which is both
scholarly and elegantly written, that the key
to the loss of America was Spain's enor-
mous lack of information on the state of the
colonies, plus the fact that other affairs were
more important at that time (invasion, war,
and the change from absolutism to liberal
From today's perspective, to lose four
viceroyalties and nine "kingdoms" and cap-
taincies would have created internal convul-
sion, revolution and domestic anarchy.
However, even when sixteen new countries
were in operation, Spain did not react prop-
erly. The so-called pacification ended in
disaster on the shores of Mexico, and a mi-
rage substituted reality. Only after the death
of Ferdinand VII in 1833 were the old colo-
nies recognized as independent. Only after
the war caused by the sinking of the Maine
in 1898, did Madrid realize that the Empire
was finished. Only when Franco was near
death in 1975, did Madrid see that the
"provinces of the Sahara" were an
Anna demonstrates that the "recon-
quest" of the colonies was not possible after
1824 because of the multiple layers of
councils that fought among themselves to
obtain the attention of the King and the
Cortes. Administrative incompetence and
internal political struggle ended an adven-
ture that was only an official enterprise since
1492. The rest of Spain only saw in America
a possibility for glory, never a national pol-
icy. The author also refutes the myth about
the reformist policies of the XVIII century.
The truth is that the Bourbons tried to con-
vert the "provinces" into "colonies", follow-
ing a late model of the French and British
Caribbean. But it was too late.
Fond of the Spanish people in general
and critical of their rulers, Timothy Anna
offers a complete reference work with a
chronology of events (1808-25), and a se-
lected bibliography much needed for other
scholars in this still open field of research.
University of Miami
Miami, Florida

48/CAfBBEAN reJviE

Recent Books

On the Region and Its Peoples

Compiled by Marian Goslinga

Anthropology and Sociology

Anthropological History of Andean Polities.
John V Murra, Nathan Wachtel, Jacques Revel,
eds. Cambridge University Press, 1986. 400 p.

Bearing Witness, Building Bridges: Interviews
with North Americans Living and Working in
Nicaragua. New Society Educational
Foundation. Philadelphia, Penn.: The
Foundation, 1986. $29.95; $8.95 paper.

The Black Man of Brixton. Faustin Charles.
Totowa, NJ.: Zed Press, 1985. $10.95;
$5.00 paper.

The Cuban Image: Cinema and Cultural
Politics in Cuba. Michael Chanan. Indiana
University Press, 1986. $35.00; $12.95 paper.

Diversified Secondary Education and
Development: Evidence from Colombia and
Tanzania. George Psacharopoulos, William A.
Loxley. Johns Hopkins University Press, 1985.
224 p. $27.50.

La estructura mitica del Popol Vuh. Alfonso
Rodriguez. Miami, Fla.: Ediciones Universal,
1985. 108 p. $10.00.

El exodo centroamericano: consecuencias de
un conflict. Sergio Aguayo Quezada. Mexico:
Consejo Nacional de Fomento Educativo,
1985. 173 p.

Familia, trabajo, y reproducci6n social:
campesinos en Honduras. Mario J. Torres
Adrian. El Colegio de Mexico, 1985. 294 p.

Forced to Move. Renato Camarda. David Loeb,
Susan Hansell, eds. Susan Hansell, Carmen
Alegria, trans. San Francisco, Calif.: Solidarity
Publications, 1985. 102 p. $9.75.

Guerrillas of Peace: Liberation Theology and
the Central American Revolution. Blase
Bonpane. South End Press, 1985. 120 p.
$25.00; $8.00 paper.

The Hispanics in the United States: A History.
L. H. Gann, Peter J. Duignan. Westview Press,
1986. 500 p. $32.50.

A History of Christianity in Belize,
1776-1838. Wallace R. Johnson. University
Press of America, 1985. 300 p. $25.75;
$14.50 paper.

Marian Goslinga is the Latin American and
Caribbean librarian at Florida International

Introducci6n a la America criolla. Jorge
Abelardo Ramos. Buenos Aires: Mar Dulce,
1985. 155 p.

De kerstening van de slaven van de
Surinaamse plantage Vossenburg,
1847-1878. Humphrey E. Lamur.
Anthropological-Sociological Centre, University
of Amsterdam, 1985.

Many Struggles: West Indian Workers and
Service Personnel in Britain, 1939-1945.
Marika Sherwood. London: Karia Press, 1985.
138 p.

Migracibn y formaci6n familiar en Mexico.
Carlos Brambila Paz. Centro de Estudios de
Demografia y Desarrollo Urbano, El Colegio de
Mexico, 1985. 125 p.

Music and Dance of Indians and Mestizos in
an Andean Valley of Peru. Elisabeth den Otter.
Delft, Netherlands: Eburon, 1985. 366 p.

La musica latinoamericana y sus fuentes:
textos escogidos. Manuel R. Castro Lobo, ed.
San Jos6, Costa Rica: Editorial Alma Mater,
1985. 257 p.
Myth and the Imaginary in the New World.
Edmundo Magafia, Peter Mason, eds.
Amsterdam: Centro de Estudios y
Documentaci6n Latinoamericanos, CEDLA,
1985. 400 p.
New Social Movements and the State in Latin
America. David Slater, ed. Amsterdam: Centro
de Estudios y Documentaci6n
Latinoamericanos, CEDLA, 1985. 531 p.
The Nicaraguan Revolution in Health: From
Somoza to the Sandinistas. John M.
Donahue. Bergin & Garvey, 1986. 188 p.

The Serpent and the Rainbow. Wade Davis.
Simon and Schuster, 1986. $17.95. [About
voodooism in Haiti]

La revoluci6n social en America Latina. Marta
Harnecker. Panam&: Centro de Capacitaci6n
Social, 1985. 115 p.

Revolutionaries for the Gospel: Testimony of
Fifteen Christians in the Nicaraguan
Government. Te6filo Cabestrero; Phillip
Berryman, trans. Orbis Books, 1986. 280 p.
$12.95. [Translation of Revolucionarios por el

Ritual Enemas and Snuffs in the Americas.
Peter A. G. M. de Smet. Amsterdam: Centro de
Estudios y Documentaci6n Latinoamericanos,
CEDLA, 1985. 276 p.

Sanctuary: the New Underground Railroad.
Renny Golden, Michael McConnell. Orbis
Books, 1986. 240 p. $7.95.

La seguridad social en el Peru. Laura Morales
la Torre, Javier Slodky, eds. Lima: Fundaci6n
Friedrich Ebert, 1985. 173 pp.

Slavery in the Bahamas, 1648-1838. D. Gail
Saunders. Nassau, Bahamas: Nassau Guardian,
1985. 250 p.

Sociologia de la clase media argentina. Julio
Mafud. Buenos Aires: Distal 1985. 173 p.

De Surinamers. J. M. Ferrier. Muiderberg,
Netherlands: Coutinho, 1985. 176 p.

Toponimias indigenas de Nicaragua. Jaime
Incer Barquero. San Jose, Costa Rica: Libro
Libre, 1985. 481 p.

Urbanization in the Caribbean. Kempe Ronald
Hope. Westview Press, 1986. $18.50.

Vassouras, A Brazilian Coffee County,
1850-1900: The Roles of Planter and Slave in
a Plantation Society. Stanley J. Stein.
Princeton University Press, 1985. 340 p.
$37.50; $12.50 paper.

With One Single Voice: The Stories of
Salvadoran Women. B. Carter, et al., eds. San
Francisco, Calif.: Solidarity Publications, 1986.
200 p. $8.00.

Yugoslavos en el Perui. Zivana Meseldzic de
Pereyra. Lima: Editorial La Equidad, 1985.
240 p.


Eric Williams: The Man and the Leader. Ken I.
Boodhoo. University Press of America, 1986.
162 p. $22.50; $11.50 paper.


Fidel by Fidel: A new Interview with Dr. Fidel
Castro Ruz, President of the Republic of Cuba.
Jeffrey M. Elliott, Mervyn M. Dymally. San
Bernardino, Calif.: Borgo Press, 1985. $16.95;
$8.95 paper.
Getulio Vargas e o seu tempo: um retrato com
luz e sombra. Fernando Jorge. Rio de Janeiro:
Queiroz, 1985. 490 p.

Imagen de un lider: Manuel Bonilla. Rafael
Bardales B. Tegucigalpa: Universidad Nacional
Aut6noma de Honduras, 1985.

In the Shadow of Powers: Dantes Bellegarde
in Haitian Social Thought. Patrick Bellegarde-
Smith. Humanities Press, 1985. 244 p. $29.50.
Jose Cecilio del Valle: sabio centroamericano.
Carlos Melendez Chaverri. San Jos&, Costa
Rica: Libro Libre, 1985. 231 p.
Jose Maria Paranhos, visconde do Rio
Branco: ensaio historico-biogrhfico. Lidia
Besouchet. Rio de Janeiro: Nova Fronteira,
1985. 287 p.
Nicolas Antonio: bibli6grafo americanista. Luis
Agustin Cordero. Lima: Instituto Nacional de
Investigaci6n y Desarrollo de la Educaci6n,
INIDE, 1985. 224 p.
Omar Torrijos: imagen y voz. Centro de
Estudios Torrijistas. Panama: Taller de
Poligrafia, 1985. 243 p.

Perfiles humans: los hombres que hacen
historic en el Perui. Martin Garay Seminario.
Lima: Impr. Atlhntida, 1985. 205 p.
Un sombrero para viajar: mi vida con Jorge
Amado. Z6lia Gattai. Buenos Aires: Emece,
1985. 326 p.
Urquiza: libertador y fundador. Alberto J.
Masram6n. Buenos Aires: Plus Ultra, 1985.
351 p.

Description and travel

Adventuring Along the Gulf of Mexico: The
Sierra Club Travel Guide to the Gulf Coast of
the United States and Mexico, from the
Florida Keys to Yucatan. Donald G. Schueler.
San Francisco, Calif.: Sierra Club Books, 1986.
336 p. $10.95.
Backcountry Mexico: A Traveler's Guide and
Phrase Book. Bob Burleson, David H. Riskind.
University of Texas Press, 1986. 336 p. $24.95;
$12.95 paper.

The Caribbean Cruising Handbook: A
Practical Guide for Charterers and Private
Owners. Bill Robinson. Dodd, Mead, 1986. 160
p. $10.95.
Costa Rica: A Geographical Interpretation in
Historical Perspective. Carolyn Hall. Westview
Press, 1985. $25.00.

Curiosidades y bellezas de Honduras. Eduardo
Hernandez-Chavez. Tegucigalpa: Universidad
Nacional Aut6noma de Honduras, 1985. 215 p.

Flora y fauna cubanas del siglo XVIII: los
dibujos de la expedici6n del conde de Mopox,
1796-1802. Carmen Sotos Serrano, ed.
Madrid: Ediciones Turner, 1985. $950 (pesetas).

Geografia de Panama: studio introductorio y
antologia. Omar Jaen Suhrez. Universidad de
Panama, 1985. 472 p.
Into Cuba. Peter Marshall, Barry Lewis. New
York: Alfred van der Marck Editions, 1986. 192
p. $35.00.
Patagonia Revisited. Bruce Chatwin, Paul
Theroux. Houghton Mifflin, 1986. 62 p. $9.95.
Pelican Guide to the Virgin Islands. James E.
Moore. Pelican Pub. Co., 1986. 353 p.

El poder de la imagen y la imagen del poder,:
fotografias de prensa del Porfiriato a la 6poca
actual. Agustin Victor Casasola, Victor Le6n
Diaz. Mexico: Universidad Aut6noma de
Chapingo, 1985. 180 p.

Ships of the Panama Canal. James L. Shaw.
Annapolis, Md.: Naval Institute Press, 1985.
192 p. $29.95.

Agricultural Policy and Collective Self-
Reliance in the Caribbean. W. Andrew Axline.
Westview Press, 1986. 130 p. $16.00.

Brazil's Economic and Political Future. Julian
Chacel, Pamela S. Valk, David V Fleischer, eds.
Westview Press, 1986. 180 p. $23.50.

Capitalism, Socialism, and Technology: A
Comparative Study of Cuba and Jamaica.
Charles Edquist. London: Zed Press, 1985. 182
p. 16.95; 6.50 paper.

Chile: Experiment in Democracy. Sergio Bitar.
Institute for the Study of Human Issues, 1985.
350 p. $33.00.

La crisis econ6mica en Honduras,
1981-1984. Antonio Murga Frassinetti, et al.
Tegucigalpa: Centro de Documentaci6n de
Honduras, 1985. 158 p.

Crisis y desarrollo alternative en
Latinoamerica. Heraldo Mufioz, ed. Santiago
de Chile: Editorial Aconcagua, 1985. 255 p.

Desarrollo, crisis, deuda, y political econ6mica
en Panama: aporte al debate national. Jose
G6mez Perez, William Hughes Ortega. Panama:
Impr. Panamundo, 1985. 168 p.

Economia paraguaya: planteamientos. Efrain
Enrique Gam6n. Institute Paraguayo de
Estudios Geopoliticos e Internacionales, 1985.
317 p.
Economia political de la crisis: las
contradicciones de la acumulaci6n en el Periu,
1950-1975. Andres Gonzalez G6mez. Lima:
Facultad de Ciencias Econ6micas, Universidad
Nacional Mayor de San Marcos, 1985. 314 p.

Fiscais e meirinhos: a administracao no Brasil
colonial. Graga Salgado, ed. Rio de Janeiro:
Nova Fronteira, 1985. 452 p.
Formaci6n de la fuerza laboral costarricense:
una contribuci6n a la historic econ6mica,
social, y administrative de Costa Rica. Roger
Churnside. Editorial Costa Rica, 1985. 488 p.
Guatemala: sus recursos naturales, el
militarism, y el imperialism. Jacobo Vargas
Foronda. Mexico: Editorial Claves
Latinoamericanas, 1985. 142 p.

Historical Statistics of Chile: Banking and
Financial Services. Markos J. Mamalakis.
Greenwood Press, 1985. 520 p. $145.00.

La industrializaci6n en Antioquia, genesis y
consolidaci6n, 1900-1930. Fernando Botero
Herrera. Medellin, Colombia: Centro de
Investigaciones Econ6micas, Universidad de
Antioquia, 1985. 182 p.

Industrializaci6n en Mexico: hacia un anlisis
critic. Manuel Martinez del Campo. El Colegio
de M6xico, 1985. 493 p.

The Jamaican Economy in the 1980's:
Economic Decline and Structural Adjustment.
Robert E. Looney. Westview Press, 1986. 225 p.

Labor in Latin America: Comparative Essays
on Chile, Argentina, Venezuela, and Colombia.
Charles Bergquist. Stanford University Press,
1986. 416 p. $39.50; $12.95 paper.

The Labor Climate in Brazil. Luis F. Andrade.
Industrial Research Unit, University of
Pennsylvania, 1986. 133 p.

Lecturas sobre economic colombiana, siglo
XX. Jesus Antonio Bejarano. Bogota: Nueva
Biblioteca Colombiana de Cultura Procultura,
1985. 444 p.

Lima alios 30: salaries y costo de vida de la
clase trabajadora. Wilma Derpich, Jose Luis
Huiza, Cecilia Israel. Lima: Fundaci6n Friedrich
Ebert, 1985. 155 p.

Linking Macroeconomic and Agricultural
Policies for Adjustment with Growth: The
Colombian Experience. Vinod Thomas. Johns
Hopkins University Press, 1986. 320 p. $32.50.

Living Within Our Means: An Examination of
the Argentine Economic Crisis. Aldo Ferrer;
Maria-lnes Alvarez, Nick Caistor, trans. London:
Third World Foundation, 1985. 112 p. 7.50.

Metamorfoses da riqueza, Sao Paulo
1845-1895: contribu!ho ao estudo da
economic mercantil-escravista b economic
exportadora capitalist. Z6lia Maria Cardoso de
Mello. Sao Paulo, Brazil: Hucitec, 1985. 188 p.


Peru and the International Monetary Fund.
Thomas Scheetz. University of Pittsburgh
Press, 1986. 272 p. $23.95.
El Peru frente al capital extranjero: deuda e
inversi6n. Eduardo Ferrero Costa, ed. Centro
Peruano de Estudios Internacionales, 1985.
439 p.
Petroleum and Mexico's Future. Pamela S.
Valk. Westview Press, 1986. 110 p. $15.00.
The Politicized Market Economy: Alcohol in
Brazil's Energy Strategy. Michael Barzelay.
University of California Press; 1986. $28.50.

Slave Emancipation in Cuba: The Transition to
Free Labor, 1860-1899. Rebecca J. Scott,
Princeton University Press, 1986.319 p.
$42.00; $13.95 paper.

State and Countryside: Development Policy
and Agrarian Politics in Latin America. Merilee
Serrill Grindle. Johns Hopkins University Press,
1986. 256 p. $25.00; $11.95 paper.

Werken wonder de boom: dynamiek en
informele sector; de situatie in Groot-
Paramaribo, Suriname. R J. van Gelder.
Leiden, Netherlands: Dept. of Caribbean
Studies, Royal Institute of Linguistics and
Anthropology, CARAF, 1985. 246 p. Nfl35.00.

Winners and Losers in Colombia's Economic
Growth of the 1970's. Miguel Urrutia. Oxford
University Press, 1985. 142 p. $19.95.

History and Archaeology

America Latina: historias de dominacho e
libertagco. Mario Augusto Jacobskind. Rio de
Janeiro: Papirus, 1985. 143 p.

The Brazilian Empire: Myths and Histories.
Emilia Viotti da Costa. University of Chicago
Press, 1986. 256 p. $25.00.

Castilla y Lebn en America. Eufemio Lorenzo.
Valladolid, Spain: Editorial Ambito, 1985.
204 p.

Catholic Colonialism: A Parish History of
Guatemala, 1524-1821. Adriaan C. van Oss.
Cambridge University Press, 1986. 320 p.
Costa Rica en la epoca del gobernador Don
Juan de Oc6n y Trillo. Rosa Elena Grefias.
Editorial Costa Rica, 1985. 314 p.

Dofia Licha's Land: Modern Colonialism in
Puerto Rico. Alfredo L6pez. South End Press,
1986. 240 p. $25.00; $9.00 paper.

The Formative Period in the Cajamarca Basin,
Peru: Excavations at Huacaloma and Layzon,
1982. Kazuo Terada, Yoshio Ohuki. University
of Tokyo Press, 1985. 500 p.

Greifvogel in AltPeru: Untersuchung aufgrund
archaologischer Befunde und zeitgenossischer
Berichte. Hildegard Matthai. Hohenschaftlarn,
Germany: K. Renner Verlag, 1985. 417 p.

Grenada: The Hour Will Strike Again. Jan
Carew. Chicago: Imported Publications, 1986.
278 p. $10.00.

Historia de Cali, 1536-1986. A G6mez V, F.
G6mez V, H. Martinez. Call, Colombia:
Ediciones Andinas, 1985. 324 p.
El imperio vikingo de Tiahuanacu: America
antes de Col6n. Jacques de Mahieu. Barcelona:
Ediciones de Nuevo Arte, 1985. 190 p.
Latin America: A Concise Interpretive History.
E. Bradford Burns. 4th ed. Prentice-Hall, 1986.
374 p. $18.95.
The Making of an Island: Sint Maarten/Saint
Martin. Jean Glasscock. St. Philipsburg, Saint
Martin: Shipwreck Shops, 1985.

Monsi: un sitio arqueol6gico. Gerardo Reichel-
Dolmatoff. Bogota: Biblioteca Banco Popular,
1985. 226 p.

Nicaragua: Revolution in the Family. Shirley
Christian. Random House, 1985. 348 p.
The Old Fort of Aruba: The History of Fort
Zoutman and the Tower Willem III. J. Hartog.
Cultureel Centrum Aruba, 1985.
Pacatnamu y sus construcciones; un centro
religioso prehispanico en la costa norte
peruana. Giesela Hecker, Wolfgang Hecker.
Frankfurt, Germany: Vervuert, 1985. $28.00.

Paraguay. Riordan Roett. Westview Press, 1986.
135 p. $16.50.

"El Pila": sehor del Chaco. Ram6n Cesar
Bejarano. Asunci6n, Paraguay: Toledo, 1985.
498 p.

Porfirio Diaz contra el gran poder de Dios: las
rebeliones de Tomochic y Temosachic. Jose C.
Valad6s. Mexico: Editorial Leega, 1985. 101 p.

Pre-Revolutionary Caracas: Politics, Economy,
and Society, 1777-1811. P Michael McKinley.
Cambridge University Press, 1986. 232 p.
Rediscovered Masterpieces of Mesoamerica:
Mexico, Guatemala, Honduras. Gerald
Berjonneau. Rizzoli, 1986. 288 p. $75.00.
Roots of Insurgency: Mexican Regions,
1750-1824. Brian R. Hamnett. Cambridge
University Press, 1986. 334 p. $42.50.

The Royal Protomedicato: The Regulation of
the Medical Professions in the Spanish
Empire. John Tate Lanning; John Jay TePaske,
ed. Duke University Press, 1985. 485 p. $37.50.

Society and Politics in Colonial Trinidad.
James Millette. London: Zed Press, 1985. 320
p. 19.95; 7.95 paper.

Under the Big Stick: Nicaragua and the U.S.
Since 1848. Karl Bermann. South End Press,
1986. 300 p. $30.00; $9.50 paper.

Language and literature

Antologia de la poesia hispanoamericana.
Juan Gustavo Cobo Borda. M6xico: Fondo de
Cultura Econ6mica, 1985. 518 p.
Antologia de la poesia panameha. Secretaria
Ejecutiva Permanente del Convenio Andres
Bello. Bogota: SECAB, 1985. 301 p.

Las armas de la luz: antologia de la poesia
contemporanea de la America Central. Alfonso
Chase. San Jose, Costa Rica; Departamento
Ecumenico de Investigaciones, 1985. 539 p.

Brazil. Errol Lincoln Uys. Simon and Schuster,
1986. $17.95.

Candelario Obeso y la iniciaci6n de la poesia
negra en Colombia. Laurence E. Prescott.
Bogota: Instituto Caro y Cuervo, 1985. 228 p.

Gabriel Garcia Marquez y la novela de la
violencia en Colombia. Manuel Antonio
Arango. Mexico: Fondo de Cultura Econ6mica,
1985. 169 p.
Guaman Poma: Writing and Resistance in
Colonial Peru. Rolena Adorno. University of
Texas Press, 1986. 208 p. $22.50.

Historia y ficci6n en la narrative
hispanoamericana. Alejo Carpentier, et al.
Roberto Gonzalez Echevarria, ed. Caracas:
Monte Avila Editores, 1985. 408 p.
Hombres como madrugadas: la poesia de El
Salvador. Orlando Guillen. Barcelona: Editorial
Anthropos, 1985. 144 p.
La literature peruana en debate, 1905-1928.
r Miguel Angel Rodriguez Rea. Lima: Ediciones
A. Ricardo, 1985, 114 p.

Literature and Liminality: Festive Readings in
the Hispanic Tradition. Gustavo R Firmat. Duke
University Press, 1986. 208 p. $27.50.

The Maya's Own Words: An Anthology
Comprising Abridgements of the Popol-Vuh,
Warrior of Rabinal, and selections from the
Memorial of Solola, the Book of Chilam-Balam
of Chumayel, and the Title of the Lords of
Totonicapan. Thomas Ballantine Irving, ed.
Culver City, Calif.: Labyrinthos, 1985. 120 p.

Mirrors of War: Literature and Revolution in El
Salvador. Gabriela Yanes, et al., eds.; Keith Ellis,
trans. Monthly Review Press, 1985. 160 p.

Nueva historic de la novela hispanoamericana.
Fernando Alegria. Hanover, N.H.: Ediciones del
Norte, 1985. 300 p. $15.00.

El nuevo cuento hondureho: antologia. Jorge
Luis Oviedo, ed. 2d ed. Tegucigalpa: Dardo,
1985. 129 p.

Other Fires: Short Fiction by Latin American
Women. Alberto Manguel, ed. C. N. Potter,
1986. 192 p. $8.95.


Los otros marielitos. Milton M. Martinez. New
Orleans: Dixie Printing & Supply, 1985. 130 p.
Peru: A Novel. Gordon Lish. Dutton, 1986. 252
p. $15.95.
Le problem linguistique haitlen. Pradel
Pompilus. Port-au-Prince: Editions Fardin,
Unheard Words: Women and Literature in
Africa, the Arab World, Asia, the Caribbean
and Latin America. Mineke Schipper, ed.;
Barbara Potter Fasting, trans. London: Allison
& Busby, 1985. 288 p. 4.95.

Politics and government
Alessandri to Allende: The Destruction of
Democracy in Chile, 1920-1970. James R.
Whelan. Ottawa, Ill.: Green Hill, 1986. 400 p.
Brasil: sociedade democratic. Hello
Jaguaribe, et al. Rio de Janeiro: J. Olympio,
1985. 510 p.
Brigadista: Harvest and War in Nicaragua.
Jeffrey Jones, ed. Praeger, 1986. 256 p. $32.95;
$13.95 paper.

The Caribbean: Survival, Struggle, and
Sovereignty. Catherine A. Sunshine. South End
Press, 1985. 220 p. $30.00; $10.00 paper.

The Central America Macroanalysis Seminar:
A Program of Study and Action. Central
America Working Group. Philadelphia, Penn.:
New Society Publications, 1985. $8.00.

La confrontaci6n este-oeste en la crisis
centroamericana. Gonzalo J. Facio, ed. San
Jose, Costa Rica: Libro Libre, 1985. 423 p.

Contra Terror in Nicaragua: Report of a Fact-
Finding Mission, September 1984-January
1985. Reed Brody, South End Press, 1985.
160 p. $20.00; $8.50 paper.

Crisis y transformaci6n de los regimenes
autoritarios; Argentina, Brasil, y Chile. Isidoro
Cheresky, Jacques Chouchol, eds. Editorial
Universitaria de Buenos Aires, 1985.

Cuba in Transition: A New Force in the
Western Hemisphere. Mervyn M. Dymally,
Jeffrey M. Elliot. San Bernardino, Calif.: Borgo
Press, 1986. 160 p. $19.95; $9.95 paper.

Democracia y desarrollo en America Latina.
Fernando Cepeda Ulloa, et al. Buenos Aires:
Grupo Editor Latinoamericano, 1985. 273 p.

Dictadura military oposici6n political en Chile,
1973-1981. A. E. Fernandez Jilberto.
Amsterdam: Centro de Estudios y
Documentaci6n Latinoamericanos, CEDLA,
1985. 455 p. Nfl37.50.

Forging a New Democracy. Raphael Sebastien,
ed. Port-of-Spain: Office of the Leader of the
Opposition, 1985. 253 p.

El golpe de estado de 1904. Victor Caceres
Lara. Tegucigalpa: Universidad Nacional
Aut6noma de Honduras, 1985. 134 p.

Guyana: Politics, Economics, and Society.
Colin Baber, Henry B. Jeffrey. Boulder, Colo.:
L. Rienner, 1986. 190 p. $25.00; $11.50 paper.
The Hovering Giant: U.S. Responses to
Revolutionary Change in Latin America,
1910-1985. Cole Blasier, ed. University of
Pittsburgh Press, 1986. 348 p. $29.95;
$11.95 paper.

Marx y America Latina: el problema de las
interpretaciones. Eudoro Rodriguez Albarracin.
Bogota: Editorial El Buho, 1985. 163 p.

Mexico: Chaos on Our Doorstep. Sol Sanders.
Lanham, Md.: Madison Books, 1986. 250 p.
1984 [Mil novecientos ochenta y cuatro]:
Nicaragua. Pablo Antonio Cuadra, et al. San
Jose, Costa Rica: Libro Libre, 1985. 290 p.
El militarismo en Costa Rica y otros ensayos.
Fernando Volio Jim6nez. San Jose, Costa Rica:
Libro Libre, 1985. 245 p.

El mito alfonsinista: liberacibn national y
lucha de classes en la Argentina. Emilio J.
Corbibre. Buenos Aires: Icaria, 1985. 152 p.

Murder Under Two Flags: The U.S., Puerto
Rico, and the Cerro Maravilla Cover-Up. Anne
Nelson. New York: Ticknor & Fields, 1986.

National Marxism in Latin America: Jose
Carlos Mariategui's Thought and Politics.
Harry E. Vanden. Boulder, Colo.: L. Rienner,
1986. 215 p. $22.50.

Nunca mas: The Report of the Argentine
National Commission on the Disappeared.
Farrar, Straus, and Giroux, 1986. $9.95.

Un pan que no se come: biografia de Acci6n
Nacional. Griel Jarquin Galvez, Jorge Javier
Romero Vadillo. Mexico: Ediciones de Cultura
Popular, 1985. 110 p.

Panama: desastre o democracia. Ricardo Arias
Calder6n. Panama: Impr. Edilito, 1985. 219 p.

Le part socialist franc ais face a la
decolonisation, de Jules Guesde a Francois
Mitterand: le cas de la Guadeloupe. Henri
Bangou. Paris: L'Harmattan, 1985. 287 p. 128F.

Las political exteriores latinoamericanas
frente a la crisis. Heraldo Muhioz, ed. Buenos
Aires: Grupo Editor Latinoamericano, 1985.
452 p.

The Politics of the Miraculous in Peru: Haya
de la Torre and the Spiritualist Tradition.
Frederick B. Pike. University of Nebraska Press,
1986. 384 p. $32.50.
Por um Brasil brasileiro. Claudio Campos. Rio
de Janeiro: Edit6ra Global, 1985. 100 p.
Promise of Development: Theories of Change
in Latin America. Peter F. Klaren, Thomas J.
Bossert, eds. Westview Press, 1986. 235 p.
$34.00; $14.95 paper.
Rodrigo Facio y su contribucibn al
delineamiento de los principios filos6ficos de
ia Constituci6n de 1949. Carlos Salazar Leiva.
San Jose, Costa Rica: Editorial Papiro, 1985.
186 p.
El romanticismo politico hispanoamericano.
Marta E. Pena de Matsushita. Centro de
Estudios Filos6ficos, Academia Nacional de
Ciencias de Buenos Aires, 1985. 528 p.

The Sho Paulo Law School and the Anti-
Vargas Resistance, 1938-1945. John W. F.
Dulles. University of Texas Press, 1986. 312 p.
Socledad, derecho, y justicia: discursos y
ensayos. Jose Trias Monge. University of
Puerto Rico Press, 1985.
Turning the Tide: U.S. Intervention in Central
America and the Struggle for Peace. Noam
Chomsky. South End Press, 1985. 300 p.
$30.00; $10.00 paper.

U.S.-Latin American Relations. Michael J.
Kryzanek. Praeger, 1985. 272 p. $36.95.

The United States and Latin America in the
1980's: Contending Perspectives on a Decade
of Crisis. Kevin J. Middlebrook, Carlos Rico,
eds. University of Pittsburgh Press, 1986. 640
p. $34.95; $16.95 paper.

Venezuela: The Democratic Experience. John
D. Martz, David J. Myers, eds. Rev. ed. Praeger,
1986. 524 p. $40.95; $18.95 paper.
With the Contras: A Reporter in the Wilds of
Nicaragua. Christopher Dickey. Simon and
Schuster, 1985. $17.95.


Bibliography of Latin American Bibliographies,
1984-1985. Lionel Lorofia, ed. Madison, Wis.:'
Seminar on the Acquisition of Latin American
Library Materials, SALALM, 1985. $10.00.

Cuba, 1953-1978: A Bibliographic Guide to
the Literature. Ronald H. Chilcote, Sheryl
Lutjens, eds. Kraus International, 1986. 3 vols.

Fifty Caribbean Writers: A Bio-Bibliographical-
Critical Sourcebook. Daryl Cumber Dance, ed.
Greenwood Press, 1986. 580 p. $65.00.

Nuestro mundo '85/'86: Argentina, Bolivia,
Brasil, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cuba, Chile,
Ecuador, Espafia. Agencia EFE. Madrid:
Espasa Calpe, 1985. 1548 p.

Para la historic del periodismo en Cuba: un
aporte bibliografico. Francisco Mota. La
Habana: Ediciones Oriente, 1985. 192 p.


Florida International University

Southeast Florida's Four-Year State University

Florida International University (FIU)-located in one of the
nation's fastest growing metropolitan areas and centers for
international trade, finance and cultural exchange-empha-
sizes broad interdisciplinary education for strengthening
understanding of world issues and preparing students for
membership in our modern interrelated world. It offers
courses and programs at three locations: Tamiami Campus in
Southwest Dade County, Bay Vista Campus in North Miami
and the Broward Center, on the Central Campus of Broward
Community College.
Florida International University's faculty members are
renowned for their commitment to teaching, research and
service from an international perspective. Individual and
group research projects run the gamut of possible topics and
geographic regions. Faculty exchanges take FIU researchers
abroad and bring leading international scholars to the campus.
15,000 students come from 74 nations and 41 states. They
may select from undergraduate and graduate studies in the
humanities, social sciences, mathematical and physical sci-
ences, and a wide range of professional programs, earning
degrees and/or certificates. Of special international interest
are the Graduate Program In International Studies, a multi-
disciplinary curriculum leading to the Master of Arts degree
[contact: Director, Graduate Program in International Studies,
(305) 554-2248] and a program in International Economic
Development, offered as part of the Master of Arts in
Economics [contact: Chairperson, Department of Economics,
(305) 554-2316]. A Master of International Business provides
basic management tools and familiarity with the international
environment [contact: Director, Master of International Busi-
ness, (305) 940-5870].
Several professional programs provide academic and ap-
plied courses in fields applicable to an international focus. The
School of Nursing's program leads to the Bachelor of Science
and prepares its graduates to practice professional nursing in
a multicultural and changing society [contact: School of
Nursing, (305) 940-5915]. The School of Public Affairs and
Services offers undergraduate and graduate degrees in Crimi-
nal Justice, Health Services Administration, Public
Administration and Social Work emphasizing needs, issues
and alternatives in rapidly changing urban societies [contact:
School of Public Affairs and Services, (305) 940-5840].
The Latin American and Caribbean Center, one of 12 US
Department of Education National Resource Centers, coordi-
nates teaching and research on the region, administers an
academic certificate program, supports research and sponsors
public activities on Latin America and the Caribbean [contact:
Director, Latin American and Caribbean Center, (305)
A certificate in International Bank Management provides
training in international banking policy, practice and tech-

niques [contact: Business Counseling Office, (305) 554-2781].
The International Banking Center cooperates with banks and
businesses in Miami to support research and sponsor seminars
on international banking topics [contact: International Banking
Center (305) 554-2771].
The International affairs Center promotes international
education, training, research and cooperative exchange by
encouraging a wide variety of faculty and student activities
and helping to develop the university's international programs
[contact: International Affairs Center, (305) 554-2846].
The English Language Institute conducts a writing labora-
tory for individualized instruction, provides diagnostic testing
of oral and written English language proficiency, and operates
the intensive English program, a four-month course of instruc-
tion in reading, conversation, grammar, composition, TOEFL
preparation and business English [contact: Director, English
Language Institute, (305) 554-2222].
The university is also the base for several international
organizations. The Inter-American University Council for
Economic and Social Development (CUIDES) is an indepen-
dent, nonprofit association of representatives from post-
secondary academic institutions. Its primary concern is assist-
ing nations of the Americas with economic and social
development. The Institute of Economic and Social Research
of the Caribbean Basin (IESCARIBE) is a group of Caribbean
basin economists and research institutes which develop
cooperative projects of mutual interest. The institute conducts
seminars and publishes resulting materials.

Florida International University
Bay Vista Campus
North Miami, Florida 33181

Tamiami Campus
Miami, Florida 33199

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