Reactions to the Market
Small Farmers in the Economic Reshaping of Nicaragua, Cuba, Russia, and China
Publication Year: 2010
Published by: Penn State University Press
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List of Figures, Tables, and Maps
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Abbreviations and Key Terms
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The year 1990 was a turning point in both Nicaragua and Cuba. That year witnessed the electoral loss of the Sandinista National Liberation Front (FSLN), which had sought to move Nicaragua in the direction of socialism following the overthrow of the Somoza regime in 1979. The election results forecast a major shift in the government’s reigning political economy, one...
Part I: Transitions from Socialism and Their Social Consequences
1. Theoretical Backdrop
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Profound economic crises characterized Nicaragua and Cuba in the early 1990s. Despite their sharing a socialist orientation toward policy making during the 1980s, the strategies that each government later pursued to address the crisis differed significantly. These strategies reflected the overall political economic orientation of their respective governments. In Nicaragua, the structural adjustment implemented in response to the crisis was geared to open up the economy to the international market and to...
2. Small Farmers in a Contrasting Light
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Nicaragua and Cuba represented two of the smaller socialist regimes that had come to power. Yet the changes they experienced as they went their separate ways in 1990 paralleled, in many respects, the changes that were under way in two countries that had been the world’s largest socialist regimes, Russia and China. The last quarter of the twentieth century was a...
Part II: Nicaragua's Rapid Retreat from Socialism
3. The Economic Strategy of the Post-1900 State
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The shift in political economic orientation of the Nicaraguan state began with the inauguration of the Chamorro regime in April 1990. A modification in the balance of forces of the distinct social groupings within Nicaraguan society had, effectively, culminated in the electoral victory of the anti-Sandinista alliance, UNO, or Union Nacional Opositora. That victory gave...
4. The Economic Strategy’s Varying Impacton Nicaragua’s Small Farmers
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The multiple national-level policies that composed Nicaragua’s structural adjustment (SA), which propelled the country’s retreat from socialism, were designed to encourage export production. The rationale for emphasizing this sector was that this was the best way to cut down on previously existing inefficiencies in both state and private investments, as well as to ensure the...
Part III: The Reconfiguration of Cuban Socialism
5. Cuba's Post-1900 Economic Strategy
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Small farmers in Cuba have also been affected by an economic reform that was at the core of that country’s social and economic transformation of the1990s. Rather than engaging in a retreat from socialism, though, the Cuban government sought to reconfigure it in ways that would allow for its essence to remain intact despite the multiple forces that militated against such a...
6. The Reconfiguration’s Varying Impact on Cuba’s Small Farmers
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The reconfiguration of Cuban socialism set in motion in 1990 had a myriad of facets. In the agricultural sector, the downsizing of production, the liberalization of marketing, the turning over of parcels of land to those willing to work them, and so forth, all formed part of it. These diverse policies were geared to incentivize production increases, incorporate underemployed...
Conclusion: Transitions Toward the Market and Their Theoretical Implications
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The policies pursued by the Nicaraguan and Cuban governments toward their respective agricultural sectors after 1990 differed markedly, most especially those polices that focused on food crop production. The outcomes of those policy differences for the farmers involved were also, logically, quite distinct. The position of Nicaragua’s food crop producers, who were...
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Yet another period of change was initiated in Nicaragua and Cuba in the mid-2000s. In Nicaragua, the reelection of the Sandinista National Liberation Front (FSLN) to the presidency in late 2006 and Daniel Ortega’s assumption of that position in early 2007 opened the way for change. In Cuba, the serious illness of Fidel Castro, which was made public in mid-2006, and...
Appendix A: A Note on the Use of the Terms SMALL FARMER and PEASANT
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Appendix B: My Research Methodology
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Page Count: 256
Illustrations: 2 charts/graphs, 2 maps, 15 tables
Publication Year: 2010