The Case of Castro's Cuba
Publication Year: 2002
Published by: The Johns Hopkins University Press
Title Page, Copyright, Dedication
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Preface and Acknowledgments
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As I was revising my dissertation on the political economy of Argentina to submit it to a publisher, momentous developments were taking place in Cuba. Civil society was being re-created after a long period of near extinction. The Castro regime showed signs of weakness. It faced a severe economic crisis and had lost its Soviet patron. ...
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In the immediate aftermath of the fall of communist dictatorships in Eastern Europe, a widespread expectation emerged that the domino effect would reach the Caribbean without much delay. As the Castro dictatorship nonetheless endured, explanations for its staying power proliferated. ...
1. The Castro Regime and Political Transition
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Major theoretical works on transitions to democracy concur that dictatorships tend to fall when faced with crises. From the perspective of the model of transitions based on the experiences of Latin America and Southern Europe, Przeworski observes that splits in authoritarian power blocs are induced by signs of an imminent crisis, ...
2. Civil Society and Repression
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Two objections to the argument that a transition from below is possible in Cuba are that, in contrast to Eastern European countries, civil society in Cuba is too “weak” and government repression is too strong. These objections are usually presented as two sides of the same coin, with the alleged weakness of civil society explained in terms of the degree of repression. ...
3. Political Efficacy and Independent Communication
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The concept of political efficacy was introduced to political science by Angus Campbell in 1954.1 It has been defined as “the feeling that individual political action does have or can have an impact upon the political process.”2 There is strong empirical evidence supporting the association between a feeling of efficacy and political participation.3 ...
4. Assistance to Civil Society
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Civil society activists can help develop a widespread sense of political efficacy in a population by conveying messages and information to that population. Citizens can be encouraged to participate in acts of defiance against a regime. Also, activists can inform people about outrageous acts committed by the authorities, and wrath can move people to engage in public protests. ...
5. U.S. Policies toward Cuba
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Before discussing the policies toward Cuba during the presidency of Bill Clinton, I want to provide an overview of the Cuba policies of previous American administrations since 1959. Doing so will identify the policy goals over time and whether anything changed in the Clinton years. ...
6. The Economic Embargo
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Whether the United States should maintain its economic embargo on the Castro government has been a controversial issue for a long time, but since the Cuban Liberty and Democratic Solidarity (Libertad) Act of 1996, commonly known as the Helms–Burton Act, was enacted in March 1996, the degree of contention has reached an unprecedented degree of intensity.1 ...
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Some scholars analyzing the demise of communist rule in Eastern Europe argue that the problems those dictatorships faced were so severe that they had to fall.1 Yet while those problems or underlying conditions were necessary for the transitions, they were not sufficient. The list of conditions presented was incomplete. ...
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Page Count: 272
Publication Year: 2002