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The Erosion of Racial Equality in the Context of Cuba's Dual Economy

From: Latin American Politics & Society
Volume 49, Number 3, Fall 2007
pp. 35-68 | 10.1353/lap.2007.0028


Scholars of Cuba have long linked Afro-Cubans' fate to the revolutionary government. As the government's influence on people's daily lives has declined over the past decade, the question arises of whether Afro-Cubans have sustained the gains they achieved in the revolution's first 30 years. This article uses survey data, collected in December 2000 from 334 Cuban families in Havana, to assess the impact of the post-1993 economic reforms on rising racial inequality in Cuba. It asks whether racial inequities occur in accessing dollars through state employment, self-employment, or remittances, and whether educational gains are tied to higher income. Results indicate that the structural means through which racial discrimination was once virtually eliminated through equal access to education and employment, and through which income levels became equalized according to educational level regardless of racial group, has lost its equalizing force in contemporary Cuba.

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