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Globalization and the Cuban Revolution in the Twenty-First Century

Author:

George Lambie

De Montfort University, GB
About George
George Lambie is Principal Lecturer in the Department of Public Policy, De Montfort University, Leicester, UK. His main areas of research include international political economy, Cuban history and political economy, and the influence of European political ideas on Latin American intellectuals in the interwar years. Among the two books and 18 referred articles are: The Fractured Blockade: West- European Cuban Relations during the Revolution, edited together with Alistair Hennessy, 1997; (Macmillan); and ‘Reinforcing Participatory Democracy in Cuba: An Alternative Development Strategy’, Democratisation, Vol. 6, No .3, Autumn 1999, pp.30-61, winner of the Frank Cass prize for the best article in the journal in 1999. He is also a consultant and was Co-Director, with Cuba’s Minister of Finance, of the European Commission’s first major co-operation with Cuba, which ran from 1995-2000.
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Abstract

This article questions the assumption that Cuba’s reform process must eventually make concessions to, and perhaps eventually join, the wider global world system dominated by neo-liberal economics and democracy as defined by the advocates of this world order. To undertake this task it is necessary to explain globalization and distinguish it from the preceding post-war period and then seek to understand the consequences of its ascendency, especially its failure to produce a sustainable model of development. In this context Cuba’s socialist experiment will be considered as an alternative, both in the form of its performance in social provision and its ideology of community above that of the individual. While these strengths may be attractive to those forces in the world that wish to resist globalization and build something new, Cuba as a single country example is not viable. Consequently these achievements can only become part of a transformative force if they are integrated with already existing popular resistance to the current neo-liberal order. Finally, it is argued this symbiosis is taking place in Latin America where Cuba is deeply involved with new social movements and progressive governments.

Resumen: La globalización y la revolución cubana en el siglo XXI

En este artículo se cuestiona la aserción de que el proceso de reformas en Cuba debe hacer concesiones, y quizás, finalmente, incorporarse al sistema global dominado por la economía neoliberal y la democracia tal como son definidas por los defensores de este orden mundial. Para emprender esta labor, es necesario explicar la globalización y distinguirla del período precedente de posguerra y luego tratar de entender las consecuencias de su influencia, especialmente en su incapacidad de producir un modelo de desarrollo sustentable. En este contexto, el experimento socialista de Cuba será considerado como una alternativa, tanto en cuanto a sus resultados en cuanto a la previsión social como en cuanto a su ideología que pone a la comunidad por sobre el individuo. Aunque estos desarrollos pueden ser atractivos para esos grupos en el mundo que tratan de oponerse a la globalización para construir algo nuevo, el ejemplo de Cuba como un solo país no es viable. Consecuentemente, esos logros sólo se pueden alcanzar como parte de la fuerza transformadora que integra la resistencia popular existente al actual orden neoliberal. Finalmente, se sostiene que esta simbiosis está ocurriendo en América Latina, donde Cuba participa profundamente en los nuevos movimientos sociales y gobiernos progresistas.
DOI: http://doi.org/10.18352/erlacs.9612
How to Cite: Lambie, G. (2009). Globalization and the Cuban Revolution in the Twenty-First Century. ERLACS, (86), 81–95. DOI: http://doi.org/10.18352/erlacs.9612
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Published on 15 Apr 2009.
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