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Juan Valdés Paz

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The Socialist Transition in Cuba: Continuity and Change in the 1990s

In the early 1990s, Cuba’s halting recovery from economic crisis initially plunged the government into total chaos at the ideological level and led to the introduction of significant elements of capitalism. Juan Valdes Paz outlines efforts at developing a new socialist paradigm that is capable of allowing underdeveloped and dependent nations to achieve economic and social development, establish their independence, and build societies free of exploitation. The article critiques several negative tendencies, including the adoption of the East European model, which compromised the Cuban social system’s integrity because of its subordination to the political system. The author concludes that the Cuban political system has demonstrated its ability to transform Cuban society, adapt to the adverse conditions ofits environment, and reproduce its relations and values. The system’s primary strength and its weakness have resided in the concentration and unity of its politicalpower. Despite the interrupted democratization of the political system, its reproduction under the new conditions, with the eventual liberalization of the economic system, will depend on its capacity for radical democratization. However, if the United States continues to threaten Cuba’s survival, it is likely that the political system will retain its exclusionary character and the system’s democratic development may also be impeded.

socialism; Cuba; democratization; Communist Party — Cuba; government

Citation: Social Justice Vol. 22, No. 3 (1995): 92-110

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