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University of Havana

One of the presenters at the Bookings Institute material you removed was Carlos Alzugaray Treto Professor, University of Havana. User:Fred Bauder Talk 16:41, 28 January 2012 (MSK)

I don't know who presented this, it's still written from a capitalist pov. —
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xXPowerMexicoXx (Talk) 18:35, 28 January 2012 (MSK)
I don't know that an optimistic treatment of how to expand international trade, restructure the economy, and preserve the social gains of the revolution is a capitalist view. User:Fred Bauder Talk 20:42, 28 January 2012 (MSK)
"Preserve the social gains of the revolution"? I have read the complete article and I don't remember having read anything like that. All I see is "down with socialism! it's obsolete! let's move on to international capitalism!", etc. I don't think it's worth linking to it in any way. —
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xXPowerMexicoXx (Talk) 22:10, 28 January 2012 (MSK)
"impressive achievements in health, education and the arts" User:Fred Bauder Talk 22:45, 28 January 2012 (MSK)

Cuba (fifth paragraph)

Could whoever wrote this find a citation for it?

"In April 1961, the day before the Bay of Pigs invasion, Castro officially declared that Cuba’s revolution was socialist. By a convenient coincidence, and with no previous interest in left-wing ideology, in December 1961 Castro announced that he was now a Marxist-Leninist."

I'm not necessarily doubting it, but I sure found it surprising. On the face of it, it also doesn't seem to agree with Wikipedia's article on Fidel Castro, which includes the note: "In 1947, Castro joined a new socialist group, the Party of the Cuban People..." Salaw 22:00, 19 June 2013 (GMT)

I believe it was copied from here , it may be POV. —
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xXPowerMexicoXx (Talk) 22:16, 19 June 2013 (GMT)
I'm sure there is a great deal more to it than that, but better work will have to wait on better information. I recall reading that Cuba did not automatically turn to the Soviet Union, but made a tactical decision, but this is not something I know much about. User:Fred Bauder Talk 00:42, 20 June 2013 (GMT)
Thanks. I'd like to take a stab at expanding this a bit (and, maybe, the article on Fidel Castro), if nobody objects and if I can find the time to do the necessary research. Won't happen overnight, tho :(. As far as I know, Cuba is one of the few (or only?) successful communist states today, and as such it would seem to deserve a reasonably substantial article. Salaw 01:59, 23 June 2013 (GMT)
Good idea; I don't know enough about it to even know what sources would be good. The Wikipedia articles are a disaster in this respect; they essentially contain nothing about Castro's background. The only source I've ever found that is halfway useful is basically informed by MI6 which is grossly inappropriate to use here; their theory is that Raul was an actual communist with connections with Mexican communists before the revolution while Fidel was pretty much apolitical, at least in that sense. User:Fred Bauder Talk 02:51, 23 June 2013 (GMT)
My experience is that it is nearly impossible to judge public support for a government without a free press and elections; I honestly believed that was at least majority support for the Soviet government; as, apparently did most Soviet leaders. There is no telling what the result of a straight up election might be in Cuba. User:Fred Bauder Talk 03:00, 23 June 2013 (GMT)
That is, after all, the point in elections ;). But WRT the Soviets, my feeling is that Stalin was so horrible, and the excesses the Soviet Communists went through in collectivizing the farms were so damaging, that there was little chance they could ever be accepted as legitimate rulers by most Russians. Any government which kills 15 million of its own people through its policies is going to have a rough time of it in the next election, even if that election is delayed by several decades. The remarkable thing about Soviet Russia, IMO, is that their government finally fell without a blood bath.
And, IMHO, the first remarkable thing about Castro's Cuba, when viewed among the major Communist states, is that Fidel Castro came to power without the disastrous collectivization frenzy that Russia and China underwent. Consequently, though he repressed dissent and no doubt made a lot of enemies in his long rule, I think it's plausible that he is viewed at least neutrally by most Cubans in Cuba.
The second remarkable thing about Cuba is that it has remained Communist without the support of Russia, or any other large external backer. Russia and China were going broke when their Communist systems fell, and they only recovered financially by embracing capitalism. Vietnam has welcomed capitalist companies, and sells their cheap labor to support the country. North Korea is apparently utterly wretched, with an economy in shambles. In Cuba, in constrast to all of these, Fidel Castro apparently found a way to operate a Communist state as a viable economic entity. His "export" of medical expertise is also remarkable among major Communist states in that it's an export of skilled labor rather than raw resources.
But all of that is unsourced, just impressions gleaned from what I've read in news stories. I'll need to do a bit of digging before I can add anything coherent to the Cuba or Castro articles. Salaw 06:59, 23 June 2013 (GMT)
I think I may have been unclear. I meant I'd like to take a stab at expanding the article on Cuba rather than specifically the section on Fidel Castro's background.
BTW thanks for the comment about MI6, Fred -- that's helpful in understanding how the original quote may have come to be. Salaw 07:14, 23 June 2013 (GMT)
Cuban agriculture had been "collectivized" already by foreign investors in sugar cane and tobacco. There was no mass of small-holds to consolidate, and quarrel with. User:Fred Bauder Talk 11:09, 23 June 2013 (GMT)
Those books, by the way, are the books by Wikipedia:Christopher Andrew (historian). User:Fred Bauder Talk 12:23, 23 June 2013 (GMT)
The ultimate source is Wikipedia:Nikolai Leonov and his books. User:Fred Bauder Talk 12:54, 23 June 2013 (GMT)
Thanks for the references.
I like your observation on the "pre-collectivization" of Cuban agriculture. It fits with another (often made) observation, which is that according to Marxist theory, Russia was absolutely not where the revolution should have taken place. It was hardly out of the feudal era, while Marx was writing about post-industrial society. There's no point of view that makes sense to me from which dispossessing the kulaks could have been a good idea. Wikipedia calls them "wealthy", and Lenin called them all kinds of bad things, but from what I've read nearly all of the so-called kulaks could more accurately have been described as "merely less poor".
While Cuba certainly wasn't any more post-industial than Russia had been, its economy had been largely hijacked by companies from the post-industrial West. Salaw 15:29, 23 June 2013 (GMT)
A horse, a plow, a wagon, a cow, a barn, 30 acres, and a hired hand made you a kulak. The hired hand was particularly damning. User:Fred Bauder Talk 16:01, 23 June 2013 (GMT)