Redefining Cuban Foreign Policy:
The Impact of the "Special Period"

Edited by H. Michael Erisman and John M. Kirk

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"A major contribution to the field of Cuban studies. . . . The challenges, successes, and failures of Havana’s international relations during the current Special Period are superbly examined here by a group of well-known international scholars. The emerging picture is a sobering realization that the long-standing U.S.-Cuba dispute has by now metastasized, reaching and complicating practically every dimension of Cuba’s international relations."--Max Azicri, Edinboro University of Pennsylvania

"One of the best collections of essays on Cuban foreign policy to date . . . including authors from the U.S., Canada, Scotland, Spain, Mexico, and Cuba. . . . The reader is confronted with diverse aspects and different visions of Cuba’s foreign relations."--Harry E. Vanden, University of South Florida

Against all odds, Cuba has adapted to the post-Soviet world and redefined itself by drastically realigning its international relationships. These essays from renowned scholars around the globe (including Cuba) analyze the strategy of the revolutionary government as it patched together a totally revamped foreign policy during the years known as the Special Period, from 1989 to the present. With the implosion of the Soviet Union, Cuba’s trading partners in the socialist bloc, who also provided the country with subsidies and solid political and military support, suddenly vanished. Almost overnight, however, the tiny country found new trading partners and diplomatic alliances. With a creative and ambitious foreign policy, Cuban socialism overcame formidable obstacles and survived the demise of the USSR and European socialism.

This book establishes the context for the radical restructuring of the country's international relations and looks at probable future developments. It focuses on specific case histories of key importance, in particular Havana's relationship with the European Union, Latin America, Canada, Spain, Russia, Mexico, and the Caribbean, since the beginning of the Special Period and especially during the last decade. It also shows how Cuba's response to internal events has negatively influenced the execution of its foreign policy and complicated its domestic environment.

H. Michael Erisman is professor of political science at Indiana State University. John M. Kirk is professor of Spanish at Dalhousie University in Halifax, Nova Scotia.

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…a first-rate addition to the literature on Cuba's international relations, written by some of the best analysts of the subject both on the island and off. Latin American Studies

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