We Are Cuba! How a Revolutionary People Have Survived in a Post-Soviet World Helen Yaffe

Publication date:
25 Feb 2020
Yale University Press
288 pages: 235 x 156mm
Sales territories:

The extraordinary account of the Cuban people’s struggle for survival in a post-Soviet

In the aftermath of the fall of the Soviet Union, Cuba faced the start of a crisis that decimated
its economy. Helen Yaffe examines the astonishing developments that took place during and
beyond this period. Drawing on archival research and interviews with Cuban leaders,
thinkers, and activists, this book tells for the first time the remarkable story of how Cuba
survived while the rest of the Soviet bloc crumbled.
Yaffe shows how Cuba has been gradually introducing select market reforms. While the
government claims that these are necessary to sustain its socialist system, many others
believe they herald a return to capitalism. Examining key domestic initiatives including the
creation of one of the world’s leading biotechnological industries, its energy revolution, and
medical internationalism alongside recent economic reforms, Yaffe shows why the revolution
will continue post-Castro.

This is a fresh, compelling account of Cuba’s socialist revolution and the challenges it faces

Helen Yaffe is a lecturer in economic and social history at the University of Glasgow. Her teaching
focuses on Latin American and Cuban development. Since 1995, she has spent time living and
researching in Cuba. Her doctoral thesis was adapted for publication as Che Guevara: The Economics
of Revolution
in 2009 and she is the co-author of Youth Activism and Solidarity: The Non-stop Picket
Against Apartheid
, 2017. She regularly provides commentary on Cuba for the mainstream media.

“An insightful analysis of the political economy of Cuba’s socialist development strategy and the struggle to balance the need for growth with the commitment to social justice that has been a hallmark of the revolution since 1959.” —William LeoGrande, co-author of Back Channel to Cuba: The Hidden History of Negotiations between Washington and Havana

“With her eye for all manner of detail and her ability to read Cuba well, Yaffe has given us a valuable analysis of the recent reforms in Cuba, placing them within their historical and ideological context… It is a welcome contribution to our understanding of it all.”—Antoni Kapcia, author of Cuba: Island of Dreams

“Yaffe’s book on the last thirty years of the Cuban Revolution explains why, in the absence of the two Castro brothers, it has not just survived but pioneered new forms of socialism suitable for the 21 st  century.”—Richard Gott, author of Cuba: A New History

“Yaffe has lived in Cuba and shares the experiences, concerns and hopes of the Cuban people … Written with clarity and flair, this book will help you understand how and why Cuba will survive in a post-Trump world.”— Ricardo Alarcón, former President of the Cuban National Assembly and representative at the United Nations

“While presenting Cuba’s shortcomings and problems in the same way as she presents its impressive achievements, Yaffe has written the story of a people trying to build a more humane society.”—Al Campbell, Emeritus Professor of Economics, University of Utah