Back from the Future by Susan Eva Eckstein

By Susan Eva Eckstein

Susan Eckstein describes how and explains why Cuban Communism has been misperceived and misunderstood overseas. hid in the back of Marxist-Leninist rhetoric and Castro's autocratic single-party rule has been a central authority selling a cradle-to-grave welfare kingdom, tolerating marketplace reforms, international funding, Western alternate, and difficult forex "internationalism." not just has Castro's Cuba been much less ideologically pushed by way of Marxist-Leninist orthodoxy than has heretofore been believed, it additionally has been much less omnipotent.

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Ideological antipathy to capitalism did not keep Communist governments during the Cold War from seeking the products of capitalism and capitalist financing to attain them. While Western funds expanded state socialist economic opportunities, they also came to drain fiscal resources when Western bank interest rates soared in the latter 1970s and when governments faced difficulties generating hard currency earnings for repaying accumulated debts. 6 By contrast, when economic ownership is largely nationalized a government need not face the risk that enterprises will divest should revenue-absorbing policies that cut into enterprise profits be implemented; in general, their investment decisions need not be driven as much by profit considerations at the micro, or enterprise, level.

Wrong investment decisions, under the circumstances, had big ripple effects. Economic problems were also exacerbated by Soviet technology, BACK FROM THE FUTURE 9 inferior to that available in the West. Moreover, the Soviet Union gave priority to basic and intermediate industries. The industries were to stimulate “upstream” consumer manufacturing in turn, but people’s desires for material goods, both in quantity and quality, went unsatisfied for decades. This stymied worker motivation. Informal dynamics rooted in formal state structures and processes may further circumscribe leadership initiatives.

His self-defense captured the popular imagination. In the speech he outlined a program for social justice and national integrity. Had his rebel forces seized power, he noted, they would have restored the 1940 Constitution, implemented agrarian reform in the countryside and profit-sharing in industry, and confiscated misappropriated wealth. He argued that the people had the right to resist oppression and injustice, and that the right to rebellion had its roots in Cuba’s very existence as a nation.

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