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

Hosted by the Latin America and Caribbean Centre (LACC)

Online public event (via Zoom with Facebook livestream)


Dr Helen Yaffe

Dr Helen Yaffe

Visiting Fellow, Latin America and Caribbean Centre, London School of Economics (LSE)

Dr William LeoGrande

Dr William LeoGrande

Professor, Department of Government, American University

Dr Emily Morris

Dr Emily Morris

Research Fellow, Institute of the Americas, University College London (UCL)


Professor Gareth Jones

Professor Gareth Jones

Director, Latin America and Caribbean Centre, London School of Economics (LSE)

With the collapse of the Soviet Union, Cuba faced a crisis that decimated its economy. How then the socialist system manages to survive? This is what Helen Yaffe examines in her new book: We Are Cuba! How a Revolutionary People Have Survived in a Post-Soviet World.

Drawing on archival research and interviews with Cuban leaders, thinkers, and activists, Helen Yaffe explores the key domestic initiatives that have contributed to the survival of Cuban socialism, including the creation of a world-leading biotech industry, the Energy Revolution, the shift towards sustainable development, and medical internationalism, alongside recent economic reforms. She analyses the liberalising reforms underway and shows why the revolution continues post-Castro.

The panel will comment on the book and discuss the latest domestic and international developments shaping the island. In particular, they will evaluate the impact of the US elections on US-Cuba relations, discuss the economic difficulties the country faces, largely as a result of increased US sanctions, assess recent economic reforms, and reflect on Cuba’s response to the Covid-19 pandemic at home and abroad.

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Speaker bios:

Dr Emily Morris is a Development Economist specialising in Cuba, Latin America and the Caribbean at University College London. She has worked as a Senior Editor/Economist, at the Economist Intelligence Unit and the Inter-American Development Bank. Her doctoral thesis was on Cuban economic policy and performance after 1990.

Professor William LeoGrande is a specialist in Latin American politics and US foreign policy towards Latin America in the Government department at the American University. He has written five books,  most recently the co-authoring Back Channel to Cuba: The Hidden History of Negotiations between Washington and Havana. Professor LeoGrande has been a Council on Foreign Relations International Affairs Fellow, and a Pew Faculty Fellow in International Affairs.

Dr Helen Yaffe is a Visiting Fellow at the Latin American and Caribbean Centre in the LSE and a Lecturer in Economic and Social History at the University of Glasgow. Since 1995, she has spent time living and researching in Cuba. She is the author of Che Guevara: The Economics of Revolution (2009) and co-author of Youth Activism and Solidarity: The Non-stop Picket Against Apartheid (2017).

Chair: Professor Gareth Jones, Director of Latin America and Caribbean Centre, London School of Economics.

Cuba’s Ambassador to the UK, Her Excellency Bárbara Montalvo Álvarez, will also be in attendance.

Book launch promo: Yale Books is offering a 30% discount on We are Cuba! by entering de code Y2128 when prompted at checkout on the Yale website.

The code is valid until 31/12/2020.

There are a few restrictions:
Customers from USA and Canada can claim the discount by contacting
International orders will be subject to variable international shipping rates and possibly customs charges.
Unfortunately, the discount is not available for customers in Australia and New Zealand.

A video of this event is available to watch at We Are Cuba: How a revolutionary people have survived in a post-Soviet world.