The return of Cuba to Latin America: The end of Cuban exceptionalism?

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Comparing Cuban history and contemporary circumstances to those in the rest of the region, this article challenges the idea of Cuban exceptionalism. The last four decades have seen Cuba move away from typical Latin American patterns such as economic and geographical inequalities. The Revolution has not been able, however, to reverse a historical dependence on external financing nor has it resolved racial inequities. While the Revolution did establish an unusually effective political apparatus, it did not use this opportunity to nurture democracy. As the social welfare advances of the revolution erode, Cuba resembles the rest of the continent ever more and reflects the central problems facing the region.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)403-413
Number of pages11
JournalBulletin of Latin American Research
Issue number4
StatePublished - Oct 2004

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Development


  • Cuba
  • Cuban exceptionalism
  • Democracy
  • Dependency
  • Inequality
  • Latin America


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