Cuba and the Global Context Since the 1990s: New Challenges, Voices, and Theoretical Developments
This chapter is divided into two sections. The first part highlights the profound social, political, cultural, economic, and intellectual changes taking place all over the world, many of which are deeply impacting Latin America and Cuba more specifically. In light of these changes, the general social, economic, and political strategies adopted by the Cuban government to respond to these global challenges are outlined, as well as how they are contributing to the partial reinsertion of the country within globalized capitalist networks. Of course, these strategies involve new risks and challenges for the continuation of the present socialist project—although fundamentally changed in the decades since its inception—and its reconfiguration toward the construction of possible social, political, and economic alternatives. These alternatives find their expression in the emerging “new” social voices (women, African descendants, LGBQT), which are bringing new challenges while displaying a renewed energy for transforming Cuba’s society.
The second (and shorter) part of this chapter is primarily theological in content. It discusses briefly the renewed and expanding theoretical framework emerging in Latin American and Latino/a liberationist theologies. This framework gives coherence to this book as a whole, and gives us a rubric for evaluating Arce’s theological legacy, and his significance for confronting the challenges that Cubans face today. In the last section, I broadly explore the theoretical import of the decolonial perspective forged in the late 1990s–2000s by Latin American and Latino/a scholars.