Cuba’s Dilemma of Simultaneity: The Link between the Political and the National Question

  • Bert Hoffmann
Part of the Studies of the Americas book series (STAM)


Political science scholars are usually fascinated by great political changes. But in Cuba, what has been spectacular after 1989 is precisely the continuity of the political system in spite of truly dramatic changes in the international context and a profound national economic and social crisis. Against expectations, Cuba’s brand of state socialism proved to be immune to the wave of regime change that led to the demise of Communist Party rule in all the Eastern European countries within a brief period of time. From a comparative perspective, therefore, what needs to be explained is Cuba’s “nontransition.” Claus Offe refers to the “dilemma of simultaneity” in his study of the transformation process in Eastern Europe: in contrast to Southern Europe and Latin America, political regime change toward pluralist, civilian democracy did not call into question the fundaments of the economic system, and, in the former socialist states, political and economic change had to be accomplished simultaneously.1


Communist Party National Question Social Crisis Cuban Revolution Cuban Government 
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© Bert Hoffmann and Laurence Whitehead 2007

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  • Bert Hoffmann

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