Of Porous Borders, Privileged Gatekeeping, and the Fading Iron-Curtain: Cuba’s Reluctant Multi-centricism?

  • Joaquín Roy


From the 1963 missile crisis to the post—Fidel era, though Cuba faced quite different and competitive International Relations (IR) contexts (or theoretical climates) firsthand, a sea of inclusionary changes may be knocking harder on its doors now than ever before. During the Cold War, it became the playground of realism and neorealism: The 1959 revolution reified the state, and with the United States as a hostile neighbor, a classical realist saga unfolded; then when Fidel Castro aligned with the Soviet Union, the state-centric sentiments conjoined with systemic priorities, that is, as a player in the international system. Since the Soviet Union needed Cuba as a Latin foothold against its own adversary, the interdependence between the two fed into one of Latin America’s homespun paradigms: dependencia. When the Soviet Union collapsed, Cuba’s high-rolling lifestyles ended, and it suddenly began flirting with bankruptcy and insolvency. Though this shook the bilateral relationship, one witnessed (and could argue), neoliberal dynamics entered the vacuum: Spain’s almost simultaneous European Community (EC) membership brought both Spain and the European Union to Cuba’s relief against the still-persisting US-driven economic sanctions; and today Venezuela has largely taken up the role the Soviet Union played until the 1990s as paymaster. There is not just trade and investment, but also tourism to exemplify the neoliberal presence.


National Security International Relation Fiftieth Anniversary Cuban Revolution Cuban Regime 
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© Imtiaz Hussain 2013

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  • Joaquín Roy

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