ABSTRACT

This collection of articles has been produced, not just to mark the thirtieth anniversary of the Cuban revolution, but because the anniver­ sary has fallen at a time of important political developments affecting the Caribbean island. Even before the Ochoa affair brought to light the corruption of part of the revolutionary elite, 1989 was clearly a crucial time to look back upon the years since 1959, assess current developments and consider future perspectives. By the late 1980s the ageing of the early revolutionary leadership brought into debate its succession, in which not only the party but also that equally strong institution, the military, clearly had an interest. A t the same time, Cuba’s future role on the international scene became less certain following the agreement to withdraw her troops from Angola, which also promised to contribute to internal tensions as the soldiers returned home. And of course, Gorbachev’s implementation of perestroika in the Soviet Union provided further impetus for change, even though the Soviet reforms were manifestly unpalatable to the Cuban leadership.