The study of modern Cuba can be approached from several angles: it is, first of all, part of Latin America, but, secondly, it is part of the communist-ruled world. This duality is reflected in the contributions to the conference that inspired this collection of essays: broadly speaking, the papers were presented by Cubanists who approached the country largely as part of Latin America, while the discussants were not experts on Latin America, being specialists on other communist-ruled countries with an interest in the comparative experience. A further valid approach is to see Cuba as part of the post-colonial developing world, in which comparisons are made with similar newly-emergent states in Africa and Asia; this approach was not represented at the conference.