Cuba: What Everyone Needs to Know

Cuba: What Everyone Needs to Know

Ever since Fidel Castro assumed power in Cuba in 1959, Americans have obsessed about the nation ninety miles south of the Florida Keys. America's fixation on the tropical socialist republic has only grown over the years, fueled in part by successive waves of Cuban immigration and Castro's larger-than-life persona. Cubans are now a major ethnic group in Florida, and the exile community is so powerful that every American president has kowtowed to it. But what do most Americans really know about Cuba itself? In Cuba: What Everyone Needs to Know, Julia Sweig, one of America's leading experts on Cuba and Latin America, presents a concise and remarkably accessible portrait of the small island nation's unique place on the world stage over the past fifty years. Yet it is authoritative as well. Following a scene-setting introduction that describes the dynamics unleashed since summer 2006 when Fidel Castro transferred provisional power to his brother Raul, the book looks backward toward Cuba's history since the Spanish American War before shifting to more recent times. Focusing equally on Cuba's role in world affairs and its own social and political transformations, Sweig divides the book chronologically into the pre-Fidel era, the period between the 1959 revolution and the fall of the Soviet Union, the post-Cold War era, and-finally-the looming post-Fidel era. Informative, pithy, and lucidly written, it will serve as the best compact reference on Cuba's internal politics, its often fraught relationship with the United States, and its shifting relationship with the global community.

Cuba

What Everyone Needs to Know®

Cuba

Ever since Fidel Castro assumed power in Cuba in 1959, Americans have obsessed about the nation ninety miles south of the Florida Keys. America's fixation on the tropical socialist republic has only grown over the years, fueled in part by successive waves of Cuban immigration and Castro's larger-than-life persona. Cubans are now a major ethnic group in Florida, and the exile community is so powerful that every American president has curried favor with it. But what do most Americans really know about Cuba itself? In this third edition of the widely hailed Cuba: What Everyone Needs to Know®, Julia Sweig updates her concise and remarkably accessible portrait of the small island nation. This edition contains a new foreword that discusses developments since Obama and Raul Castro announced the normalization of US-Cuba relations and restored formal diplomatic ties. A new final chapter discusses how normalization came to pass and covers Pope Francis' visit to Cuba, where he met with Fidel and Raul Castro. Expansive in coverage and authoritative in scope, the book looks back over Cuba's history since the Spanish American War before shifting to recent times. Focusing equally on Cuba's role in world affairs and its own social and political transformations, Sweig divides the book chronologically into the pre-Fidel era, the period between the 1959 revolution and the fall of the Soviet Union, the post-Cold War era, and -- finally -- the post-Fidel era. Informative, pithy, and lucidly written, it is the best compact reference on Cuba's internal politics, its often fraught relationship with the United States, and its shifting relationship with the global community. What Everyone Needs to Know® is a registered trademark of Oxford University Press.

Cuba

What Everyone Needs to Know(r)

Cuba

Ever since Fidel Castro assumed power in Cuba in 1959, Americans have obsessed about the nation ninety miles south of the Florida Keys. America's fixation on the tropical socialist republic has only grown over the years, fueled in part by successive waves of Cuban immigration and Castro's larger-than-life persona. Cubans are now a major ethnic group in Florida, and the exile community is so powerful that every American president has curried favor with it. But what do most Americans really know about Cuba itself? In this third edition of the widely hailed Cuba: What Everyone Needs to Know®, Julia Sweig updates her concise and remarkably accessible portrait of the small island nation. This edition contains a new foreword that discusses developments since Obama and Raul Castro announced the normalization of US-Cuba relations and restored formal diplomatic ties. A new final chapter discusses how normalization came to pass and covers Pope Francis' visit to Cuba, where he met with Fidel and Raul Castro. Expansive in coverage and authoritative in scope, the book looks back over Cuba's history since the Spanish American War before shifting to recent times. Focusing equally on Cuba's role in world affairs and its own social and political transformations, Sweig divides the book chronologically into the pre-Fidel era, the period between the 1959 revolution and the fall of the Soviet Union, the post-Cold War era, and -- finally -- the post-Fidel era. Informative, pithy, and lucidly written, it is the best compact reference on Cuba's internal politics, its often fraught relationship with the United States, and its shifting relationship with the global community. What Everyone Needs to Know® is a registered trademark of Oxford University Press.

Puerto Rico

What Everyone Needs to Know

Puerto Rico

Acquired by the United States from Spain in 1898, Puerto Rico has a peculiar status among Latin American and Caribbean countries. As a Commonwealth, the island enjoys limited autonomy over local matters, but the U.S. has dominated it militarily, politically, and economically for much of its recent history. Though they are U.S. citizens, Puerto Ricans do not have their own voting representatives in Congress and cannot vote in presidential elections (although they are able to participate in the primaries). The island's status is a topic of perennial debate, both within and beyond its shores. In recent months its colossal public debt has sparked an economic crisis that has catapulted it onto the national stage and intensified the exodus to the U.S., bringing to the fore many of the unresolved remnants of its colonial history. Puerto Rico: What Everyone Needs to Know� provides a succinct, authoritative introduction to the Island's rich history, culture, politics, and economy. The book begins with a historical overview of Puerto Rico during the Spanish colonial period (1493-1898). It then focuses on the first five decades of the U.S. colonial regime, particularly its efforts to control local, political, and economic institutions as well as to "Americanize" the Island's culture and language. Jorge Duany delves into the demographic, economic, political, and cultural features of contemporary Puerto Rico-the inner workings of the Commonwealth government and the island's relationship to the United States. Lastly, the book explores the massive population displacement that has characterized Puerto Rico since the mid-20th century. Despite their ongoing colonial dilemma, Jorge Duany argues that Puerto Ricans display a strong national identity as a Spanish-speaking, Afro-Hispanic-Caribbean nation. While a popular tourist destination, few beyond its shores are familiar with its complex history and diverse culture. Duany takes on the task of educating readers on the most important facets of the unique, troubled, but much beloved isla del encanto.

101 Things Everyone Needs to Know about the Global Economy

The Guide to Understanding International Finance, World Markets, and How They Can Affect Your Financial Future

101 Things Everyone Needs to Know about the Global Economy

The principles of global economics in easy-to-understand terms! The news is full of accounts of the rise and fall of economies around the world, but you may not know how these changes can affect your life. 101 Things Everyone Needs to Know about the Global Economy takes the basics of global economics and breaks them into ten straightforward chapters. From the organizations involved and trade imbalances to global risk and foreign investment, Dr. Michael Taillard describes the world markets in terms that you can recognize. You'll also learn how these matters affect the United States and your own financial future. With 101 Things Everyone Needs to Know about the Global Economy, you get the information you need to not only protect your finances, but also reap the benefits of other nations' wealth and resources.

Cuban Revelations

Behind the Scenes in Havana

Cuban Revelations

"A vivid, engaging exploration of Cuban politics, culture and economic life."--America "Considerably deeper than much of the work on the subject. It takes on the challenge of describing what's in a black box with energy and candor."--VisitCuba.com "The most informative, accurate, insightful, detailed account available on twenty-first century Cuba."--HavanaTimes.org "Marc Frank is the best foreign journalist reporting from Cuba today. We now have a behind-the-scenes look at the changes large and small taking place as the Cuban revolution molts from Fidel to Ra�l to the next generation."--Julia Sweig, author of Cuba: What Everyone Needs to Know "A must-read book to grasp what has been happening in Cuba over the past ten years."--Wayne Smith, director of the Cuba Project, Center for International Policy "Frank enriches his fascinating reportage with his unparalleled access to expressive Cubans from all walks of life."--Richard Feinberg, University of California, San Diego "With a sharp eye for human detail and a clear understanding of what makes Cuba tick, Frank's narrative bears eloquent, balanced, and always sensitive witness to the troubled trajectory of Cuba from the 'dark days' of the 1990s economic collapse through to the challenging changes under Ra�l. It genuinely gets 'inside' the otherwise confusing system and society, and is all the more welcome for that."--Antoni Kapcia, coeditor of The Changing Dynamic of Cuban Civil Society "Gripping and insightful. It is rare indeed to find reporting as authoritative and well sourced as this about what remains an impenetrable and opaque regime."--Michael Reid, author of Forgotten Continent: The Battle for Latin America's Soul As a U.S.-born journalist who has called Havana home for almost a quarter century, Mark Frank has observed in person the best days of the revolution, the fall of the Soviet bloc, the great depression of the 1990s, the stepping aside of Fidel Castro, and the reforms now being devised by his brother. In Cuban Revelations, Frank offers a first-hand account of daily life in Cuba at the turn of the twenty-first century, the start of a new and dramatic epoch for islanders and the Cuban diaspora. Examining the effects of U.S. policy toward Cuba, Frank analyzes why Cuba has entered an extraordinary, irreversible period of change and considers what the island's future holds. The enormous social engineering project taking place today under Ra�l's leadership is fraught with many dangers, and Cuban Revelations follows the new leader's efforts to overcome bureaucratic resistance and the fears of a populace that stand in his way. In addition, Frank offers a colorful chronicle of his travels across the island's many and varied provinces, sharing candid interviews with people from all walks of life. He takes the reader outside the capital to reveal how ordinary Cubans live and what they are thinking and feeling as fifty-year-old social and economic taboos are broken. He shares his honest and unbiased observations on extraordinary positive developments in social matters, like healthcare and education, as well as on the inefficiencies in the Cuban economy. Ultimately, Cuban Revelations is an objective account by a reporter who has lived with the Cubans for many years as their old world falls apart and they set about trying to build a new one.

Back to Cuba

The Return of the Butterflies

Back to Cuba

Xlibris, the leading print-on-demand self-publishing services provider, announced today the release of a new special edition of Back to Cuba: The Return of the Butterflies, an engaging book written by multi-awarded authored Elio F. Beltran. The text tells a story that evolves around real personalities of the process including a brief revealing encounter with the then student leader Fidel Castro. Readers will meet Michael, the protagonist chosen by the author for this true story that in itself goes beyond an apparent fictional novel to become not only the love story that it is, but brings fresh insight into the contemporary history of Cuba in spite of the fact that, as the author have said, he has not intended to write neither a political nor a history book. He nonetheless develops into the life within the process, as a participant first, including peripheral accounts of guerilla warfare, and his life as an exiled artist in the United States. After forty-two years of his exile, he reaches a poignant decision of going back to Cuba to witness the dramatic changes of places and people that he can barely recognize after all the years. His exploits will also give readers provocative insight about the contemporary dilemma of the Cuban exile community as well as the challenges confronting the new US government of Barack Obama. With the recent developments on both the United States and Cuba, Back to Cuba: The Return of the Butterflies is easily the most timely book to read. In light of policy changes from both nations, this book clearly defines how much has changed.

101 Things Everyone Should Know about Theodore Roosevelt

Rough Rider. President. American Icon.

101 Things Everyone Should Know about Theodore Roosevelt

The inside story of Teddy's life and presidency! You probably know that Theodore Roosevelt was the 26th president of the United States, but did you also know that he suffered great bouts of homesickness? Or that he carried a vial of morphine at all times in case he ever needed to take his own life? Though the image of President Theodore Roosevelt is one of fringed suede jackets and wire circles of glass framing a serious and scowling face, the man behind this image was a spectacularly intelligent and complex individual. 101 Things Everyone Should Know about Theodore Roosevelt explores the nuances of his famous life, giving little-known facts that complete the picture of Theodore Roosevelt. From his crippling childhood to his involvement with the Rough Riders, this book celebrates the American icon whose beliefs are still riveting almost 100 years after his death.

Global Brazil and U.S.-Brazil Relations

Global Brazil and U.S.-Brazil Relations

July 12, 2011-Over the course of a generation, Brazil has emerged as both a driver of growth in South America and as an active force in world politics. A new Council on Foreign Relations (CFR)-sponsored Independent Task Force report asserts "that it is in the interest of the United States to understand Brazil as a complex international actor whose influence on the defining global issues of the day is only likely to increase."Brazil currently ranks as the world's fifth-largest landmass, fifth-largest population, and expects to soon be ranked the fifth largest economy. The report, Global Brazil and U.S.-Brazil Relations, recommends that "U.S. policymakers recognize Brazil's standing as a global actor, treat its emergence as an opportunity for the United States, and work with Brazil to develop complementary policies."The Task Force is chaired by former secretary of energy Samuel W. Bodman and former president of the World Bank James D. Wolfensohn, and directed by CFR Senior Fellow and Director for Latin America Studies, and Director of the Global Brazil Initiative Julia E. Sweig.Recognizing Brazil's global role, the report recommends that the Obama administration now fully endorse the country's bid for a seat as a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council (UNSC). It argues that "a formal endorsement from the United States for Brazil would go far to overcome lingering suspicion within the Brazilian government that the U.S. commitment to a mature relationship between equals is largely rhetorical."Domestically, Brazil's "inclusive growth has translated into a significant reduction of inequality, an expansion of the middle class, and a vibrant economy, all framed within a democratic context." Consequently, Brazil has been able to use its economic bona fides to leverage a stronger position in the international, commercial, and diplomatic arena.The report stresses the importance of regular communication between the presidents of both countries. "Cooperation between the United States and Brazil holds too much promise for miscommunication or inevitable disagreements to stand in the way of potential gains." A mature, working relationship means that "the United States and Brazil can help each other advance mutual interests even without wholesale policy agreements between the two," notes the report.The Task Force further recommends that- the U.S. Congress "include an elimination of the ethanol tariff in any bill regarding reform to the ethanol and biofuel tax credit regime."- the United States "take the first step to waive visa requirements for Brazilians by immediately reviewing Brazil's criteria for participation in the Visa Waiver Program."- the U.S. State Department create an Office for Brazilian Affairs and the National Security Council (NSC) centralize its efforts under a NSC director for Brazil in order to better coordinate the current decentralized U.S. policy.The bipartisan Task Force includes thirty distinguished experts on Brazil who represent a range of perspectives and backgrounds. The report includes a number of additional views by Task Force members, including one that notes, "We believe that a more gradual approach [regarding Brazil's inclusion as a full UNSC member] would likely have more success in navigating the diplomatic complexities presented by U.S. support for Brazil." Another view asserts, "If the United States supports, as the Obama administration has said it does, leadership structures in international institutions that are more reflective of international realities, it must support without qualifications Brazil's candidacy [for the UNSC]."

The Cubans

The Cubans

Asked to conjure an image of Cuba, most Americans see a country of elegant, crumbling buildings and old American cars. While it takes less than twenty-five minutes to fly from Miami to Havana, the United States and its island neighbor have been mired in hostility and distrust since the Castro Revolution ousted the American-backed puppet Batista fifty years ago. Shared family connections have allowed both Americans and Cubans to separate the governments of each country from its people, but there is still misunderstanding on both sides. Photographs that purport to represent Cuba and its people often reproduce the narrow American imagination of the place, starting and ending in Old Habana. While it is true that the buildings in this small section of the city, many of which are 300 years old, have been crumbling for 150 years, and many of the cars are from the pre-Revolution era, this quaint image bears little reality to the country and its people. The documentary photographer Jack Combs has been making photographs of the Cuban people over the course of six years and fifteen visits to the island. His images range from the urban to the rural, from saturated colors and polished night skies to vibrant street scenes full of movement and sere agricultural landscapes. Much of Combs’s time was spent outside Havana, traveling to cities, smaller towns, villages, and farms in every Cuban province. His pictures of agricultural life are beautiful pastoral compositions. Rarer still is the emphasis his eye places on ordinary people living their everyday lives. Their faces and settings demonstrate that Cubans may have less than they need, but they are nonetheless a people of strength, good humor, and great national pride. The breakup of the Soviet Union and the end of its massive economic subsidies may have shattered the Cuban leaders’ dream of economic independence, but not the people’s spirit. Distributed for Documentary Photography, Santa Fe, New Mexico