Cuba Was Different

Views of the Cuban Communist Party on the Collapse of Soviet and Eastern European Socialism


In Cuba Was Different, Even Sandvik Underlid explores the views of Cuban authorities, official press, and Party members as they reflect back on the collapse of Soviet and Eastern European socialism. In so doing, he contributes to a better understanding as to why the Cuban system – often associated with Fidel Castro’s leadership – did not itself collapse. Despite the loss of its most important allies, key ideological referents, and even most of its foreign trade, Cuba did not embrace capitalism.

The author critically examines and analyzes the collapse of the USSR and Eastern Europe as reported in the Cuban Communist Party newspaper Granma, both as they unfolded and subsequently through the lens of additional interviews with individual Party members. This focus on Cuba’s Communist Party provides new perspectives on how these events were seen from Cuba and on the notable resilience of many party members.

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Even Sandvik Underlid, Ph.D. in Latin American history (2017), MA in Spanish language and Latin American studies (2007), University of Bergen. He has published various articles and is the author of a travelers´ account of Cuba (Manifest, 2012) where he also worked two years as a lecturer.
List of Figures
List of Abbreviations

Part 1 : The Collapse According to Granma

1 Written Sources on the Collapse

2 Granma and the Written News as a Method

3 Analyzing the News Accounts

4 Reflections on the Written News

Part 2 :

5 Contextualizing the Testimonies

6 Oral Source Methodologies

7 Analysis of the Interviews

8 Insights from the Oral Testimonies
Conclusion: Viewing the Collapse through the PCC Lens
Appendix 1: Information for the Interviewees
Appendix 2: Interview Guide
Appendix 3 : Core Sources
Appendix 4: Example Table for Data Visualization
All those interested in Cuba´s contemporary history and politics, and those who are curious about non-European viewpoints on the “collapse of communism” in the former USSR and Eastern Europe.
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