Episode Information

Cuba
Where We Live - with John Dankosky
Aired:
03/20/2008
Share this Content

In this episode:

"It's an economy of loaves and fishes, where things somehow come out of thin air"

 

Episode Audio

52:00 minutes (24.96 MB)
Download this Episode

Leon Yacher, professor of Geography at Southern CT State University: Photo by Marie KuhnLeon Yacher, professor of Geography at Southern CT State University: Photo by Marie KuhnWith President Fidel Castro stepping down, Cuba is primed for a major transformation...or is it?

Observers of the island nation have long marveled at how it survives. Economically isolated by the United States - it's economy is growing. It's people, unable to leave, and struggling with poor living conditions expect big changes from the new leader - Castro's brother Raul.

But how likely is change? What will US foreign policy be toward Cuba? How can it enter the 21st Century - after being stuck in the 1950s?

In 1997: Professor Joy Gordon wrote these words about the island nation of Cuba:

Joy Gordon, professor of philosophy at Fairfield University: Photo by Marie KuhnJoy Gordon, professor of philosophy at Fairfield University: Photo by Marie Kuhn"It's an economy of loaves and fishes, where things somehow come out of thin air, ingenuity and sheer will." Many Cuba watchers today marvel that over the last decade - despite a US economic and cultural embargo - this "magic act" has continued. A Cuba expert from the University of Miami told Business week this month that "Cuba's state economy is in the best shape it's been since the Soviets left in 1991."

But that's not the whole story. Visitors also see a Cuba with substandard living conditions for it's people...for shortages of goods and services...low pay, and little chance for change.

That is, until this year. Raul Castro has taken over for his ailing brother Fidel. It's the first change at the top since the revolution of 1959. And, it's sparked hopes for change from inside and outside the country.

Today, where we live, we're going to continue our series of conversations about countries around the world - and how they affect our life in Connecticut - with a discussion of Cuba.

We'll look at the country's future - and we'll ask what it means to be Cuban today.

Suggestions, questions or comments? Add them below!


 
Related Content:
Links for this Episode: