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THE LITERATURE ON CUBA in the mid 1990s focuses on the maintenance of political control in the midst of stressful socioeconomic circumstances. Several authors point to the Cuban regime's resilience and its will to overcome mounting internal difficulties and external pressures. Other works like Andrew Zimbalist's "Teetering on the Brink: Cuba's Current Economic and Political Crisis" (item bi 93002693) assess an incipient process of macroeconomic reforms characterized by economic decentralization, a partial opening to foreign capital in some sectors like tourism, and the legalization of some forms of self-employment. Sources of internal crisis with a destabilizing potential effect are identified in Cuba at a crossroads: politics and economics after the Fourth Party Congress (item bi 94013823), edited by Jorge Pérez-López, and in Conflict and change in Cuba (item bi 94013067), edited by Enrique Baloyra and James Morris.
Cuba's record on human rights comes in for much academic and political criticism. For instance, the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights' report on Situación de los derechos humanos en Cuba (item bi 94001209) documents past and recurring abuses while criticizing the Cuban Communist Party's domination of State and society. Individual works probe this subject from various perspectives. In Fidel Castro, el fin de un mito (item bi 94002303), César Leante examines the revolution's crumbling cultural myths and the disaffection of the domestic intelligentsia and foreign "literatti."
Speeches by President Castro (items bi 94001169 and bi 94001188) and Minister of Defense Raúl Castro (item bi 94001180) serve as primary sources for anyone interested in how Cuba's top officials explain or rationalize policies, failures, or foreign crises. Lengthy interviews with President Castro by sympathetic journalists like Gianni Mina (item bi 94001186) and others offer unedited views of Castro on democracy, socialism, human rights, revolution and the US. In sum, though hagiographic literature is still being produced, critical thinking is evident as a new and dominant trend in the 1990s, especially among scholarly works, non-academic contributions and testimonials.