Navigating Commu-Capitalist Reality in Cuba

Teresita Levy in Park Slope

Sat, Feb 22 at 7:30 p.m.   |   75 minutes   |   BYOB
Salon: An intimate class hosted in a member's living room.

Since the triumph of the Fidel Castro-led Revolution in 1959, the relationship between the U.S. and Cuba has been, well, complicated, and has been constructed as a battle between capitalism and communism. In this Olio, we will examine the myriad manifestations of capitalism in a 60-year old communist country.

If you were to ask any Cuban a question about their country, the likely answer would be, "It's complicated!" Do people get the same salary regardless of what they do? It’s complicated! Why are there two currencies? It’s complicated! Has the Revolution been successful? It’s complicated! Since the triumph of the Fidel Castro-led Revolution in 1959, the relationship between the U.S. and Cuba has been, well, complicated, and has been constructed as a battle between capitalism and communism. Our policies toward the island have been motivated by the desire to fiercely defend our capitalist state and destroy the communist state that the Cubans established. Cuba policies towards the U.S. have responded in kind, and have been promoted as communist protection from the capitalist enemy to the North. It is perhaps surprising, therefore, that Cubans practice capitalism in their daily life. In fact, the new constitution (approved last February) acknowledges the important role that private capital will play in the country’s future, and allows “private property” for the first time since the country became a communist state. In this Olio, we will examine the myriad manifestations of capitalism in a 60-year old communist country. We will also discuss how the Cuban state is creating opportunity and responding to the Cuban people’s disenchantment with their communist economy. Concerns over capital accumulation and its impact on civil society and equity guide new Cuban regulations for private businesses, and we will spend some time discussing several examples of how Cubans navigate the new commu-capitalist reality. By the conclusion of this Olio, you will agree… it’s complicated!
Teacher: Teresita Levy

Teresita Levy is an associate professor of Latin American and Latinos studies and the director of the Center for Global Engagement at Lehman College, City University of New York. She earned her Ph.D. in History in 2007 from the Graduate Center of the City University of New York and has been at Lehman since then.


Venue:

Hosted at a member's living room in Park Slope. Address will be sent upon RSVP.

What is Think Olio?


Think Olio is here to put the liberation back into the liberal arts.

Classically, the liberal arts, were the education considered essential for a free person to take an active part in civic life. To counter a humanities that has been institutionalized and dehumanized we infuse critical thinking, openness, playfulness, and compassion into our learning experience.

Read more about our mission, our story, and how we are doing this.

Scenius Membership

If Friday night lectures, museum field trips, and living room salons sound like your kind of thing, then you've found your people. We can't wait to welcome you to the Think Olio Scenius. More info


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Olio: A miscellaneous collection of art and literature.