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University of Miami scholar discusses possible Cuba future

Posted by Elena del Valle on July 16, 2010

Mañana in Cuba

Photos: Tara Inc.

In Mañana in Cuba The Legacy of Castroism and Transitional Challenges for Cuba (Authorhouse, $24.95), a 184-page English language softcover book published this year, Jose Azel, Ph.D. addresses the possible future situation in Cuba, the country of his birth. He examines the issues that he believes afflict the island nation with an emphasis on challenges and opportunities.

In the book, he offers policy approaches based on what he assesses to be the current situation and Cuban mindset on the island he has not seen since his youth. He also discusses the potential benefits he sees for the United States if the Castro ruled nation one day becomes a democracy. And, he explores the concept of Choice Architecture based on “the lessons learned in Eastern Europe.”

“The book is a little history, political science, a little philosophy, psychology, sociology just very multidisciplinary which I think reflects my own thinking,” said Azel. He explained by phone that although much has been written about the past of Cuba this book is novel because of its focus on that country’s future.

The University of Miami logo and the words “Institute for Cuban and Cuban-American Studies University of Miami Coral Gables, Florida” appear at the beginning of the book. One hundred percent of the author proceeds of the book are designated to benefit the Institute with which he is affiliated.

The book is divided into two parts and thirteen chapters. The chapters in Part One are: Cuba: Alternative Roads in an Uncertain Future; Freedom from Fear; Search for Meaning; The First Law; No Le Pidas Peras Al Olmo; Carajo, Somos como Somos; Cuban Informality and Choice Architecture; and The Pursuit of Happiness. The chapters in Part Two are: Personnel Reforms; Institutional Reforms; Political Reforms; Economic Reforms; and Concluding Thoughts.

In his conclusion Azel states that “The most insidious and devastating legacy of Castroism is that Cuban society, living in constant fear, has forgotten how to feel free.” And that “… promoting a Cuban society that relearns how to feel free should be a common denominator of all mañana in Cuba visions.

Author Jose Azel, Ph.D.

Azel left Cuba in 1961 as a 13 year-old political exile in the Operation Pedro Pan, a child refugee program. A senior scholar at the Institute for Cuban and Cuban-American Studies (ICCAS) at the University of Miami he dedicates his time to the in-depth analysis of Cuba’s economic, social, and political state. He has a particular interest in post-Castro Cuba strategies. It took him a year of intense writing to complete the book.

Click here to buy Mañana In Cuba