In her new book, Exporting Revolution, Margaret Randall explores the Cuban Revolution's impact on the outside world, tracing Cuba's international outreach in health care, disaster relief, education, literature, art, liberation struggles, and sports. Randall combines personal observations and interviews with literary analysis and examinations of political trends in order to understand what compels a small, poor, and underdeveloped country to offer its resources and expertise. Why has the Cuban health care system trained thousands of foreign doctors, offered free services, and responded to health crises around the globe? What drives Cuba's international adult literacy programs? Why has Cuban poetry had an outsized influence in the Spanish-speaking world? This multifaceted internationalism, Randall finds, is not only one of the Revolution's most central features; it helped define Cuban society long before the Revolution.
1. How These Ideas Took Shape 1
2. Talent and Influence beyond Numbers 22
3. Cuba by Cuba 42
4. The Island 56
5. Cuban Solidarity: Africa 69
6. Cuban Solidarity: Latin America 83
7. Internationalism, Cuban Style 98
8. Emilio in Angoloa 111
9. Nancy in Ethiopia 122
10. Laidi in Zambia 135
11. Educating New Men and Women, Globally 144
12. Cuban Health Care: A Model That Works 159
13. Cuban Health Means World Health 171
14. Sports for Everyone 192
15. What I Learned 205
"Cuba’s internationalist record since it gained independence is utterly without parallel, a record even more remarkable on the part of a small country under unremitting assault by the global superpower. This highly instructive account by a poet immersed in Cuban culture, and deeply familiar with Cuban society, raises critical issues that all should ponder, Americans in particular."
"In Exporting Revolution, Margaret Randall turns cold war dogma on its head, showing how the small and blockaded country of Cuba was able to marshal its resources and the remarkable solidarity of its people to offer disaster relief, medical care, and literacy classes in countries far beyond its borders. Randall’s deeply moving account gives us hope that an internationalism grounded in generosity could be an alternative to a global order ruled by economic and military might."
Sujatha Fernandes, author of
Cuba Represent! Cuban Arts, State Power, and the Making of New Revolutionary Cultures
"Exporting Revolution [is] another excellent contribution to our understanding of Cuban policymaking compiled by the poet and activist Margaret Randall."
Latin American Review of Books
"Margaret Randall gives a thoughtful historical analysis of the politics of the island nation, mostly during the Fidel Castro era. . . . Randall lived in Cuba from 1969 to 1980. It’s an analysis based on her wealth of experience."
"Randall studies internationalism through poetry’s perspective but in doing so she succeeds and shines a light on novels, short stories, poetry and essays that she describes as the beginning of a genre of internationalist writing worthy of further study in itself."
“Anyone interested in Cuba, foreign policy, foreign development assistance, and international humanitarianism will find Exporting Revolution of interest. . . . Scholars of all stripes should examine Randall’s key argument fully and critically.”
Peter M. Sánchez
The Latin Americanist
"A personal take on Cuban internationalism. . . . The greatest contribution lies in chapters 8, 9, and 10, which contain translated short-story excerpts written by Cuban internationalists. The selections would enrich syllabi for courses on Cuban history or global health."
"[Randall] makes us rethink how foreign aid is conceived and deployed in other countries by focusing on the policies implemented by the Caribbean island. Hers is an interesting contribution to the literature concerned with humanitarian assistance and foreign aid."
Marcus Oliver Golding
H-War, H-Net Reviews