Exporting Revolution

Cuba’s Global Solidarity

Book Pages: 280 Illustrations: Published: April 2017

Caribbean Studies, History > Latin American History, Latin American Studies

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.


"Exporting Revolution [is] another excellent contribution to our understanding of Cuban policymaking compiled by the poet and activist Margaret Randall."  — Gavin O'Toole, 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." — David Steinberg, Albuquerque Journal

"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." — Morning Star

“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

“In Exporting Revolution, prolific poet and author Margaret Randall has written an important book that is a combination of political analysis, oral history, and personal memoir.” — Gary Prevost, Canadian Journal of History

“Margaret Randall has made an energetic contribution and we are grateful.” — Helen Yaffe, Journal of Latin American Studies

"A poet, essayist, and oral historian by trade, Randall has written on the sociocultural life of Cuba extensively. Her penchant for poetry is quite evident. . . . Exporting Revolution does not follow a strict chronological structure. Chapter by chapter, Randall instead takes the reader through thematic conceptions of Cuba’s internationalism." — Christian Ruth, Journal of Global South Studies

"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." — Elizabeth Schwall, The Historian

"[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

"As a mythopoetic testament … this recitation of the Cuban Revolution's importance and successes has much to recommend it.… With no impartiality and little pretense, and rich with oral histories, anecdotes, and effort to situate the Cuban revolution's place in the global firmament, this combination memoir, oral history, presentation of work not normally seen, and distinctive political analysis is, like the Cuban Revolution, extraordinary, unique."  — Eric Selbin, Left History

"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." — Noam Chomsky

"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


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Author/Editor Bios Back to Top

Margaret Randall is the author of dozens of books of poetry and prose, including Haydée Santamaría, Cuban Revolutionary: She Led by Transgression and Che on My Mind, and the editor of Only the Road / Solo el Camino: Eight Decades of Cuban Poetry, all also published by Duke University Press.

Table of Contents Back to Top
Acknowledgments  ix
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
Notes  223
Bibliography  245
Index  249
Sales/Territorial Rights: World

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