Cuba is a study of contrast and contradiction. How does a 950-mile long island of 10M people, situated only 90 miles from the U.S., sustain its people, culture and autonomy while living under the proverbial boot of the most powerful country on earth? And, while promoting a deeply connected civil society that puts racial, sex, gender equality at the top of its political priority list.
In this series, I will reflect on my observations, experiences and connections during a 10-day delegation to Cuba in January, 2020. While the ostensible purpose of this delegation was to study and “emulate” Cuba’s cooperative sector, I immediately discovered a deeper purpose in experiencing a vibrant, grounded, solidarity-based, productive, prideful and healthy way of life, rooted in an alternative economic paradigm.
I traveled to Cuba with 16 Americans. Evenly divided by gender. A majority of us were people of color. Most of us are actively involved in the cooperative and solidarity economy in the U.S. in some form or another. We come from just about all corners of the U.S. We shared a passion for cooperatives, commitment to curiosity and learning, dedication to faithfully reflecting the Cuba we experienced, and charge to build a better system here at home.
I’ll explore topics including Cuba’s:
- political economy
- culture and lifestyle
- cooperative legal landscape
- cooperative development and sector
- constitutional reform
- women, gender and sex equality
- race and racism
- labor and industrial policy
- food and agriculture
- future threats and opportunities