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For Sale by the Superintendent of Documents U.S. Government Printing Office

Washington, D.C. 20402-Price $3.75


This volume is one of a series of handbooks prepared by Foreign Area Studies (FAS) of The American University, designed to be useful to military and other personnel who need a convenient compilation of basic facts about the social, economic, political, and military institutions and practices of various countries. The emphasis is on objective description of the nation's present society and the kinds of possible or probable changes that might be expected in the future. The handbook seeks to present as full and as balanced an integrated exposition as limitations on space and research time permit. It was compiled from information available in openly published material. An extensive bibliography is provided to permit recourse to other published sources for more detailed information. There has been no attempt to express any specific point of view or to make policy recommendations. The contents of the handbook represent the work of the authors and FAS and do not represent the official view of the United States government.

An effort has been made to make the handbook as comprehensive as possible. It can be expected, however, that the material, interpretations, and conclusions are subject to modification in the light of new information and developments. Such corrections, additions, and suggestions for factual, interpretive, or other change as readers may have will be welcomed for use in future revisions. Comments may be addressed to:

The Director
Foreign Area Studies
The American University
5010 Wisconsin Avenue, N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20016


In 1970 Cuba celebrated the eleventh anniversary of the Revolution of 1959. The results of that revolution have made what was once a small, relatively unimportant country a center of attention, a source of subversion in a number of countries in Latin America, and an element of contention in international affairs. Many complex changes have taken place domestically and in the country's world situation in the last decade.

This handbook seeks to present an integrated exposition of the society in order to help understand the circumstances and results of the changes that have occurred since 1959. There are many excellent works concerning the country; most are either specific studies of one aspect of the society or attempts to describe the situation in broad, general terms. This handbook is not intended to replace any of these studies but rather to supplement the available material. Interpretations are kept to a minimum and are based primarily on available data found in documented sources.

Grateful acknowledgment is due many people who have given their time and knowledge in aiding the preparation of various chapters. In particular, the authors wish to thank Dr. Luis Aguilar for his accounts of Cuban society. Responsibility for all facts and interpretations found in the study must, however, rest with the authors.

Spanish usage is based on Appleton's New Cuyás Dictionary (Fifth Edition). Place names follow the rulings of the United States Board on Geographic Names. Spanish words are held to a minimum, are defined at first appearance and, if used frequently, are recorded in the Glossary.

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