Conflict in Cuba is not new. Since early in Cuba's colonial history a small elite has used centralized power to rule for what its members viewed as the common good, which often coincided with their own good. Political officials often took advantage of their situation and created monopolies which limited accountability, social mobility, fair play, and economic development - the rich got richer and the poor got poorer. This work traces this ethos, the efforts to change it, and its manifestations in present-day Cuba.
The founder and former director of the Cuban Studies Institute at Tulane University, Nicholas A. Robins is a visiting scholar in the Center for Latin American and Caribbean Studies at Duke University. He lives in Durham, North Carolina.