Books about Cuba


What was really behind the airlift of 14,000 Cuban children to the United States in the early years of the Cuban revolution? Was Operation Pedro Pan an urgent rescue mission or an integral part of Washington’s secret war to undermine and overthrow the revolutionary government?
This new book takes a fresh look at the multiple and complex factors driving the exodus of Cuba’s children, examining the rapid and profound social reforms implemented after the 1959 revolution that affected women, education, religious schools, and relations within the family and between the races. The author considers why Cold War anticommunist scare tactics were so effective in setting the airlift in motion, exposing the U.S. government’s manipulation of the aspirations and insecurities of more affluent Cubans.
Offering an original perspective on this still controversial episode in US-Cuba relations, this book traces the parallel stories of the generation of the Cuban revolution: the young Cubans who flew off to Miami with Operation Pedro Pan and those who stayed, including the 100,000 teenagers who also left their homes in 1961 to teach literacy in mountainous and marginalized parts of Cuba. In showing what these divergent journeys reveal about the historically fraught relationship between the U.S. and Cuba, the author also sheds new light on the nature of the deep social revolution that was unleashed on the island after 1959.

“The most complete, balanced, and best-researched book on Operation Pedro Pan. Engaging and beautifully written.”—Felix Masud-Piloto

“A fascinating, complex story. Shnookal has researched extremely widely, in the United States and Cuba alike, talking to protagonists in both countries. The thorny issue of Latin American migrant children in the U.S. has a long and tragic history, and Operation Pedro Pan is a significant part of this tale.”—Karen Dubinsky

Deborah Shnookal
ISBN 9781683401551 Hardcover $85 reduced to $35
University Press of Florida, June 2020
University Press of Florida is offering this book for $35 and free shipping on all orders with code LASA20 through May 31, 2020.


We Are Cuba!How a Revolutionary People Have Survived in a Post-Soviet WorldHelen Yaffe


What Lies Across the Water

The Real Story of the Cuban Five

Winner of the 2014 Evelyn Richardson Non-Fiction East Coast Literary Award
What Lies Across the Water recounts the events leading up to the arrest of the Cuban Five, five Cuban anti-terrorism agents wrongfully arrested and convicted of “conspiracy to commit” espionage against the United States. In response to decades of deadly attacks by Miami-based, anti-Cuban terrorist organizations, Cuba dispatched five agents – Gerardo Hernández, Ramón Labañino, Antonio Guerrero, Fernando González and René González – to Florida to infiltrate and report on the activities of these terrorist groups. Cuba even passed on information their agents learned about illegal activities to the FBI. But, instead of arresting the terrorists, the FBI arrested the Cuban Five on September 12, 1998. The five men would be illegally held in solitary confinement for seventeen months and sentenced to four life sentences in 2001. The terrorists these five men tried to stop remain free to this day.
In light of America’s supposed post-9/11 zero tolerance policy toward countries harbouring terrorists, the story of the Cuban Five illustrates the injustice and hypocrisy of this case: why were these men who tried to prevent terrorist attacks against Cuba charged with espionage against the U.S? And why does the U.S. continue to protect and harbour known terrorists?
“Provides the key information and analysis needed to understand the case of the Cuban Five”
— Danny Glover, actor, activist
“The most complete – and moving – account of the Cuban Five I’ve yet read.”
— Wayne Smith, Director, US Interest Section in Havana, 1979-82
“Far from being a boring account of deeds and misdeeds, Kimber employs eloquent prose and an enjoyable style to draw the reader into the tangled layers of terrorism and murder, espionage and deception, propaganda and myths, life sentences and impunity, meanness and hatred, love and sacrifice, romance and solitude, patriotism and delusion, good intentions and bad, and lies, lies, and more lies.”
— Havana Times
“This book removes the thin fabric of lies around the case of five Cuban intelligence agents who came to Miami to fight terrorism … This book has the detail and the analysis. Read it.”
— Saul Landau, Director of Will the Real Terrorist Please Stand Up?
“An invaluable and informative account of the last chapter of the Cold War between Cuba and the United States – a story that is alternately bizarre, surreal and ever suspenseful.”
— Ann Louise Bardach, Author of Without Fidel and Cuba Confidential


Cuba Beyond the Beach
Havana is Cuba’s soul: a mix of Third World, First World, and Other World. After over a decade of visits as a teacher, researcher, and friend, Karen Dubinsky looks past political slogans and tourist postcards to the streets, neighbourhoods, and personalities of a complicated and contradictory city. Her affectionate, humorous vignettes illustrate how Havana’s residents—old Communist ladies, their sceptical offspring, musicians, underground vendors, entrepreneurial landlords, and poverty-stricken professors—go about their daily lives.
As Cuba undergoes dramatic change, there is much to appreciate, and learn from, in the unlikely world Cubans have collectively built for themselves.

Cuba's Gay Revolution: Normalizing Sexual Diversity Through a Health-
Based Approach explores the unique health-based approach that was employed in Cuba to dramatically change attitudes and policies regarding sexual diversity since 1959. 

It examines leaders in the process to normalize sexual diversity, such as The Federation of Cuban Women's (FMC) and The National Centre of Sexual Education (CENESEX). 

The manuscript is written for academics interested LGBTQ issues, Cuba, and Latin America. 


Fernwood Publishing.
Arnold August’s Third Book on Cuba.
Cuba–U.S. Relations: Obama and Beyond.

The book contains an analysis of the Trump Cuba policy.    This book could not have been more timely. With Fidel Castro’s death focusing outside attention on Cuba’s future and with Trump’s election throwing U.S.–Cuban “normalization” into question, Arnold August contests the common assumptions and public rhetoric about Cuban politics and about that “normalization.”
— Antoni Kapcia, University of Nottingham

Extract from Foreword by Keith Ellis:
What does a Canadian progressive intellectual do when a revolution made by the people of Cuba has won, because of its spirit and its achievements, his admiration and his loyalty? What does he do when this revolution, which, he shows, is the authentic culmination of a process that has involved all the salient stages of Cuba’s history, of its struggles, now finds itself in a time of unprecedented complexity and new difficulties, fed in part by the very successes of the Revolution? Arnold August brings to the task his finest gift, his superbly developed talent as a journalist, understanding this to mean the habit of assessing different aspects and representations of reality, so that he offers an ultimate fairness to the reasonable and humane reader. August constantly exhibits a related attribute: his remarkable power of analysis. The two together make the experience of reading him an enlightening one. His research work for this book, as for others on related topics, led him to live in Cuba for important periods of time, to live among Cubans and notice 1) how Fidel’s extraordinary power of analysis has been reflected in the Cuban population and 2) the impact its diffusion throughout the society has had on producing the calm, pleasant affability that underpins the stability of Cuba during times that could have been tempestuous. The people know how to think, and August has the superior skills, derived from his affinity for truth-telling, to produce a reliable picture of the complexities of their reaction to attempts to beguile them.

For nine other endorsements from Canada, the U.S. and the U.K., the Table of Contents, the biographies of Keith Ellis and Ricardo Alarcón (the author of the Introduction to the book), and how to purchase the book from Fernwood Publishing (Halifax), please click here:

Dear Friends,

One of the most positively commented on articles I have written recently was the piece on freedom of the press and Cuba–US  relations, published on September 9, 2015. 

The emails coming from the US, Canada, Europe and Cuba reflected a pent-up  frustration – and even a barely veiled anger –at how some of the US press deals with Cuba. Readers of the article seemed to breathe a sigh of relief that writers are not getting caught up in illusions, in the wake of the new Cuba–US relations, about the traditional media war waged against Cuba since the 1959 Revolution. Another writer, Iroel Sánchez from Cuba, took on The Washington Post for its misinformation and bias
regarding Cuba. 

My piece did not target CNN USA, but challenged one high-ranking CNN anchor, Jake Tapper.
Furthermore,it dealt initially only with his reporting from Havana of the August 14, 2015 reopening of the US Embassy and the flag-raising ceremony conducted by John Kerry.

For my full follow-up article on CNN published in CounterPunch October 16, 2015 click here:

Best regards,

Arnold August

Two books donated to Halifax Library are now available.   

The two books are: Healthcare without Borders: Understanding Cuban Medical Internationalism and José Martí, Mentor of the Cuban Revolution.  

Both books are available for anyone who wishes to borrow them.

Cuba has more medical personnel serving abroad--over 50,000 in 66 countries--than all of the G-7 countries combined, and also more than the World Health Organization. For over five decades, the island nation has been a leading force in the developing world, providing humanitarian aid (or "cooperation," as Cuba's government prefers) and initiating programs for preventative care and medical training.
In Healthcare without Borders, John Kirk examines the role of Cuban medical teams in disaster relief, biotechnology joint ventures, and in the Latin American Medical School--the largest medical faculty in the world. He looks at their responses to various crises worldwide, including the 1960 earthquake in Chile, the Chernobyl disaster in the Ukraine, the devastating 2010 earthquake in Haiti and the subsequent cholera outbreak, and the 2014 Ebola epidemic in West Africa.

Kirk issues an informative and enlightening corrective for what he describes as the tendency of the industrialized world's media to ignore or underreport this medical aid phenomenon. In the process, Kirk explores the philosophical underpinnings of human rights and access to medical care at the core of Cuba's medical internationalism programs and partnerships.

"Kirk's invaluable study reveals to us, for the first time, the range and character of Cuba's remarkable achievements, which should be an inspiration and a model for those with far greater advantages."--Noam Chomsky, author of Manufacturing Consent

"Invaluable. Provides ample, detailed, and clear evidence of the whole evolution of medical internationalism within Cuban foreign and social policy, going well beyond the headlines to trace that evolution carefully and honestly."--Antoni Kapcia, coeditor of The Changing Dynamic of Cuban Civil Society

Fidel Castro Guerrillero

This booklet was prepared in homage to Fidel Castro. It contains, in English, Spanish and French, the text of a presentation by Arnold August from August 2016 on the occasion of Fidel’s 90th birthday and an article he wrote following the leader’s death later the same year. The articles in this booklet are “Fidel the Guerrilla in 2015–16 and Beyond” and 

“Fidel’s Legacy to the World on Theory and Practice.”
This booklet is offered free of charge to the public for circulation, printing or distribution.

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