Cuba-U.S. Relations, Vancouver, B.C.

Book launch and discussion

Cuba-US Relations: Obama and Beyond

by Arnold August

Trump’s Cuba Policy

Introduction: Ricardo Alarcón, Foreword: Keith Ellis


Wednesday November 1st

6:30 PM

People’s Co-op Bookstore

1391 Commercial Drive

Vancouver, B.C.

 Hosted by Fernwood Publishing and People’s Co-op Bookstore

NEW on Cuba-U.S. Relations! On September 29, the US decided to withdraw 27 people from its Embassy in Havana leaving only a skeleton staff. (It was re-opened in the summer of 2015 a result of the accord reached by Presidents Raúl Castro and Barack Obama on December 17, 2014.) On October 3 at 9 AM the U.S. State Department phoned the Cuban Ambassador to Washington informing him that 15 Cuba diplomats must leave the US within seven days. On the same day, at 3 PM, the Cuban Minister of Foreign Affairs, Bruno Rodríguez held a Press Conference in Havana. He once again strongly rejected the false accusation of “sonic” attacks against US diplomats.

What is happening? What are the facts?

This will be a theme of his presentation contextualized in the book’s analysis of Trump’s Cuba policy. Listen to and discuss with Montreal author and Cuba expert Arnold August as he launches in Vancouver his third book on Cuba.

All author’s royalties from the sale of the book at this event will be donated to the CNC’s Hurricane Irma Relief & Reconstruction for Cuba Campaign



Any open-minded discussion about the asymmetrical Cuba–U.S. Relations should start with this highly readable, informative book.

— James D. Cockcroft, three-time Fulbright Scholar

An expert on Cuba, Arnold August offers a revealing view of the conflict between Washington and Havana and the foreign policy of the United States vis-à-vis the island.

— Salim Lamrani, Sorbonne Paris IV University

This book could not have been timelier. 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

August provides the reader with a bridge across time and nations to understand the changes that have led to the “normalization” of Cuba–U.S. Relations and serves as a guide to the Trump future.

— Helen Yaffe, London School of Economics

Here at last for English-speaking readers is a full overview of U.S. relations with Cuba from Cuban points of view. The book is essential background for understanding whatever President Trump has in store.

— Cliff DuRand, Morgan State University

Arnold August is one of the foremost experts on Cuba and the 1959 Revolution, which continues to shake the world. In this new book, August puts forth a valuable, detailed account of U.S.–Cuba relations dating back to 1783 and continuing to the present time. August shows that this relationship has centred on the U.S.’s attempts, sometimes successfully, to dominate Cuba and exploit it as its own playground and, in the case of Guantánamo, as a maximum-security prison. As he shows, the 1959 Revolution broke the U.S. hold over Cuba, and the U.S. has tried desperately, and many times violently, to regain its control over the island. Obama opened diplomatic ties with Cuba for the first time in 50 years. August explains what this opening means for both countries, and where he sees U.S.–Cuba relations heading after the death of Fidel Castro at age 90 and the rise of U.S. President Donald Trump. For those who want a fresh and reasoned perspective on Cuba and U.S. relations — and with it a perspective very different from that which we get from the mainstream Western media — this book is a must-read.

— Daniel Kovalik, teacher of international human rights, University of Pittsburgh, School of Law

In his third book, August highlights the many roadblocks on the way to normalization. Unlike many mainstream “cubanologists”, who are blind to imperial arrogance, he places the onus squarely on U.S. prejudices. Regime change remains the ultimate objective under a new disguise. A cultural war has been targeting the younger generations. New Plattists [those in favour of annexation to the U.S.] are showing up. August’s deft analysis, firmly grounded in a prolonged exposure to Cuban history and debates while mapping out the possible future developments, makes for an enlightening book.

— Claude Morin, professor (retired) of Latin American history, Université de Montréal

Arnold August’s new book on Cuba dispels the propaganda and myths perpetuated by both the U.S. corporate media and the Obama administration and provides valuable insights into what we might expect from a Trump government in the post-Fidel era. August lays bare the realities of Obama’s policies toward Cuba by methodically revealing how his administration’s engagement with the island constituted a shift in tactics while retaining Washington’s decades-long objective of achieving regime change to bring the socialist nation back into the U.S. sphere of influence. It also highlights our narrow definition of democracy by challenging the repeated assertions that Cuba is a dictatorship. This book is a must-read for understanding the constantly evolving imperialist strategies of the United States, not only in Cuba, but throughout the world in the 21st century.

— Garry Leech, independent journalist and teacher of international politics, Cape Breton University

Arnold August’s bristling collection of interventions vigorously debunks U.S.-centric misrepresentations of Cuban society and of Obama’s new ‘regime change’ strategy. It also engages critically with Cuban intellectuals and bloggers fighting in the ‘Cultural War,’ challenging the Revolution’s cohesion since the 2014 ‘normalization’ process began. With its withering anti-imperialism and comradely criticism of Cuban realities, this timely book will open many eyes and raise many hackles.

— Steve Ludlam, was a senior lecturer (retired), University of Sheffield, and editorial board member, International Journal of Cuban Studies. Steve has since passed away. A great loss. We miss him.

In Cuba–U.S. Relations: Obama and Beyond, Arnold August provides an incisive analysis of the process that led to the rapprochement between the United States and Cuba under the leadership of Raúl Castro and Barack Obama, as well as further developments since. The book is a timely and valuable source of clear analysis of Cuba–U.S. relations at the dawn of the Trump era, and an indispensable tome for activists and others interested in furthering normalized relations between Cuba and the U.S. and asserting Cuba’s right to self-determination and sovereignty over all its territory.

— Pepe Ross, adjunct professor, University of Albany, State University of New York


FERNWOOD PUBLISHING: “Against the background of the history of Cuba–U.S. interconnectedness and in light of Obama’s ini­tiative and Trump’s election, Arnold August deals with the relationship between the two countries, delving into past and current U.S. aggression against Cuba’s artistic field, ideology and politics. Based on twenty years of fieldwork in and investigation of Cuba, this book provides a unique perspective on the island’s diverse approaches to the cultural war being waged by the U.S. and illustrates the heterogeneous nature of Cuban society.”


Arnold August has an M.A. in political science from McGill University, Montreal, where he resides. His books include DEMOCRACY IN CUBA AND THE 1997-98 ELECTIONS, CUBA AND ITS NEIGHBOURS: DEMOCRACY IN MOTION (Fernwood Publishing/Zed Books, 2013), CUBA-U.S. RELATIONS: OBAMA AND BEYOND (Fernwood, 2017). An accomplished journalist, he contributes articles in English and Spanish to websites in the United States, Canada, Cuba, Latin America and Europe. Since 1997, he has spent extended periods in Cuba pursuing his intensive investigations.

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