A very short extract from Keith Ellis’ Foreword to the book Cuba–U.S. Relations by Arnold August

A very short extract from Keith Ellis’ Foreword to the book Cuba–U.S. Relations.

“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.”

Keith Ellis (Jamaica 1935) is Professor Emeritus, Department of Spanish and Portuguese,

University of Toronto, and Professor of Merit, the University of Havana. He taught Latin

American poetry until his retirement, publishing many books and articles in this area.

His own poetry has appeared in several journals in the Caribbean, North America and

China. Among his awards are the Dulce María Loynaz International Prize (Cuba), the

Andrés Bello Medal (Venezuela), Doctor honoris causa from the University of Havana

and the Order of Distinction (cd) from the government of Jamaica. He is a Fellow of the

Royal Society of Canada.”

His remarkable Foreword deals with a broad variety of themes related to Cuba–U.S. Relations. Among those is culture of which he has a profound knowledge concerning both Cuba and the U.S. This itself a must-read! His insights into the daily lives of the Cuban people and the society provides a window for readers even for those who have already visited Cuba.

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