Arnold August’s third book on Cuba: Cuba–U.S. Relations: Obama and Beyond

May 20, 2017 by

Announcing my third book on Cuba: Cuba–U.S. Relations: Obama and Beyond

By Arnold August

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Announcing my third book on Cuba: Cuba–U.S. Relations: Obama and Beyond

Dear friends,

It is with a great deal of pride that I welcome you to my new Cuba–U.S. Relations newsletter. After two rapid updating processes of the manuscript and delays in publication following the unexpected Trump victory and the death of Fidel Castro, my third book on Cuba is here at long last! I will let others give their respective opinions about it. Before giving the stage to these experts, please allow me to underscore the importance of the Prologue to the book by Keith Ellis and the Introduction by Ricardo Alarcón. You will be able to find out more about these experts on my new website below.

I am honoured to include in the pages of this publication the opinions of five of Cuba’s outstanding Cuba–U.S. experts based on the island in interviews presented in English:

Jesús Arboleya Cervera, Esteban Morales Domínguez, Elier Ramírez Cañedo, Iroel Sánchez Espinosa and Luis Toledo Sande

It is the first time that all of their opinions on the subject are presented in the English language.

Last week was exceptionally joyful. On the very same day that my publisher Fernwood Publishing announced that the book had arrived in the warehouses for purchase and professors’ examination copies, Editorial Oriente, of Santiago de Cuba, confirmed that the Cuban Spanish-language version of the book will be ready in time for the next International Book Fair in Havana, in February 2018.

Here are excerpts of the 10 endorsements to be found on the book cover jacket and the first two inside pages:

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 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

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.

– Steve Ludlam, senior lecturer (retired), University of Sheffield, and editorial board member, International Journal of Cuban Studies

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

From 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.

Visit my new website for more information:

  • About Arnold August
  • About Keith Ellis and Ricardo Alarcón
  • Full table of contents and other information
  • How to purchase the book or obtain an examination copy (for professors) from Fernwood Publishing:

My personal website is also online:

There is also a new Facebook page dedicated to debates on the contents of the book:


Best regards,

Arnold August

Arnold August is a Montreal-based author, journalist and lecturer. He is the author of three books on Cuba: Democracy in Cuba and the 1997–98 Elections (1999), Cuba and Its Neighbours: Democracy in Motion (2013); Cuba’s neighbours under consideration are on the one hand Venezuela, Bolivia and Ecuador and on the other hand the U.S., and the third book is Cuba-U.S. Relations: Obama and Beyond (2017).
Like Arnold’s new FaceBook page Cuba-U.S. Relations and follow him on Twitter @Arnold_August.
His articles written as a journalist appear here in English, Spanish and French as well as do the links to a previous book and its Spanish-language version:


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