The revolutionary (re-)valorization of ‘peasant’ production and implications for small-scale farming in present-day Cuba




Wilson, Marisa

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Department of History, The University of the West Indies, St. Augustine Campus,Trinidad and Tobago


In this article, I outline a historical shift in Cuban ideology from the 1950s to the 1960s that has continued to affect the way land and its products are utilized and distributed in Cuba. While prior to the late 1950s and/or early 1960s, campesinos ('peasants’) in Cuba were associated with the most exploited class, after the second agrarian reform of 1963 a majority were officially identified as the most exploitative class. As the acceptable size of private landholdings shrunk, the organisation of small-scale production and distribution grew more and more centralised. In the process, locally-grown food became less and less accessible. Since the 1990s, however, a new model for the agriculture sector has emerged in Cuba that treats small-scale production for the national food basket as a matter of national security. Yet opportunities for present-day campesinos are still inexorably linked to historical processes of value-formation in the Cuban agrarian economy.


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Agriculture -- Cuba., Food supply -- Cuba., Land use -- Cuba., Peasants -- History -- Cuba.


Wilson,Marisa."The Revolutionary (Re-)valorization of ‘peasant’ Production and Implications for Small-scale Farming in present-day Cuba." History in Action Online-Only Journal 1.1 (2010): n.pag.Web.