ICS Lecture: Sugar and Economy in Cuba

As part of its Conferencias Caribeñas 7 lecture series for the 2010-2011 academic year, the Institute of Caribbean Studies (ICS) of the University of Puerto Rico-Río Piedras (UPR-RP) invites the academic community and the general public to the lecture “Azúcar y economía en el Siglo XX cubano” [Sugar and Economy in the Cuban Twentieth Century] by Dr. Oscar Zanetti-Lecuona (Universidad de La Habana and Guggenheim Fellow 2009-2010). Dr. Javier Figueroa (History Department, School of Humanities, UPR-RP) will serve as commentator. The activity will be held on Thursday, August 26, from 1:00 to 3:00pm in Amphitheater CRA 108 (Carmen Rivera de Alvarado Building), School of Social Sciences, University of Puerto Rico-Río Piedras.

The lecture will present a synthetic image of the evolution of the sugar industry during the last century, describing its main facets and stages. Each circumstance examines the influence exercised by the market, as well as availability and conditions of general trends, according to technical infrastructure and production yields, costs, and other indicators. The analysis will be presented within a broader context, including the economic, political, and social implications of this entire process in the contemporary history of Cuba.

Dr. Zanetti-Lecuona, a full professor and researcher at Havana University for more than three decades, was also research director in the Instituto de Historia de Cuba from 1989 to 2005. His studies about Cuban economic history focus on the sugar industry in the Island, mainly during the twentieth century. His researches range from the enterprise history of the United Fruit Sugar Company, United Fruit Company: Un caso de dominio de los Estados Unidos en Cuba, published with Alejandro García in 1976, to his most recent monograph, Las manos en el dulce, an analysis that shows the regulation of sugar production and commerce by the Cuban state from 1926 to 1940. Another extended monograph on a collateral but very closely related theme—the history of Cuban railroads—was published in collaboration with Alejandro Garcia, as Caminos para el azucar. This book received the “Elsa Goveia” award given by the Association of Caribbean Historians as the best book on Caribbean history (1986-1989) and was published by the University of North Carolina Press in 1998 as Sugar and Railroads. A Cuban History, 1837-1959. Currently, Zanetti-Lecuona is developing a comparative history between the sugar economies in the Hispanic Caribbean.

For further information, you may call Dr. Humberto García Muñiz, Director, at (787) 764-0000, extension 4212, or write to iec@uprrp.edu

For Dr. Zanetti-Lecuona’s full biography, see http://www.gf.org/fellows/16679-oscar-adolfo-zanetti-lecuona

Photo from http://www.trabajadores.cu/news/2009/6/8/cuba-el-crack-de-1929-y-la-crisis-actual/

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