Being a Venezuelan with a BA in Political Science who migrated to the US before Chavez, I was very interested in reading “Fidel Castro’s Agricultural Follies” by Jose Alvarez, Ph.D., as I was eager to compare the policies used to destroy both countries’ economies. Alvarez begins by comparing Castro’s promises made to Cuba’s people in the 1960’s with official statistical reports, which show the true numbers of what was accomplished in Cuba’s agriculture industry. But he doesn’t stop there. He also collected statistics for livestock, fish, and poultry, as well as the import ratio for Cuba, and the real social impact of his fictitious policies in the Cuban population.
Although Alvarez’ research skills are impressive, and the writing impeccable, there were some elements in the writing style that could have made this book a little more enticing for those readers who were familiar with Cuba’s situation. I guess that due to the cover of the book I expected a minimal element of entertainment within the facts. Having said that, I believe that this book is a must read to understand the devastation in a country with a so-called leader who has no clue about socio-economics. I found it enriched my knowledge and provided me with a better understanding of not only what went on in Cuba (and still goes on), but also shed some light on the effects of my native country, thanks to what Castro’s puppet in Venezuela has done. In fact it has proved what I though all along, which is that he was just applying and following Castro’s policies one by one.
“Fidel Castro’s Agricultural Follies” is a very important book for political science students, as it shows that absurdity is possible, and how unpredictable a political system can be. Furthermore, it recollects data from the beginning of a left-hand totalitarian system to current date to show its true efficacy so that that people don’t fall for impossible promises, but it is not limited to just one political system. I think everyone will become more aware of what politicians promise during a campaign and will be able to weigh the realism of those promises. I definitely recommend “Fidel Castro’s Agricultural Follies” by Jose Alvarez, Ph.D. to all readers interested in the future of their own country.