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Cuba in a Global ContextInternational Relations, Internationalism, and Transnationalism$
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Catherine Krull

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780813049106

Published to Florida Scholarship Online: May 2014

DOI: 10.5744/florida/9780813049106.001.0001

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Santeria Commerce and the Unofficial Networks of Interpersonal Internationalism

Santeria Commerce and the Unofficial Networks of Interpersonal Internationalism

(p.144) 8 Santeria Commerce and the Unofficial Networks of Interpersonal Internationalism
Cuba in a Global Context

Kevin M. Delgado

University Press of Florida

From Santeria tourism to religious jineterismo to government-authorized ritual divinations, material need is the primary catalyst behind accelerated change in Cuban Santeria. While most case studies depict government involvement in Santeria commerce as reactive to pre-existing economic activity, the government itself plays a role in commercializing not only Afro-Cuban culture aimed at tourists, but also Cuban grassroots community movements. In one such case, the government’s concern with generating revenue overruled the holistic nature of a proposed community project by recommending a focus on music and dance components more likely to attract tourist commerce. Shaped by the government’s financial need, such projects become one more node in a commerce-driven feedback loop anticipating and then fulfilling touristic desire. By contrast, some non-Cuban santeros, students, scholars, musicians, and dancers eschew the constrictions of tourism and the artifice of official folklore to pursue personal contacts with Cuban experts.

Keywords:   Cuba, Internationalism, Special Period, Santeria, Santeros, Tourism

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