The Cuban transition from beef to dairy after the socialist revolution. Connecting with the Western scientists within the Cold War context

Speaker: Reinaldo Funes # University of Cuba / Yale University

7th Oct 2019

15:00 - 17:00

Violet Laidlaw Room, 6th Floor, CMB

After the 1959 revolution, the Cuban government promoted several policies to modernize the livestock production in the Island, taken as one of the most important ways to increase the animal protein consumption and source of economic revenues. At the core of these policies was the idea to transform the stock of cattle from the beef emphasis towards the milk as the main priority. Moreover, the policies included the increase in other animal protein sources, like eggs, pork, poultry, and fish. To achieve those goals, the socialist government of Cuba created an advanced new scientific infrastructure and invited many well-known scientists on animal sciences to come to the country. Despite the deep division of the Cold War world between Capitalist (West) and socialists (East) bloc, most of the transformation was made through the exchanges with western scientists and “Western countries”, where also young Cubans were sent to study the most advanced achievements in areas as the artificial insemination, genetics, pastures, or dairy industries. This talk explores those connections worldwide and in particular the United Kingdom and Scotland's contribution to this history.

Reinaldo Funes is a historian at University of Cuba and currently Visiting Professor at Yale University: