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The hierarchy of Cuba’s Catholic Church slowly adjusted to worldwide progressive currents of the 1960s, such as the Second Vatican Council, while in 1975 Fidel characterized Cuba as an “Afro-Latin” country committed to global anticolonial struggles. The 1985 publication of Fidel and Religion, the 1986 National Encounter of the Cuban Church, and the Fourth Party Congress of 1991 thawed church-state relations, but this was strained by the conditions of the “Special Period” of the 1990s: economic privation, a deterioration of city streets, the renewal of tourism, and the government’s use of Afro-Cuban mythology to symbolize “Cuba” to internal and external...

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