Cuba’s economy has grown hardly at all during Raúl Castro’s presidency (beginning in 2006), hit by the economic collapse of its Venezuelan partner and burdened by a legacy of decayed infrastructure, a bankrupt sugar industry, and stagnant agriculture.
The Cuban Economy in a New Era diagnoses the ills that afflict Cuba’s economy and examines possible economic policy changes in seven areas: macroeconomic policy, central planning, small and medium private enterprises, nonagricultural cooperatives, financing options for the new private sector, state enterprise management, and relations with international financial institutions. Cuban economists have contributed these seven chapters, and the combined import is further considered in introductory and concluding chapters. The book is the culmination of over a decade of scholarly collaboration with Harvard scholars, anchored in a series of workshops held over several years in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and Havana.
The Cuban economy has been transformed over the course of the last decade, and these changes are now likely to accelerate. In this edited volume, prominent Cuban economists and sociologists present a clear analysis of Cuba’s economic and social circumstances and suggest steps for Cuba to reactivate economic growth and improve the welfare of its citizens. These authors focus first on trade, capital inflows, exchange rates, monetary and fiscal policy, and the agricultural sector. In a second section, a multidisciplinary team of sociologists and an economist map how reforms in economic and social policies have produced declines in the social standing of some specific groups and economic mobility for others.
A joint collaboration between scholars at Harvard University and in Cuba, this book includes the same editors and many of the same authors of The Cuban Economy at the Start of the Twenty-First Century (edited by Jorge I. Domínguez, Omar Everleny Pérez Villanueva, and Lorena G. Barberia), which is also part of the David Rockefeller Center series.
Two decades ago affairs between the United States and Cuba had seen little improvement from the Cold War era. Today, US-Cuban relations are in many respects still in poor shape, yet some cooperative elements have begun to take hold and offer promise for future developments. Illustrated by the ongoing migration agreement, professional military-to-military relations at the perimeter of the US base near Guantánamo, and professional Coast Guard-Guardafrontera cooperation across the Straits of Florida, the two governments are actively exploring whether and how to change the pattern of interactions.
The differences that divide the two nations are real, not the result of misperception, and this volume does not aspire to solve all points of disagreement. Drawing on perspectives from within Cuba as well as those in the United States, Canada, and Europe, these authors set out to analyze contemporary policies, reflect on current circumstances, and consider possible alternatives for improved US-Cuban relations. The resulting collection is permeated with both disagreements and agreements from leading thinkers on the spectrum of issues the two countries face—matters of security, the role of Europe and Latin America, economic issues, migration, and cultural and scientific exchanges in relations between Cuba and the United States. Each topic is represented by perspectives from both Cuban and non-Cuban scholars, leading to a resource rich in insight and a model of transnational dialogue.
Rafael Hernandez is the editor of Revista Temas, Cuba's leading magazine in the social sciences. He has been professor and researcher at the University of Havana and the High Institute of International Relations; director of US studies at the Centro de Estudios sobre America; and a senior research fellow at the Instituto Cubano de Investigacion Cultural "Juan Marinello" in Havana.
Loren Barberia is a program associate at the David Rockefeller Center for Latin American Studies at Harvard University.
How can Cuba address the challenges of economic development and transformation that have bedeviled so many Latin American and Eastern European countries? What are the universally common macroeconomic and societal challenges it faces and the specific peculiarities that have emerged after a decade-long transformation of its economy? For the Cuban and American social scientists and policy experts writing in this timely and provocative volume, the answer lies in examining Cuba's development trajectory by delving into issues ranging from the political economy of reform to their impact on specific sectors including export development, foreign direct investment, and U.S.-Cuba trade. Moreover, the volume also draws attention to the intersection between economic reform and societal dynamics by exploring changes in household consumption, socio-economic mobility, as well as remittances and their effects, while remaining steadfast in its focus on their policy implications for Cuba's future.