Cuba’s Economic Reform Process under President Raul Castro: Challenges, Strategic Actions and Prospective Performance
The Bildner Center at City University of New York Graduate Center organized a conference entitled “Cuba Futures: Past and Present” from March 31 to April 2. The very rich and interdisciplinary program can be found here: Cuba Futures Conference, Program.
I had the honor of making a presentation in the Opening Plenary Panel. The Power Point presentation is available at “Cuba’s Economic Reform Process under President Raul Castro.”
This entry was posted in Blog
and tagged Agriculture
, Economic Growth
, Economic Melt-Down
, Economic Recovery
, Economic Self-Correction
, Foreign Exchange Earninigs
, General Economic Analyses
, Monetary System
, President Raul Castro
, Small Enterprise
, Structural Change
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A good presentation of yours, I thought. Your political perspective is a little different than mine, in that I think that you are more enthusiastic about capitalism, but clearly you argue from a well-informed perspective.
I have lived in Cuba for the last three months. I have a few observations on your presentation:
1. I think that you paint a grimmer picture than the reality about the current Cuban economy. Yes, agricultural and industrial production have been disastrous, but the income from sales of services to foreign governments has masked this. Unsustainable these sales may in the long term be, but they have been and continue to be very profitable for the Cuban government and the individuals involved. Of course, there is also the income from tourism and nickel.
2. Unless you have very good sources, I think that your account of your perceived battles between the “Fidelistas” and the “Raulistas” is probably your imagination and may be done to make a dull economic argument more interesting by giving it a human angle.
3. It is hard to accept that current living standards are so far behind their 1980s peak. I know that the Cuban people look back to “the good old days”, but are they really only half as well off as they were? What is undoubtedly true is that wealth and income are more unevenly spread now than then.
I always read your blog with interest. I have also written on some of these matters on my own (less well-informed but with the advantage of having been written from Cuba) blog, such as here: http://talesoftheheroiccity.wordpress.com/2011/03/27/further-update-on-self-employment/