Author Archives: Gabriele Alberto


 By Alberto Gabriele


 This article proposes a synthetic and tentative interpretation  of  Cuba’s present economic perspectives. Its approach is meant to be an intrinsically dialectic one. As such, it emphasizes the diverse roles played by exogenous and endogenous, domestic and external, economic and political factors, and by their reciprocal interactions. In my view, such a methodological approach can be fruitful to analyze the development of any distinct socioeconomic formation unfolding in a unique moment in time, but particularly so in the case of Cuba, a small island whose history has been and is still shaped very strongly by its uneven relation with the US and by the weight of ideology in economic policy.

Every country’s economic trajectory is the product of the dialectical interaction of several sets of endogenous and exogenous, domestic and external factors. From the subjective viewpoint of economic policy-makers, endogenous factors are to be interpreted as those that can be shaped by their own present and future actions. Obviously, policy-makers constitute a small but very influential group of technicians-politicians. Yet, they are endowed with limited degrees of freedom, due to a host of constraints stemming not only from the external world, but also from their cooperative/conflicting relations with other branches of the government, from the contradictions and tensions internal to their own group, and from the impact of non-governmental societal forces and movements.

The latter forces and movements  (whose composition and relative strength differs  markedly from  one country to another)  can condition and affect the economic policy-making process through a number of formal and informal channels, only some of which clearly manifest themselves as belonging to the political sphere. This phenomenon can be interpreted as the endogenization of societal factors into the policy-making machine. In the case of Cuba, where no formal multiparty democracy exists but the social and cultural fabric is not monolithic, the main channel through which endogenization works is the interaction between the Party and the rest of the  population.

Exogenous factors are both domestic and external.  Domestic exogenous factors are shaped mainly by the natural environment and from history. At any given point in time, each country’s climate and its endowment of physical and human capital are partly due to its geographic, geological, climatic and other structural characteristics, and partly to the cumulative results of human actions carried out by domestic and external agents. For instance, the availability and fertility of arable land depends at least in part from past agricultural and urbanization policies. Human capital is the product of past and present education policies. The balance of payments is the result of the interaction of many domestic and foreign economic forces and of the policy decisions taken in the past to cope with them.

Economic, financial and political external factors, for most countries, are largely but not exclusively the product of  forces beyond the control of their own government and policy-makers. In the case of Cuba, the present reality of the embargo and – more broadly – the more or less aggressive  stance of the US and their allies are, from the latter’s vantage point, the result  of Cuba’s resilience and foreign policy actions since the Revolution. Therefore, notwithstanding its traditional David vs Goliath relation with her powerful neighbor, the island’s ability to influence US Cuban policy stance should not be underestimated.

Continue Reading: Gabriele, CUBA CONGRESS 25 05 2016


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A three-day international symposium held under the auspices of the Bildner Center at City University of New York. and spearheaded by its Director Mauricio Font, was held in March 2011. It was entitled Cuba Futures: Past and Present, and focused on the dynamics of change in contemporary Cuba—the politics, culture, economy.

A selection of the papers on the Cuban economy have been published on the web by the Bildner Centre.  The are all hyperlinked here: Political Economy of Change in Cuba, Bildner Center, CUNY New York. A Table of Contents is presented below. Of special interest are the essays by the analysts from the Centro de Estudios sobre la Economia Cubana, Armando Nova, Camila Piñeiro, Pavel Vidal Alejandro and Omar Everleny Pérez .

Table of Contents

Preface                                                                                                                                   xi

1 La actualización del modelo económico cubano, Omar Everleny Pérez Villanueva

2 Forecasting Cuba’s Economy: 2, 5, and 20 Years, Emily Morris*    10

3 Las restricciones de divisas en la economía cubana, 2010, Pavel Vidal Alejandro 19

4 New Forms of Enterprise in Cuba’s Changing Economy, Camila Piñeiro Harnecker    43

5 Valoración del impacto de las medidas más recientes en los resultados de la agricultura en Cuba, Armando Nova González     63

6 Las nuevas transformaciones en la agricultura cubana: éxitos y desafíos, Reynaldo Jiménez Guethón           81

7 Cuba y el turismo norteamericano. Analisis de potencialidades y de impactos en la región caribeña, Gerardo González Núñez and Roberto Orro Fernández         9

78 Tourism in Cuba: Barriers to Economic Growth and Development Hilary Becker     117

9 Cuba: A Services-Centered Survival and Development Pattern, Alberto Gabriele        133

10 Theoretical Foundations of a Future Privatization in Cuba: The Property and Ownership Paradigm, Frank-Christian Hansel   155

11 Globalization and the Socialist Multinational: Cuba and ALBA’s Grannacional Projects at the Intersection of Business and Human Rights, Larry Catá Backer         183

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