Download Cuba's Aborted Reform: Socioeconomic Effects, International by Carmelo Mesa-Lago PDF

By Carmelo Mesa-Lago

This quantity analyzes Cuban socioeconomic guidelines and evaluates their functionality because the cave in of the Soviet Union and the socialist camp. It offers a short historic heritage to the concern and analyzes intimately the deterioration and incomplete restoration on account that 1990. evaluating Cuba’s functionality with that of alternative Latin American and previous socialist international locations, it summarizes the perspectives of famous Cuban economists and proposes regulations that architects of the Cuban transition may desire to installed position after the passing of Castro.

Focusing on fiscal and social regulations and function through the “Special interval in Time of Peace” (1990-2004), the authors draw on a powerful array of facts (synthesized in 28 tables) to teach that during 2005 Cuba has but to come to monetary degrees of the overdue Eighties, and the entry and caliber of the various hugely touted social services--education, future health care, social safety, housing--also haven't been restored to the degrees accomplished sooner than the industrial trouble prompted through the cave in of the Soviet Union. in the meantime, they argue, poverty has multiplied and unequal entry to international remittances mixed with increasing source of revenue alterations have exacerbated social inequalities and widened the intake hole among people with entry to challenging forex and people without.

The authors reveal that governmental matters a couple of strengthening inner most quarter leading to lack of political keep watch over eventually caused the Cuban management to prioritize political over monetary ends. It aborted the modest market-oriented reforms of 1993-1996 and truly reversed them in 2003-2004, recentralized the financial system, tremendously lowered the restricted areas for personal monetary task, exerted expanding keep watch over over challenging foreign money, prohibited the move of the buck, and stepped up repressive measures on peaceable dissidents. Centralized fiscal regulate has been absolutely restored, although it will certainly lead to extra deterioration of financial stipulations and declining criteria of dwelling.  

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Finally, high taxes and fees have been assessed on self-employed workers, and their workplaces have been singled out for frequent inspections by government officials, who are quick to level fines for supposed violations. The small family restaurants (or paladares) were first allowed, then closed down, and finally allowed to reopen but subject to strict restrictions: A maximum of twelve customers can be served at one time, owners cannot hire workers other than family members, and they must pay high taxes.

The Helms-Burton Act, enacted in 1996, bans imports of Cuban products from third countries. S. S. courts persons that “traffic” in property confiscated by the Cuban government, including potential foreign investors in joint ventures with Cuban enterprises that control confiscated properties. S. S. actions against businessmen from their countries who had made investments in the island taking advantage of a more permissive attitude toward foreign investment by Cuban authorities, and threatened to pursue actions against the United States before the World Trade Organization (Pérez-López and Travieso-Díaz 2000).

To deal with potential popular dissatisfaction and the emergence of peaceful dissidents, in February 1999 the National Assembly passed Law No. 88, the Law for the Protection of Cuba’s National Independence and Economy (Ley de la Protección de la Independencia Nacional y la Economía de Cuba). Referred to in Cuba as the “gag law” (ley mordaza), it established jail sentences of between 8 and 20 years and seizure of assets for citizens convicted of political crimes such as collaborating with foreign journalists, accepting payment for such collaboration, and having or distributing “subversive materials” (that is, publications not authorized by the government), disrupting the peace by participating in demonstrations, and otherwise seeking to destabilize the country.

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