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Cuban Economy, Cuba-Venezuela Interactions

Paper Session

Sunday, Jan. 3, 2021 10:00 AM - 12:00 PM (EST)

Hosted By: Association for the Study of the Cuban Economy
  • Chair: Luis Locay, University of Miami

Cuba's Response to COVID 19 and the Consequences for Cuba of the Pandemic

Larry Cata-Backer
Pennsylvania State University


The Cuban encounter with COVID-19 is unique in the sense that the pandemic evidenced some of
the characteristics associated with developed states and others similar to developing states. This
paper presents an examination of the economic effects (positive in pharmaceuticals and medical
personnel abroad programs; negative in tourism and infrastructure) of the COVID-19 pandemic in
Cuba. The paper examines the consequences of these effects as well. These include the difficulties
of disease prevention involving handwashing and the like in the face of water shortages, the
difficulties of food and other shortage on social distancing regimes; the collapse of the non-state
sector; and the emergence of other sustainability issues).

Raul's Reforms: What Was Accomplished, What Remains to Be Done to Unlock the Cuban Economy

Jorge Perez-Lopez
International Economics Consultant


In a major address in 2007, shortly after ascending to the island’s top post due to the illness of his older brother, Raúl Castro discussed candidly the difficult economic situation facing the country and the imperative to undertake “structural reforms.” A broad program of reforms picked up speed in 2010, reinforced by reform-oriented guidelines adopted by the Cuban Communist Party in 2011. By mid-decade, the reform program had lost steam, and the decade ended with some key issues unaddressed. The paper analyzes Raúl Castro’s reforms, assessing successes and limitations and identifying issues still to address.

Venezuelan-Cuban Mutual Aid: Grants, Subsidies and Fantasies

Luis R. Luis
International Research & Strategy Associates


The paper analyzes patterns of bilateral trade and mutual aid between Cuba and Venezuela. Alternative calculations of the grant element of Venezuelan aid are presented. The paper also aims at shedding some light into the nature of barter arrangements between the two Caribbean countries.

Venezuela and Cuba: Inside a Perfect Storm of Sanctions, Corporate Politics and Changing Economic Policies

Vadim Grishin
George Washington University


A comparative analysis of the lopsided corporate practices of the U.S., China and Russia in Venezuela and Cuba - reflecting the asymmetries intertwined in their commercial and geopolitical interests. Zigzag trends in the economic policies of the Maduro and Castro regimes under pressure of structural issues, U.S. sanctions, and the global economic recession. A dynamic of external and internal factors that push both countries into the eye of a perfect storm.
Luis Locay
University of Miami
Jose Pineda
University of British Columbia
JEL Classifications
  • P2 - Socialist Systems and Transitional Economies
  • F5 - International Relations, National Security, and International Political Economy