Monday, September 28, 2009

Odds and ends

  • The Center for Strategic and International Studies publishes “Cuba Outlook: Raúl and Beyond,” a report (pdf) that reviews Cuba’s economic and political situation, its foreign policy, and other matters, and concludes that Cuba is in a “holding pattern” and “prospects for change are highly unlikely.” It calls for consideration of closer government-to-government ties and relaxation of travel restrictions on Americans.

  • Cuba’s foreign minister, at the UN, states Cuba’s position on relations with the United States.

  • Columnist Albor Ruiz takes note of some calls from Latin America for the U.S. to end the embargo at last week’s UN General Assembly opening. A General Assembly resolution on the U.S. embargo will be debated next month; the U.S. has been on the losing end of that debate 17 times.

  • The Washington Post goes to the Cuban countryside to see how Raul’s agriculture policies are faring.


ac said...

Interesting report, but somehow it looks too superficial. It does not try to figure out if there is a coherent policy behind of the latest changes. In any case I wanted to quote a couple of things.

"Lack of a free media is a major economic disincentive, and institutional secrecy inhibits reliable economic statistics."

I didn't know that free media was an economic incentive, and is not institutional secrecy the source of unreliable statistics in the Cuban case, but the double currency and segmentation problems.

All in all, even the Cuban authorities have a hard time figuring out the economy and the National Organization of Statistics (ONE) is full of opportunists and incompetents.

"Prospects for the creation of a credible opposition to the government remain highly limited. Older generations of Cubans are either pro-regime or fearful that change could result in still further economic privation. Younger generations are the most highly dissatisfied with the regime but are apolitical or looking to migrate. Civil society in Cuba has no common agenda and does not provide a vehicle for protest against the regime."

Just wanted to quote this one.

Anonymous said...

Ah, why fight where there is no future?

leftside said...

Anyone who thinks Cuba is in a "holding pattern" ought to give up their "Analyst" credentials. Just because the speed and depth of reforms have to met certain US wishes does not mean what is happening is not important. During the Special Period, the Government made reforms because it had no choice. Today is something different. Of course, the biggest changes are yet to come. But this is no holding pattern.