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The Cuban update and U.S. Cuba Relations. Dr. Raúl Rodríguez Rodríguez Center For Hemispheric and United States Studies, University of Havana. The Context. World Economic Crisis 2008 2008 Cuba hit by two hurricanes “ back to back” Demographic Change, low population growth

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the cuban update and u s cuba relations

The Cuban update and U.S. Cuba Relations

Dr. Raúl Rodríguez Rodríguez

Center For Hemispheric and United States Studies, University of Havana

the context
The Context
  • World Economic Crisis 2008
  • 2008 Cuba hit by two hurricanes “ back to back”
  • Demographic Change, low population growth
  • Low GDP growth rates

Draft Guide for Economic and Social Policy, October, 2010

  • Submitted to workplace debate and neighborhood debate
  • Approved by party congress and national assembly
  • No definite timetable to implement
  • Some Implementation through pilot projects
deep structural transformations
Deep Structural Transformations
  • Downsizing of state apparatus and payrolls.
  • Expansion of private individual property and non agricultural cooperatives. (35% of GDP by 2015)
  • Redistribution of land from big state farms in usufruct.
  • Reform credit policy for private and individual activity.
  • Reform State enterprises, eliminating subsidies and granting more autonomy.
foreign trade sector
Foreign Trade Sector
  • New Law of foreign investment
  • All sectors open to FDI ( except health, education and the military )
  • A more expedite and less centralized process of approval FDI.
  • Creation of Special Development Zones.
  • Assurances against expropriation, tax breaks and other incentives to foreign investors.
  • Cuban employment agency as facilitator, workers can negotiate contract with foreign employers.
next steps
Next Steps
  • New Credit Policy
  • Price and monetary reform
  • Update Cuban tax code
  • Salary reform ( Doctors and health workers)
  • Elimination of the dual currency system

( Process started, no timetable defined)

political changes
Political Changes
  • Process of transfer from the old to the new generation.
  • Constitutional reform. ( limit mandate of government and elected officials)
  • Removing excessive prohibitions. ( most significantly travel, emigration and relation with Cubans abroad)
foreign policy
Foreign Policy
  • Cuba has diplomatic relations with 184 states
  • Continued Internationalist cooperation ( South – South )
  • Relations with 34 Western Hemisphere states, except the U.S.
  • Increased prestige in the LAC region ( guarantor of Colombian peace process)
  • Diversify trading partners
  • Renegotiating foreign debt
obama policy toward cuba
Obama policy toward Cuba
  • 2008 expectations ( Obama Administration toned down rhetoric)
  • Few initial changes “ campaign promises” to Cubans in the U.S.
  • People to people academic and cultural exchanges (Purposeful travel)
  • Renewed some level of contact and technical cooperation
instances of technical cooperation
Instances of technical cooperation
  • Drug interdiction ( Coast Guard )
  • Alien smuggling interdiction
  • Aviation Security
  • Military to Military (Guantanamo “Gate Talks”)
  • Response to Oil Spills ( Multilateral Mexico, Bahamas, United States, Cuba)
other contacts
Other contacts
  • Renewed talks evaluate migration accords ( every six months)
  • Talks to reestablish direct postal service between Cuba and the U.S.
  • More talks on aviation safety and security
  • Frequent “fact finding visits ” of members of the U.S. legislative branch
core of u s policy remains
Core of U.S. Policy remains
  • The most comprehensive set of U.S. sanction on any country.
  • Strict economic sanctions with extraterritorial implications ( fines to banks and travel companies)
  • Efforts to subvert the Cuban internal political order. ( Radio and TV Broadcasts and USAID “democracy promotion” programs)
  • Unilaterally keeping Cuba on the list countries that sponsor terrorism.
conditions for change
Conditions for Change?
  • United Nations General Assembly rejects the U.S. embargo of Cuba ( 188-3)
  • European Union and Cuba have started a political dialogue to normalize relations
  • U.S. policy is isolated in the region of Latin America and the Caribbean
internal conditions for change
Internal conditions for Change
  • Growing consensus in the U.S. Society in favor of modifying the policy ( Polls, Newspaper editorials, statements by political strategist and candidates for office )
  • Changes in the Cuban American perceptions of Cuba and Americans perception of the Cuban right wing role.
  • Increased travel of U.S. and Cuban Americans

( 332 flights June-July 2013)

cuba policy
Cuba Policy
  • Cuba is changing in search for its own indigenous, prosperous and sustainable socio economic system.
  • Cuba seeks collective security and is not a threat to the U.S.
  • Cuba is not Isolated in terms of trade and diplomacy.
  • Cuban Government has offered to start a dialogue with U.S. at any level, on any topic and any place and time.
u s policy
U.S. Policy
  • State policy not a government policy designed for regime change
  • Dominated by historical and geopolitical considerations
  • Lacks consistency and legitimacy
  • Counter productive from a liberal point of view