May 30, 2017
"From the Island" Research Papers

Issue No. 33: The Current State and Future Prospects of the Cuban Economy

The purpose of this paper by Cuban economist Dr. Omar Everleny Pérez Villanueva is to assess the current condition of the Cuban economy and what needs to be done to place Cuba on the road toward development in the next few years. It is important that necessary policy changes occur quickly enough to allow current generations to participate in and benefit from development’s results. This analysis will address the following questions:

1. Where is the Cuban economy today?

2. What changes are needed in the future to strengthen the Cuban economy?

3. What are the financial resources available for the implementation of Cuba’s Long Term Plan (2030)?

We must be fair and admit that the U.S. embargo has represented an indisputable obstacle in Cuba’s development, something that should have been eliminated a long time ago. That policy has been the cause of many economic and financial difficulties for Cuba. However, we must also recognize that crucial internal changes have proceeded too slowly, and within a decision-making structure that resembles a maze and is marked by the influence of many years of centralization. Before analyzing the steps the Cuban government must follow if it intends to develop the economy—as can be inferred from its recent “National Plan for Economic Development until 2030: Proposal of a vision for the country, coordinates, and strategic sectors”—we must first determine the starting point, that is, the current state of the economy. Confidence in Cuba’s intention to develop its economy would require it to follow very different economic and social paths from those of the recent past.

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