ASCE-Cuba 2019: This Crisis Will be Different, the Solution Is the Same

By Vicente Morin Aguado

Panelists at the 29th Annual Conference of the Association for the Study of the Cuban Economy (ASCE).

HAVANA TIMES – On Saturday July 27th, debates from the Association for the Study of the Cuban Economy’s (ASCE) 29th annual conference came to an end, with a complete answer to its opening call: Cuba, Growth or Decline: Is the Revolution Dead?

Emilio Morales, the CEO of the indispensable Havana Consulting Group, gave an excellent presentation in which he listed the seven challenges that Diaz-Canel’s government has failed to overcome in the first year of his presidency, which can be summarized in the phrase “the Cuban economy is at an all-time low right now.”

At the brink of a new Special Period, the challenges were outlined as follows:

– there is still an anti-economic dual currency system.

– rampant corruption that has cost the State’s coffers some 2 billion pesos.

– the national sugar industry in ruins which collapsed five years ago.

– exporting its skilled workforce, especially doctors is becoming harder and harder. Brazil and Venezuela confirmed this.

– while tourism prospects decline, emigration doesn’t stop.

Cuba underestimated and rejected opportunities offered by Obama’s administration, and is now having to deal with Republican President Trump’s extremely hostile stance.

– last but not least, Cuba is becoming more isolated from Latin America, with the crises of several Leftist governments in the region and the rejection of repression in Cuba against the opposition.

Emilio Morales’ talk found precedents and echoes in his favor at the ASCE Conference.

Jack Vertovec and Miriam Bahamonde, from Florida International University (FIU) concluded after an investigation in Havana neighborhoods that “this crisis will be different” because there is already growing inequality among Cubans, determined by the loss of many of the Revolution’s so-called social achievements.

In the face of this harsh reality, Miriam Leyva, former Cuban diplomat and constant observer of national affairs, expressed the pressing need to learn from others, including friendly governments or allies such as Bolivia, Vietnam and China, as “the only solution is to change the social/economic/political system that has failed.”
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Havana Times will post several interviews with some of the key speakers at the greatest annual meeting of its kind, about Cuba.

Vicente Morin Aguado: [email protected]


4 thoughts on “ASCE-Cuba 2019: This Crisis Will be Different, the Solution Is the Same

  • July 29, 2019 at 2:20 pm
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    Lo que pasa q no hay voluntad del gobierno de Cuba,,,no le interesa el bienestar de los cubanos,,La política de control absoluto es lo primero para los dirigentes,,el afán de aferrarse a un sistema fallido..seguir la continuidad de los errores..Vendra otro segundo periodo especial y otro y otro,,la isla esta sumida en un permanente periodo especial..Hasta q alla un cambio social,politico y económico lo cual parece está muy lejos que pase….

  • July 29, 2019 at 2:07 pm
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    Thanks for the analysis Vicente, especially in defining the challenges facing the regime. It is noticeable that they are both numerous and serious. There is no reason to think that following the passing of Raul Castro, Machado Ventura, Valdes and the other aged medal-bedecked hangers-on, that when (and if) eventually in full control, Diaz-Canel, Bruno Rodriguez and Marino Murillo or alternatively Alejandro Castro Espin and General Luis Rodriguez Callejas, will be able to resolve those challenges, for they are largely the creation of the totalitarian system that has been pursued since the revolution. It is highly probable that “this crises” will be followed by others, until Cuba’s communism rots from within like that of the late USSR. i look forward to reading the interviews with speakers.

  • July 29, 2019 at 2:04 pm
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    Interesting thing is that everytime an study from academics says the cuban goverment is done or close to the end, the mafia comunista finds new ways to keep going and the explanation is clear:
    All together is a big disaster but the mechanim to hold tight on the control.
    In that side they are perfect, with a huge capacity to fix their mistakes in a matter of hours.
    Designed by fidel, his egocentric ideas of governing Cuba even works when his ashes are deep into a big rock.
    It doesn’t matter how many people are affected, how many souls are hunger, how miserable the elders live or what country has to be colonized, per the commander’s order, the machinery most keep grinding.

  • July 29, 2019 at 11:59 am
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    What a ‘ rompe cabezas ‘ the Cuba’s analysis is.

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