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Cuban Economic News
Archive: to 12/2013

Cuban TV Industry Takes Another Step towards Digital Switchover  12/26/2013 Havana Reporter: "Cuban specialists recently presented the first working prototype of an integrated digital television set manufactured in Cuba, using liquid crystal display (LCD) and light emitting diodes (LEDs)."

The Need to Speed up Changes in Oriente  12/7/2013 AfroCubaWeb: "No one can accept that a lack of attractions is the culprit for Oriente underdevelopment. The area holds the home site of the Rough Riders landing in Daiquiri and Siboney, San Juan Hills, the Morro Castle and the sunken wreckage of the Spanish fleet. General Antonio Maceo’s home and Square, the Bacardi Museum, Jose Marti Mausoleum, Santa Efigenia cemetery, the Gran Piedra Coffee ruins, the Moncada Garrison, the Basilica of the Virgin of Charity, the site of the Protest of Baragua and Loma del Gato, where General Jose Maceo fell in combat are all close at hand. We also have the English Speaking Caribbean and Haitian community in Goat Hill in Guantanamo, Caimanera overlooking the Guantanamo Naval Base, the Alexander Humbolt Biophere reserve and Baracoa. The sites of the beginning of Cuba’s two Wars of Independence, the city where the national anthem was written, the home of the Father of the Cuban Nation, the site where slaves were freed, the Granma landing and the Sierra Maestra are all there. One of Cuba’s best beaches in Guardalavaca, Christopher Columbus' landing site in Bariay and Cuba’s largest arqueological dig in Banes suffice to attract an additional million tourists to Cuba."

La Zona de Desarrollo del Mariel. Potencialidad y Riesgos.  11/25/2013 AfroCubaWeb: "Escépticos, fatalistas y enemigos, presagian el fracaso del ZED debido a la severa falta de vías de comunicación en el país, deficiente abasto de agua, alcantarillado, electricidad, lentitud cibernética, deplorable comercio minorista, transporte, construcción, servicios de apoyo, correos, viviendas y la mentalidad de algunos en el siglo XX. Ignoran o subvaloran los cientos de miles de profesionales, técnicos y científicos que Cuba ha formado, lo que le permite calificarlos y recalificarlos para asumir cualquier responsabilidad, a diferencia de muchos países vecinos que partirían de cero."

Soft Landing in Cuba? Emerging Entrepreneurs and Middle Classes  11/1/2013 Brookings Institution 

Cuba: Beginning of the End of Dual Currency  10/22/2013 Havana Times: 'Many economists believe that the dual currency distorts accounting and hampers economic productivity on the island. Monetary unification “is not a measure that will resolve all the current economic problems, but its implementation is essential to ensure the restoration of the value of the Cuban peso,” noted the official Granma newspaper on Tuesday."

Trabajo por cuenta propia revela tensiones de género en Cuba  10/14/2013 Global Voices: por Sandra Abd'Allah-Alvarez Ramírez

Crean cooperativas en la Oficina del Historiador  9/27/2013 Opus Havana: "Hoy viernes fueron constituidas oficialmente dos cooperativas no agropecuarias de primer grado de la Oficina del Historiador de la Ciudad: la de vidriería Vidria y la de metales Calflat. En el acto, efectuado en la Casa Pedroso, y en el que intervino Eusebio Leal Spengler para saludar la iniciativa y desear éxitos a los cooperativistas, se conoció que estas se crearon con el objetivo de diversificar el trabajo en la institución en una nueva modalidad, utilizando en este caso específico la experiencia de graduados y profesores de la Escuela Taller Gaspar Melchor de Jovellanos."

Cuba expands list of allowed private sector jobs  9/26/2013 AFP: "The Communist Party daily Granma reported that among the 18 newly authorized private sector occupations is that of real estate agent, in keeping with an earlier decision to legalize private real estate transactions. Vendors of agricultural produce and telecommunications salespeople also have been added to the list."

Cuban Cinema at a Crossroads: Independent Productions on the Island  8/30/2013 Havana Times: "Calviño believes that “the first step would be to create a legal platform for independent productions. Today, we can’t even sign a contract or open our own bank account,” she explains, adding that the important thing “is to be allowed to work without the stress of thinking one is doing something illegal.”"

A business-friendly Cuba gets a hand from Canada  8/29/2013 Toronto Globe & Mail: “The irony is those that will save the Revolution are the emerging small- and medium-sized private businesses,” he says. “And those that could destroy it are those elements in the bureaucracy that resist these changes.”

The Privatization of Education in Cuba: Kissing the Right Frog  8/27/2013 Havana Times: "In this connection, Zulema’s day care center is one case among many others, which include private schools maintained by international organizations, to which the children of Cuba’s nouveaux riches flock in a mad, happy rush. As such, Cuban society is slowly becoming exposed to two visibly different ways of accessing education. At the top, we have the children of those who have come out victorious in the process of capitalist restoration, comfortable in their private institutions and nurseries. At the very broad base, we have the heirs of poverty, in an educational system that is in shambles, with badly-paid teachers and ramshackle facilities. Some go up while others plunge further down."

La música cubana se vende en bolsa negra  8/22/2013 Cubanet: "Hace algún tiempo, una “bomba” explotó en el Centro Provincial de la Música, en Matanzas. Una directiva de esa empresa se embolsaba miles de dólares, derivados de turbios manejos relacionados con agrupaciones contratadas en Varadero. Con ganancias sucias, la mujer se estaba construyendo un auténtico palacete, comparable con el que intentó erigirse, décadas atrás, el proverbial Luis Orlando Domínguez."

Illegal Dental Work on the Rise in Cuba  8/22/2013 Havana Times: "Generally speaking, dentists with private clinics are specialists or technicians from the field who continue to work for the State or quit their day jobs in search of financial improvement. They have clinics with basic conditions at home and no license to operate. In fact, no one is authorized by the government to offer health services privately, as a self-employed professional. Another practice consists of offering dental appointments and diagnostic procedures outside State clinics, in private residences, and conducting the actual surgery in the government institution, using the equipment and supplies there illegally."

Celebran Aniversario 26 de los Joven Club de Computación  8/16/2013 CubaDebate 

Cuba’s Journey on the Internet: There’s a Long March Ahead  8/14/2013 Time: "only 25% of the population is online" [This figure comes from official sources.]

Internet access now a reality for some Cubans, but not cheap at $4.50 an hour  8/6/2013 CNN 

Cuba’s Economic Performance in 2012  7/24/2013 CounterPunch 

Hospitales cubanos se caen a pedazos y si los reparan, es con pacientes dentro  7/2/2013 CubaNet: "El doctor me mira sorprendido cuando le pregunto si considera que no se puede transportar a un paciente grave en un ascensor donde van otras personas. Al preguntarle me acuerdo de los ingresos hospitalarios con mi padre y la cantidad de veces que subí con él acostado en una camilla, luchando por protegerlo del hombre que sacaba un contenedor de basura, en presencia de médicos conversando que me obligaban a ver aquella situación como “normal”."

Guantánamo en nosotros  6/30/2013 AfroCubaWeb: "El Centro Medico del Caribe en que quedaría transformado el Hospital Agostinho Neto y su Escuela de Medicina para unos 10,000 alumnos nacionales e internacionales, pudiera contar con un equipo facultativo-docente internacional, solidario, progresista, que contribuyera a conferirle el más alto nivel científico-investigativo de la región, graduando con el máximo nivel y rigor científico a unos 500 médicos, 1000 enfermeras y 500 tecnólogos anuales, procedentes de todo el mundo."

Guantánamo in us  6/30/2013 AfroCubaWeb: "The devastation caused by Hurricane Georges in Guantanamo in 1998 led the Caribbean American Children Foundation, other solidarity groups, humanists and peace loving people across Florida, to collect health, educational, handicap, sports and cultural goods which were placed on the first four engine cargo airplane to depart from Miami to Guantanamo since 1959. These solidarity efforts have continued with that region to this day."

Policía allana vivienda y ocupa bienes de Alfredo Guevara  6/29/2013 Café Fuerte: "En verdad, estamos ante un asunto de corrupción de proporciones mayúsculas, pues Alfredo Guevara era uno de los mayores coleccionistas privados de pintura cubana, patrimonio con el que traficó durante décadas y era tolerado por la oficialidad por su defensa del régimen”, agregó el cineasta. “Esa tolerancia ha llegado a su fin”. El realizador dijo a CaféFuerte que “hay constancia de que ese tráfico con obras de arte ha proporcionado cientos de miles de dólares a los herederos, quienes han invertido en varias propiedades en Miami”.

Policía allana vivienda y ocupa bienes de Alfredo Guevara  6/29/2013 CubaNet: "En verdad, estamos ante un asunto de corrupción de proporciones mayúsculas, pues Alfredo Guevara era uno de los mayores coleccionistas privados de pintura cubana, patrimonio con el que traficó durante décadas y era tolerado por la oficialidad por su defensa del régimen”, agregó el cineasta. “Esa tolerancia ha llegado a su fin”. El realizador dijo a CaféFuerte que “hay constancia de que ese tráfico con obras de arte ha proporcionado cientos de miles de dólares a los herederos, quienes han invertido en varias propiedades en Miami”. Guevara murió de un ataque cardíaco el pasado 19 de abril, a los 87 años. Sus cenizas fueron esparcidas días después en la escalinata de la Universidad de La Habana, el lugar donde forjó su carrera como líder estudiantil comunista y conoció a Fidel Castro."

Cuba demanda un nuevo Baragua  6/20/2013 AfroCubaWeb: "Proponer la formación de una Empresa Mixta de 100,000 acres cada uno, con las Arroceras del Delta del Mississippi, los Citricultores, Ganaderos, Cultivadores de Papa, Fresa, Repollo y Vegetales del Estado de la Florida. Proponer la formación de Empresas Mixta al 50/50% con pequeños y medianos empresarios minoritarios del Caribe, América Latina y los Estados Unidos, para la construcción y restauración de 400 hoteles de 2** y 3***, 100 Cines, 30,000 comercios de víveres, ropa, construcción, restaurantes, farmacias etc."

Cuba demands another Baragua  6/20/2013 AfroCubaWeb: "Propose a 50/50% Joint Venture of 50,000 acres with the Mississippi Delta rice growers, 100,000 acres each with Florida citrus, cattle ranchers, potato, strawberry, vegetable and cabbage growers. Propose a 50/50% Joint Venture with 20,000 mid-size and small Caribbean, Latin American and US Minority entrepreneurs, to refurbish/build and operate 400 2** and 3*** Hotel, 100 movie theaters, 30,000 grocery, garment, home improvement stores, restaurants, pharmacy etc."

Ataca Sección Cuba de LASA a académico por interesarse en economista sancionado  6/9/2013 Marti Noticias: "El bloguero relató que el profesor de Baruch College en Nueva York, e investigador de la blogósfera cubana, Ted Henken, quien es miembro de la sección, provocó la reacción de una verdadera “brigada de respuesta rápida intelectual” cuando preguntó por qué el economista Omar Everleny Pérez, quien tiene una ponencia en el Congreso y ha asistido a otras ediciones, no asiste al evento. Junto con Pavel Vidal, actualmente en la filial de Cali, Colombia, de la Universidad Javeriana, Pérez ha sido uno de los críticos más agudos e impacientes desde el oficialismo de las reformas de Raúl Castro en la isla. Se ha sabido que hace poco perdió su puesto en el Centro de Estudios de la Economía Cubana, fue degradado a una posición más oscura y se decidió que no asistiera al Congreso de LASA. Pardo Lazo relata que cuatro de los académicos enviados por La Habana –con Carlos Alzugaray a la cabeza-- protagonizaron el acto de repudio a Henken, echándole en cara a grito pelado que ningún norteamericano estaba autorizado a interesarse por la suerte de ningún cubano."

Cuba’s New Cybercafés: A Piecemeal Strategy  5/30/2013 Havana Times: "With a total of 334 computer consoles around the country, the cybercafés will be open 11 hours a day. If every user were to navigate for only an hour, a mere 3,700 people would be able to access the Internet a day. If we maintain our initial figure of 8 million potential Internet users, people would get to connect once every 5 years. Even if we assume I am exaggerating and that only 10 % of this hypothetical population wants to use the Internet, each person would have access to the web only once every six months. And Cuba’s phone company, ETECSA, needed all of two years to take this bold step, from the date in which the installation of an underwater fiber-optic cable between Cuba and Venezuela was completed."

CUBA: Los desafíos del cooperativismo  5/24/2013 Cooperativismo en Movimiento: "Las cooperativas se vislumbran como una de las formas empresariales no estatales que tendrán mayor protagonismo en el nuevo modelo económico cubano. Si hasta ahora solo eran de carácter agropecuario, comienzan los experimentos en otros sectores."

Fiber Optic Cable Between Cuba and Jamaica Now Operative  5/22/2013 Havana Times: "Doug Madory, the top analyst for Renesys, said adding Jamaica gives Cuba a backup in case of an interruption in the branch of the ALBA-1 to Venezuela."

¿Un futuro petrolero para Cuba?  5/6/2013 Progreso: "Ahora, los casos de Cuba y de Brasil son totalmente diferentes, porque estás hablando de una materia prima que es la caña de azúcar. En Cuba ya podemos recuperar un millón de hectáreas de tierra que históricamente siempre han sido tierras azucareras, así que no estamos hablando de deforestación. Los estudios que hemos hecho nos demuestran que una industria azucarera cubana recapitalizada totalmente puede contribuir alrededor de 3500 millones de dólares al año a la economía cubana. Porque tienes el etanol hoy en día a dos dólares el galón y tienes el azúcar a 18-20 centavos."

A future in oil for Cuba?  5/6/2013 Progreso: "Now, the cases of Cuba and Brazil are totally different, because you're talking about a raw material that's sugar cane. In Cuba, you can regain one million hectares of land that historically was always sugar land, so we're not talking about deforestation. The studies we've done show that a totally recapitalized sugar industry can contribute about $3.5 billion a year to the Cuban economy. That's because ethanol is priced at $2 per gallon and sugar is priced at 18 to 20 cents."

E-book: de la tecnología a la mentalidad, y viceversa  4/22/2013 Cubaliteraria: "No hay tradición que sobreviva si no es capaz de convivir, y utilizar, los adelantos tecnológicos. Esa es la esencia que no debe perderse de vista ante los nuevos escenarios del e-book, que es aún un sucedáneo del libro de papel y, por lo pronto, un producto que, teniendo múltiples posibles receptores, carece de demanda y, sobre todo, de la existencia de autores que puedan sostenerla."

Bloqueo norteamericano obstaculiza comercio electrónico de Cuba  4/10/2013 CubaDebate: "Cuba denunció aquí que el bloqueo impuesto por Estados Unidos obstaculiza su acceso a las tecnologías de la información y las comunicaciones y, por consiguiente, limita el uso y desarrollo de las aplicaciones del comercio electrónico. El viceministro cubano de Comunicaciones, Wilfredo González, evidenció el carácter discriminatorio de las medidas unilaterales de Washington y su dimensión extraterritorial, que van en contra de las directrices del programa de trabajo de la Organización Mundial del Comercio (OMC)."

Preocupa vulnerabilidad de Cuba a aumento del nivel del mar  4/10/2013 CubaDebate: "“Este fenómeno afectará los ecosistemas, la productividad de los suelos agrícolas, incrementará la vulnerabilidad de los asentamientos costeros, reducirá las áreas forestales y de cultivos, y la calidad y disponibilidad del agua”, explicó Escobar. “Cuba ha establecido prioridades en función de reducir esas vulnerabilidades, identificadas en estudios de prevención y riesgo de desastres realizados por científicos del país”, agregó. Entre las actividades priorizadas para reducir los impactos del ascenso del nivel del mar, el experto señaló la conservación y rehabilitación de los ecosistemas protectores de la línea de costa: arrecifes de coral, manglares y playas de arena."

Prevén en Cuba incremento de producción de cemento ecológico  4/7/2013 CubaDebate: "Expertos cubanos prevén para 2014 un incremento de la producción de cemento ecológico, material que por su menor contenido de clínquer reduce la emisión de dióxido de carbono a la atmósfera, refleja hoy la prensa."

Otro robo descarado amparado en el bloqueo  3/31/2013 Cuba Debate: "El robo descarado de marcas cubanas en Estados Unidos sigue siendo amparado por autoridades federales en ese país, quienes se escudan en las espurias regulaciones del bloqueo económico, financiero y comercial que Washington practica contra Cuba. Esta semana, una comisión federal norteamericana juzgó que la empresa General Cigar Co. Inc. puede seguir utilizando el nombre de la marca registrada Cohiba para sus puros en Estados Unidos."

Cuba: Producción porcina se ha incrementado  3/29/2013 CubaDebate: "El presidente de la Sociedad Cubana de Porcicultores (SCP), Francisco Diéguez, dijo hoy en La Habana que la implementación de una estrategia especial en esa esfera en el país permitió un crecimiento de esa masa animal. La disminución de la importación de alimentos y su sustitución por otros cultivos producidos en esta isla y la aplicación de medidas rigurosas para el control de las enfermedades que afectan a los cerdos influyó positivamente, explicó."

The Internet, Broadband and Foreign Policy - Cyber Cuba  2/26/2013 Cuba-L 

Cuba: Una estrategia energética nunca está desvinculada del modelo económico  2/25/2013 Rebelion: por Manuel David Orrio

La inversión extranjera en Cuba  2/16/2013 OnCuba: "En su momento fue la noticia del día; luego, nada más se supo: Cuba trabajaba en la modificación de la Ley 77 sobre la inversión extranjera, y la nueva legislación debía promulgarse antes de que finalizara diciembre del 2012, según declaró a mediados del pasado año la directora de Finanzas del Ministerio de Comercio Exterior e Inversión Extranjera, Yamila Fernández."

LOS SERVICIOS DE MICROFINANZAS EN CUBA: UNA NECESIDAD URGENTE  2/1/2013 Revista Caribeña de Ciencias Sociales: Universidad de la Habana

CUBA: realidad y perspectivas del cooperativismo  1/29/2013 Cooperativismo en Movimiento: Entrevista a Camila Piñeiro Harnecker, investigadora del Centro de Estudios de la Economía Cubana

The Economics of the Cuban Embargo  1/29/2013 CounterPunch: "This growing international trade, disguised as sending goods to needy family members in Cuba, now includes filling the hulls on 10 or more daily charter flights from US cities to Cuba. Cuban Americans send goods, often with “mules,” to provide family members in Cuba, needing supplies for their businesses. The “mules” return with cash, derived from sales of these goods. Some of the new Cuban stores and restaurants supplied by Miami-based Cubans make substantial profits, some of which get spent in Cuba, and ends up in Cuba’s central bank. Miami, the United States’ poorest large city, derives income because it provides jobs involved in buying and selling the goods sent to Cuba. Jobs also arise from routine tasks created around the daily charter flights to and from Cuba, and the fees collected from take offs and landings. Add to this, the work for accountants, book-keepers and others."

Is Cuba The Next Emerging Market?  1/29/2013 Forbes: "Small changes allowing some private enterprise in Cuba are coinciding with the U.S.’s own policy shifts: As a result, the economic embargo, which prevents most business and travel in Cuba for U.S. firms and citizens, is becoming more porous. In 2009 President Obama relaxed travel restrictions and remittances for Cuban-Americans, enabling them to invest in small private businesses. U.S. citizens can now legally travel to Cuba. But is it time to look at Cuba as a viable emerging market? U.S. public opinion is shifting in favor of normalizing ties, and the American business lobby in particular wants to take advantage of the untapped market, which it believes is worth $1 billion a year."

Cuba first high-speed internet connection activated  1/24/2013 BBC: "The $70m (£44m) fibre-optic cable arrived from Venezuela in February 2011, but tests on the line are said to have begun only this month."

Cuba is Testing Underwater Internet Cable  1/24/2013 OnCuba: "Quality tests on internet traffic through the cable began on January 10, with real traffic from and to Cuba in order to normalize this communication system. The connection has initially been used for international telephone traffic, the company explained. Once the experimental stage concludes, the operations of the underwater cable would not imply yet the multiplication of possibilities to access the internet, since investment would have to be done in the internal telecommunication infrastructure and increase hard currency resources to pay for the Internet traffic."

Is the Venezuelan undersea cable operational?  1/22/2013 OnCuba: "The news came out of a report posted Sunday on the website of Renesys (USA), a company considered an “internet intelligence authority”. In the report author Doug Madory wrote routing data showed significantly faster traffic to Cuba. According to this analysis the ALBA-1 cable is allowing data transmission faster than before, when outgoing and ingoing data was travelling via satellite. Though Cubans haven’t still seen a real improvement in speed, the news fills them with hope. The subsea data cable will increase internet speed exponentially in Cuba. It will multiply by 3000 data, images and voice transmission with a bandwidth of 640 gigabytes and capacity to handle 10 million phone calls simultaneously, according to"

Cosméticos para la mujer negra  12/23/2012 Trabajadores: "Por atinado y certero me sorprendió gratamente el criterio de la diputada Olivia Teresa González, de Centro Habana, en la más reciente reunión de la Comisión de Industrias y Construcción, de la Asamblea Nacional del Poder Popular: “No hay una perspectiva o proyección en la producción nacional de cosméticos y otros productos de belleza para la mujer negra”, dijo."

Cuba Denounces New US Treasury Fines  12/20/2012 Havana Times: "A statement posted on the front page of the Granma newspaper discussed the December 11 imposition of a $375 million fine against London-based HSBC Holdings for violating US sanctions against several countries, including Cuba. A day after, OFAC announced the implementation of an another fine of $8.5 million against the Japanese bank Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ, also for processing financial transactions involving a group of countries that included Cuba. The Cuban Foreign Ministry considers this to involve “new acts in the extraterritorial application of the provisions of the US blockade against Cuba and also against entities in third countries."

Telephone Fraud, Corruption and One-Party Democracy in Cuba  12/17/2012 Havana Times: "As for democracy and party systems, the general trend of representative democracy is predominantly toward bipartisanship while communist systems were founded on the concept of a single party. One thing to consider is the set of traditions of the countries where socialist revolutions triumphed. In ancient Russia, these traditions were shaped by the absolutism implanted for centuries by the tsarist autocracy. China, Vietnam and North Korea can be described as eastern monarchies that are equally despotic and overly centralized. In Latin America, Cuba follows the tradition inherited from Spain, where kings once prevailed, followed by caudillos."

Cuba abre la puerta a las cooperativas privadas  12/11/2012 El Pais: "Un resquicio de autonomía se abrió ayer al entrar en vigor un decreto ley que ampliará de forma gradual el cooperativismo en Cuba. En una etapa preliminar se prevé que este contribuya a la creación de más de 200 asociaciones de ese tipo en todo el país. Desde la pasada sesión de la Asamblea Nacional, en julio de este año, se aguardaba la entrada en vigor de una medida que se espera dinamice la deteriorada economía de la Isla. Hasta ahora esta forma de gestión solo estaba permitida en el sector agropecuario. Pero desde hoy incluirá también los sectores gastronómico, de transporte, servicios personales y domésticos, la recuperación de materias primas y los servicios de la construcción, entre otros."

In Communist Cuba, the Tax Man Cometh  11/28/2012 MSNBC: "A sliding scale income tax - from 15 percent for earnings of more than 10,000 pesos (about $400) annually, to 50 percent for earnings of over 50,000 pesos, (about $2,000) - adopted in 1994, remains in the new code for the self-employed, small businesses and farms, but it also includes a series of new deductions to stimulate their work."

Damnificados de “Sandy” adquieren materiales de construcción  11/13/2012 CubaDebate 

Brazil-Cuba: Full steam ahead  11/13/2012 Progreso Weekly: "With little hoopla, Brazil has become Cuba’s second trade partner in Latin America. The trend is rising, according to basic data: In 2011, the bilateral trade exchange rose by 45 percent, compared with 2010, when it totaled US$501.4 million. This year, it is expected to close at $1 billion."

Santiago de Cuba se levanta  10/27/2012 Cuba Debate: "El pueblo de Santiago de Cuba, aún en medio del pesar por las pérdidas humanas y materiales que le dejó Sandy, se levanta con absoluta fe en la recuperación de su terruño y hace a favor de ello con el apoyo que llega de otras provincias del país. En consonancia, brigadas de linieros y operarios de las empresas eléctrica y telefónica ya trabajan para restaurar el suministro de energía, afectado en casi un 85 por ciento, así como dar vitalidad a los más de 17 mil teléfonos interrumpidos."

Venezuela envia ayuda humanitaria a Cuba y Haití  10/27/2012 Cuba Debate 

In Cuba, the Teachers Are Leaving  10/25/2012 Havana Times: "Last year, 14,000 teachers left the classroom with medical leave certificates or requesting self-employment licenses, while this summer another 4,000 gave up teaching without excuses. Meanwhile, 80 percent of the slots to study teaching careers are vacant."

Cubanos son propietarios de casi 85 por ciento de viviendas del país  10/22/2012 Cuba Debate: "Las familias cubanas son propietarias de casi el 85 por ciento de las viviendas existentes en el país y solo el seis por ciento están vinculadas o son medios básicos de organismos de la administración central del Estado. El resto de ellas está considerado en régimen de arrendamiento y en cuartos, habitaciones, bohíos y otros tipos, según el más reciente informe hasta 2011 de especialistas del sistema de la vivienda en la nación, al que la AIN tuvo acceso."

Sex Tourism: The Largest Free-market in Cuba  10/15/2012 Havana Times: "When the Cuban government began promoting the tourism industry in the 1990s, it was sex tourism that jump-started that initiative. Twelve years into the 21st century, they have managed to transition to other more conventional forms of tourism. Eco tourism, family tourism and luxury tourism are gradually coming to occupy prominent places in the industry."

Cuba, Uruguay y Brasil: intercambio para crecer  10/10/2012 Microcredito: "Una delegación de referentes cubanos visitó las experiencias cooperativas del Uruguay y Brasil, con el propósito de relevar las experiencias que tienen ambos países en torno a la Economía Social y Solidaria (ESS), sector sobre el cual Cuba quiere impulsar en el marco de su proceso de actualización socioeconómica."

Cooperativismo cubano: modificaciones en las Unidades Básicas de Producción Cooperativa  10/5/2012 Cooperativismo en Movimiento: video

Prices and Taxes in Cuba  10/4/2012 Havana Times: "To really achieve the redistribution of wealth, taxes should be applied only on luxury goods, those products that aren’t necessary for life. Applying them on milk, cooking oil, soap and meat ends up being punishment against the poor. Kiosks have been opened in all the districts selling products in convertible hard-currency. One needs only to stand around one of those to witness how many of the people who shop there are clearly poor people who have to save every penny to buy the most indispensible items. A few days ago people were complaining that detergent was scarce in the hard-currency stores. The problem was actually that only large packages were being sold, while the fact is that many Cubans can barely manage to scrape together the 50 cents (USD) for the smallest packets."

New investment fund aims to catch wave of interest in Cuba  9/27/2012 International Institute for the Study of Cuba: "Romar group, which is active in equipment sales, development, trading, finance and logistics in Latin America, Africa and Eastern Europe, has kept a low profile during the almost 20 years it has done business in Cuba, but the family-owned company is now emerging as an important link with the island for investors. Romar’s development arm, Q Hospitality, is negotiating construction of four hotels, one each in Havana, Viñales, Trinidad and Santa Lucía. Plans also include construction of a 80-mw wind farm in Cuba. However, its most ambitious project is a marina and real estate development at Tarará, just east of Havana."

CUBA: Las cooperativas en el nuevo modelo económico  9/21/2012 Cooperativismo en Movimiento: "Los Lineamientos de la Política Económica y Social del Partido y la Revolución aprobados por el VI Congreso del Partido Comunista de Cuba (PCC) mencionan a las cooperativas como una de las formas empresariales no estatales[3] que tendrán cabida en el nuevo modelo económico a instaurar en los próximos años en nuestro país."

Peligros e incertidumbre tras las nuevas regulaciones aduanales  9/14/2012 AfroCubaWeb: de Alberto Jones

Cuba ensaya nuevos usos de las tarjetas de débito  9/10/2012 KokaCub@: "Personas en Cuba que disponen de una tarjeta de débito en pesos cubanos (CUP) pueden adquirir productos –por un precio equivalente- en tiendas estatales donde se compra solo en pesos convertibles (CUC), como parte de un experimento que se desarrolla al menos en la capital."

Mercado cubano se abre a los productos brasileños  9/7/2012 CubaDebate 

New tax in Cuba threatens consumption in a hungry nation  9/4/2012 AFP: "Cuba has slapped a new customs tax on everyday goods shipped from overseas in a drive that experts say could weaken the economy and sap consumption. The levy took effect Monday and is payable in foreign currency. It targets goods imported by private citizens, often self-employed people who have started up businesses as part of timid reforms undertaken by the communist government in 2011."

Desde hoy, en vigor nueva Resolución de la Aduana en Cuba  9/3/2012 CubaDebate: "A partir de este lunes tres de septiembre entra en vigor la Resolución No. 122 de la Aduana General de la República de Cuba referente a los envíos hacia el país por vía aérea, marítima, postal o de mensajería."

Import tax deadline has Cuba entrepreneurs on edge  9/1/2012 Miami Herald: "A sudden jump in import taxes on Monday threatens to make life tougher for some of Cuba's new entrepreneurs and will mean higher prices for many of their customers by raising the cost of goods ranging from jungle-print blouses to jewelry. The new measures steeply hike duties on cargo shipments, as well as on many bulk goods brought in by airline passengers, a crucial supply line for many of the small businesses the government has been trying to encourage as it cuts a bloated workforce in the socialist economy."

¿El principio del fin de la doble moneda en Cuba? (I)  8/31/2012 Havana Times: "El cartel en cuestión anunciaba que los portadores de tarjetas magnéticas del sistema RED podían usarlas para pagar sus compras en esa chopin con moneda nacional, claro, al tipo de cambio oficial establecido. El sistema RED opera en tres bancos cubanos (Banco Popular de Ahorro, Banco de Crédito y Comercio y Banco Metropolitano) y emite tarjetas de débito en las cuales a algunos sectores de los trabajadores cubanos se les deposita su salario. El salario en moneda nacional, claro."

¿Abrazará Cuba la economía solidaria?  8/21/2012 Cooperativismo en Movimiento: "El 25 de julio, en una de las más concurridas sesiones de la reunión semestral de la Asamblea Nacional del Poder Popular (especie de poder legislativo) de Cuba, fue la estrella Murillo Marino. Jefe de la comisión del Comité Central del Partido Comunista para la reforma económica, él detalló, durante más de dos horas, los planes para los próximos años. Gran parte de las empresas estatales dejan de ser mero apéndice de los ministerios y tendrán autonomía financiera y operativa. Más importante aún, 222 pequeñas y medianas empresas, hoy pertenecientes al Estado, serán transformadas en cooperativas, en teoría, 100% autónomas. Una amplia gama de servicios - incluido el transporte público, mercados de frutas, restaurantes y centros de crías de camarones - se llevará a cabo por la nueva gestión de las líneas de la “economía solidaria”."

Cuba: Breaking The Fiber Optic Monopoly  8/10/2012 Havana Times: "Capote discusses how he was involved in a US project to generate Wi-Fi reception in Havana by planting a small number of devices in key points all across the Cuban capital. Could it be possible to do that without the help of the CIA? Surely the Chinese sell such gadgets. Who knows, maybe even the Wi-Fi system that “Paul”/“Daniel” was going to install could be built with components “MADE IN CHINA.”"

Pavel Vidal Alejandro: “Microfinance in Cuba”  7/31/2012 The Cuban Economy 

Max Marambio gana caso contra Cuba y reclama $153 millones  7/28/2012 Café Fuerte: "El empresario chileno Max Marambio logró un fallo favorable ante la Corte Internacional de Arbitraje (ICC) en el litigio que sostiene por la compañía mixta Alimentos Río Zaza y reclamará una indemnización de $153 millones de dólares al gobierno cubano. El tribunal de París decretó esta semana, por mayoría, la disolución de la sociedad y la liquidación de los bienes compartidos con el Estado cubano, reportó el diario chileno."

Promueven en Cuba la creación de cooperativas fuera de sector agropecuario  7/24/2012 Cooperativismo en Movimiento: "Cuba promueve la creación de cooperativas fuera del sector agropecuario, como parte del proceso de actualización del modelo económico del país, informó hoy Marino Murillo, vicepresidente del Consejo de Ministros. De acuerdo con el funcionario, es más conveniente para la nación esa forma de producción no estatal, pues con ella se privilegian grupos y no individuos, de acuerdo con el concepto de desarrollo que se implementa."

Cuba: El Cooperativismo y sus perspectivas en la actualización del modelo económico  7/23/2012 Cooperativismo en Movimiento 

Entrega la banca cubana más de 250 millones de pesos en créditos  7/19/2012 CubaDebate 

Cuba's non-farm co-ops debut this week  7/17/2012 Reuters: "One hundred state-run produce markets and 26 other establishments were scheduled to become private cooperatives on Monday as Communist-run Cuba continues to shed secondary economic activity in favour of individual initiative and markets."

Cuba proyecta cooperativas en sectores de servicios  7/12/2012 Cooperativismo en Movimiento: "El gobierno cubano estudia la posibilidad de aplicar el sistema de cooperativas a sectores de servicios como transporte y gastronomía, en medio de los cambios que lleva adelante para “actualizar” el modelo socialista de la isla. Un grupo de especialistas elabora en la actualidad una metodología aplicable a cualquier tipo de unión, un manual de cooperativismo y un sistema de contabilidad y las políticas tributarias, de precios y de seguridad social. La intención gubernamental es implantar las cooperativas en los servicios, la gastronomía, el transporte y otros rubros de la economía."

Otorgados en Cuba más de 47 000 créditos bancarios a particulares desde diciembre  6/28/2012 CubaDebate 

US Treasury Department Fines ING Bank with 619 millions for Violating the Blockade  6/13/2012 Cuba MINREX: "This sanction by the United States Government against a bank for commercing with Cuba is the largest-ever imposed by OFAC."

The Potential of Cuba’s Search for Oil  5/25/2012 COHA 

Cuba: aumentará en más de 200 000 cifra de trabajadores por cuenta propia en el 2012  5/25/2012 Cubadebate 

Venden en Nueva York obra de Wifredo Lam por 4 millones de dólares  5/25/2012 Cubadebate 

Rivera painting fails to sell at auction, but Wilfredo Lam makes $4.56M  5/24/2012 Auction News 

CUBA: el gobierno fomenta la creación de cooperativas  4/27/2012 Cooperativismo en Movimiento: "El gobierno cubano parece inclinado a poner énfasis en la formación de cooperativas en el contexto de una idea de colocar en manos “no estatales” la responsabilidad de generar, en pocos años, cerca de la mitad del Producto Interno Bruto anual. A inicios de este mes Marino Murillo, jefe de la Comisión Permanente de Implementación y Desarrollo de los cambios en el gobernante Partido Comunista de Cuba (PCC) anunció que se iniciará “la creación experimental de cooperativas fuera del sector agropecuario”. La información divulgada por Murillo en un Consejo de Ministros no explicó los sectores en los cuales se aplicará, o se está aplicando ya, el experimento, pero sí subrayó que respetará “el papel regulador del Estado y el Gobierno”."

Microcrédito y microfinanzas, ahora en Cuba  4/18/2012 IPS: "La apertura del crédito desde la banca estatal permite sumar nuevos recursos a disposición de los emprendimientos privados."

Cuba and China strengthen economic relations  2/23/2012 Granma 

Why Cuba must produce the food it needs  2/23/2012 Granma 

¿Una Cuba con petróleo?  1/1/2012 El Economista de Cuba: "La compañía estatal petrolífera cubana dice que las reserva pueden ser cuatro o cinco veces mayores. Cuba va a empezar a extraer petróleo en el Golfo de México. Si encuentra lo que está buscando, la abundancia de petróleo podría arrebatar a Cuba del agarrón de los Estados Unidos antes de que Obama deje la Casa Blanca. Esta posibilidad ha traído el equipo de ataque al congreso de Miami liderado por la fanática congresista Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (Republicana por Florida, R-FL), quien básicamente quiere que se criminalicen las extracciones en la sección cubana del Golfo."

Cuba: campesinas camagüeyanas en cooperativas pecuarias  12/29/2011 Cooperativismo en Movimiento: "Desde los inicios del proceso revolucionario, se han implementado numerosas políticas favorables al acceso de las mujeres al trabajo y en especial al empleo, pero aún queda mucho por hacer en el logro de una verdadera equidad. La participación de las mujeres en los puestos relacionados con la dirección, ya sea política o administrativa, aún se mantiene muy distante de la participación potencial que, como profesionales, pueden aportar ellas en estas esferas de toma de decisiones."

2011: Cuba recibe un 7,6% más de turistas  12/26/2011 Cubahora 

Amplían facilidades de arrendamiento a particulares (+ Gaceta)  12/26/2011 Cubahora: "A partir del primero de enero del 2012, y de forma gradual durante ese año, trabajadores de las empresas provinciales de Servicios Personales, Técnicos y del Hogar podrán arrendar locales y áreas como trabajadores por cuenta propia, de acuerdo con una nota publicada hoy por el diario Granma."

Anuncian rebaja de precios de materiales de la construcción  12/23/2011 Cubahora 

Inter-American Dialogue consults the IISC - Predicting the future: What will happen over Cuba in 2012?  12/20/2011 IISC: Washington-based forecasting.

Entra en vigor mañana política crediticia cubana y otros servicios bancarios  12/19/2011 Cubahora: "A partir de mañana entrarán en vigor el Decreto-Ley 289, tres resoluciones complementarias del Banco Central de Cuba (BCC) y una instrucción del Ministerio de Economía y Planificación, con el objetivo de ampliar la política crediticia cubanay otros servicios bancarios."

Analysis: Cuba’s new financial policy — accelerating the economy  12/3/2011 Cuba Standard: "A foreseeable challenge is that, effectively, these three banks — whose basic experience and knowledge was formed under the logic of credit for medium-size and large enterprises — will be able to speedily assume the principles that govern microfinance. An alternative, more attuned with international practices, would have been to create microcredit banks or other financial institutions that solely specialize on serving this market segment. The formation of mixed-capital microcredit institutions (for example with some Latin American microcredit bank) would multiply the financial, logistical and know-how potential of Cuban banks facing the opening of a non-state small-business sector."

Cuba’s Social Networks  12/3/2011 Havana Times: "However “nothing has changed,” said young Cuban blogger Roberto Gonzalez. Speaking to BBC Mundo, he said, “Previously Cuba was linked [to the Internet] by a satellite connection, so I could understand why it was so slow, but now — six months after we’ve been linked by an underwater cable connection — it’s just as bad.” The national press isn’t touching the issue. Only Yohandry’s pro-government blog indicated recently that there’s no problem with the cable – but without explaining why it still doesn’t work, why some senior-level project managers were arrested, or why others fled the country."

The new Cuban entrepreneur: Boris Reyes  10/1/2011 Cuba Absolutely 

Cuba Woman’s Small Business Secret  9/5/2011 Havana Times: by Yusimi Rodriguez

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Cuba May Allow Microfinance as Part of Modernization of Economic System  7/13/2011 MicroCapital: "Juan Diego Ruiz, general coordinator of the Spanish Agency for International Development Co-operation (AECID, in Spanish), an instrument of the Spanish government, said, “Today what’s being talked about more is credit policy, credit for the productive sector, and it’s an issue that is being discussed both on the street and in offices.” Tomás Marco, head of agricultural development in Cuba for AECID’s Spanish Technical Office for Cooperation, commented that it is in the area of self-employment “where microcredit fits best, with a focus on individuals. What’s opening up is a possibility; it’s not even a certainty. Nobody knows if loans in hard currency for self-employed people will be permitted.” In another sign of international interest, the Italian Permanent National Committee for Microcredit, an agency of the Italian government that was set up to facilitate microfinance activities, has also made visits to Cuba."

El cuentapropismo con voz de mujer  7/8/2011 IPS: "¡Café! ¡Las jabas, aquí las jabas! (bolsas) ¡Queso crema del bueno...! Las voces, todas femeninas, se confunden entre el ruido y las ofertas habituales en cualquier mercado cubano. Elisa, de 64 años, estuvo entre estas mujeres hasta que fue multada por comercio ilegal. "Lo pagué caro", dice."

Microcredit Knocks Softly on Cuba’s Door  6/28/2011 Havana Times: "A microcredit system could begin operating in Cuba as part of reforms adopted by the government of Raul Castro to modernize the country’s socialist economic system. “Until about a year and a half ago, you practically couldn’t talk about this issue, but now the situation is different,” a European diplomat told IPS. He preferred not to be identified, to avoid undermining progress on the issue, which has its own particular complexities in the case of Cuba. “The idea of microcredit went from being almost sacrilege to something interesting,” he noted."

Cooperativas y socialismo  6/27/2011 Cooperativismo en Movimiento: "Nosotros..Primero destruimos potentes cooperativas cubanas entre los annos 1959-65 y ahora las queremos reiniciar 2012…."

CUBA: Microcredit Knocks on Door…Softly  6/27/2011 IPS 

Starting My Own Business in Cuba  6/22/2011 Havana Times 

Cuba’s High-Flying Corruption  6/16/2011 Havana Times: "Some of my colleagues are complaining that the scalpel isn’t cutting everything as deep as it should, but for me what’s particularly interesting is that the government has in fact decided to apply surgical techniques to the problem, and they’re doing it publically. It seems that corrupt politicians will no longer be dealt with as “miscalculating comrades” who always deserve a second chance. Now such individuals are running the risk of being tried and convicted as common criminals."

Myopic policies hurts local economy  6/6/2011 AfroCubaWeb 

Cuba planning to drill deep-water oil wells in the Gulf of Mexico  4/7/2011 Global Research 

Pequeños propietarios cubanos podrán vender al Estado  3/30/2011 Cuba Debate 

Más de 83 000 cubanos solicitaron licencias para Trabajo por Cuenta Propia  1/7/2011 Cuba Debate: "Más de 85 000 personas, la mayoría sin vínculo laboral, han solicitado licencia para el Trabajo por Cuenta Propia desde finales del pasado octubre, reporta hoy el diario Granma. Hasta el cierre del pasado año se habían otorgado 75 061 nuevas licencias para el Trabajo por Cuenta Propia y 8 342 se hallaban en proceso, desde que fuera aprobada la ampliación y flexibilización de esta actividad."

Cuba’s Economic Paradigm Shift: A Work in Progress, Norman Girvan and Alissa Trotz  12/20/2010 Norman Girvan 

Cuba looks ready to allow small loans for reforms  10/11/2010 Reuters: ""We are trying to help create a financial instrument currently nonexistent in Cuba to provide the agriculture sector with credit in hard currency," said Juan Diego Ruiz, local coordinator of the Spanish government aid agency. Cuban officials have for long been wary of "microcredits" -- first developed in the 1980s to provide financial services to the poor in Bangladesh -- because they worry the small loans to groups of individuals could undermine the country's socialist principles, especially if coming from abroad. But Western diplomats say Cuba's government now appears ready to give such financing a try, even though it does not want to talk openly about "microcredits"."

The self-employed sector - Much more than an alternative  9/24/2010 Granma: "Increasing the opportunities for self-employment is one of the decisions which the country is making in terms of restructuring its economic policy, in order to increase levels of productivity and efficiency. It is also an attempt to offer workers another way of feeling useful in terms of personal effort, and to distance ourselves from those concepts that almost condemned self-employment to extinction and stigmatized those who decided to legally join that sector in the 1990s. On August 1, the approval of a tax system of taxation for the self-employed sector was also made public, in line with the nation’s new economic scenario. Whoever contributes more, will receive more is the principle of the new tax regime that will help to increase sources of income to the state budget, and achieve an adequate redistribution of that income to society."

Cuba unveils private sector expansion plan  9/24/2010 Reuters: "Many are expected to get start-up money from relatives living abroad, especially in the United States." [US Cubans are largely of Spanish descent.]

The rationalizations: A first look  9/22/2010 Progreso: "Can a private sector capable of assimilating and maintaining a workforce that large be developed in Cuban society? Several factors will determine this, among them the facilities available to secure credits and supplies, the creation of wholesale warehouses, and the official regulations that rule them. The absence of any of these items would undermine the effort to open and energize the economy."

The Cuban Model, Not Working So Much  9/14/2010 Atlantic: "Last week, there was a bit of a kerfuffle on the international Interwebs about Fidel Castro's statement to me that the "Cuban model" doesn't even work for Cuba anymore. Fidel himself said, in speech last Friday, that I had misinterpreted his statement, that it was American-style capitalism, and not Cuban-style socialism, that was failing."

Cuba to cut 500,000 from state payroll  9/13/2010 Financial Times: "Better accounting would be demanded of businesses, and the way they were taxed would be changed. As well as taxes on income, the self-employed would pay a sales tax and 25 per cent social security tax for themselves and each employee, the sources said, while co-operatives would pay a tax on profits and social security."

Agreed, We Need a Different Model  9/11/2010 Havana Times: "In an interview granted to the US magazine The Atlantic, Fidel Castro was quoted as saying “The Cuban model doesn’t even work for us anymore.” At no moment did he speak of socialism, but of the “model.” The interpretation of this by an academic taking part in the conversation was that Fidel was referring to the high degree of State involvement in the economy. This factor precisely characterizes “State socialism” or “real socialism,” which has failed everywhere as it maintains a concentration of ownership (but in the hands of the State) and the wage-labor form of production – a model that Lenin himself termed “state monopoly capitalism.”

Fidel says econ remark 'misinterpreted'  9/11/2010 Press TV 

Fidel: 'Cuban Model Doesn't Even Work For Us Anymore'  9/8/2010 Atlantic 

Alerta roja contra la corrupción - Patricia Grogg entrevista al politólogo ESTEBAN MORALES  8/17/2010 IPS: "IPS: Usted es muy conocido por temas sobre Estados Unidos, las relaciones de Cuba con ese país y el racismo. ¿Qué lo llevó a escribir sobre la corrupción, un asunto que, según sectores oficialistas, alimenta "campañas de desprestigio" contra el país si se ventila públicamente? EM: Escribí esos artículos porque creo que son los peligros de ahora. Y tengo un lema: en medio de la situación que hemos vivido estos años, creo que quien quiera ser revolucionario tiene que tener su propia guerra, librar sus propias batallas y correr los riesgos que sean. En caso contrario, que se quede en su casa, bajo la cama. Eso de que el enemigo va a aprovechar las cosas tampoco me inmoviliza, porque el enemigo no nos va a resolver el problema, sino al contrario. Soy de los que piensa que a veces es más saludable que seamos nosotros mismos quienes reconozcamos nuestras deficiencias a que sea el enemigo quien nos las lance luego a la cara, o nos las guarde, que es peor."

Cuban capitalists must wait for change as Fidel Castro returns to the fray  7/24/2010 Telegraph, UK 

¿Mudos o protagonistas?  7/22/2010 BBC Mundo: "Sin lugar a dudas Esteban Morales se metió en un terreno en el que cosechará mucho odio en las alturas pero también el respeto de la mayor parte de sus compatriotas de a pie, no porque les haya revelado un secreto sino por el valor de publicarlo. La escasa reacción entre los intelectuales comunistas a pesar de lo arbitrario de la sanción contra el profesor va a dar nuevos bríos a los "excomulgadores", sobre todo si creen que la medida sirve como acción preventiva para proteger sus intereses personales. Pero también podría convertirse en un bumerán ya que coloca a los militantes e intelectuales ante la disyuntiva de regresar a la seguridad del silencio o convertirse en protagonistas en la construcción de una sociedad mejor, asumiendo todos los riesgos que eso implica."

El misterio de la Santísima Trinidad  7/12/2010 Kaos en la Red: de Esteban Morales - "Pero los verdaderos corruptos no son los que venden leche en polvo, ni siquiera los que venden bienes duraderos a las mismas puertas de los supermercados, sino los que desde sus cargos en el gobierno y en el estado, controlan y abren los almacenes. Son esos, los que debemos remover de los cargos estatales, pues son los que de verdad manejan los recursos del estado y las posiciones cómodas, que a veces les facilitan a sus amigos. ¿O de donde salen los colchones, televisores, aires acondicionados y otros productos duraderos, que se vocean y venden a las mismas puertas de las “shoppings”?, ¿de donde salen esos productos, duraderos? Se trata del propio funcionario estatal corrompiendo hacia abajo. Porque nadie importa esos productos, ni compra la leche en polvo en el exterior, ni disfruta del poder como ellos, de abrirles los almacenes a los delincuentes."

Where Corruption Begins  7/10/2010 Havana Times: by Erasmo Calzadilla "However Morales, without perceiving it, wanders past another deeper cause of the corruption when he asserts that corrupt bureaucrats can do more harm, because they are “within the government and the state apparatus, which really manage the domestic resources.” Didn’t it occur to the professor to wonder what an official is doing —be they honest or corrupt— managing “domestic” resources without being under the direct control of those who produce these resources? Corruption didn’t begin the moment the manager misappropriated wealth, but a little before, when surplus value was expropriated from the workers and a law protected that act."

Corrupción en las altas esferas del poder de la isla  7/4/2010 Clarín, Argentina: "Cuba está viviendo una dura lucha interna dentro de los estamentos de poder entre intelectuales que denuncian graves casos de corrupción y funcionarios que intentan mantener a toda costa un sistema del que se están favoreciendo personalmente con enormes cantidades de dólares… El caso Morales ya inunda los blogs en Internet, particularmente los leídos por los funcionarios cubanos y los disidentes “socialistas”. En cambio, tuvo menos repercusión entre los exiliados en Miami."

Corruption: The true counter-revolution?  4/21/2010 Progreso: by Esteban Morales - "Without a doubt, it is becoming evident that there are people in positions of government and state who are girding themselves financially for when the Revolution falls, and others may have everything almost ready to transfer state-owned assets to private hands, as happened in the old USSR. Fidel said that we ourselves could put an end to the Revolution and I tend to think that, among other concerns, the Commander in Chief was referring to the questions relative to corruption. Because this phenomenon, already present, has continued to appear in force. If not, see what has happened with the distribution of lands in usufruct in some municipalities around the country: fraud, illegalities, favoritism, bureaucratic slowness, etc. In reality, corruption is a lot more dangerous than the so-called domestic dissidence. The latter is still isolated; it lacks an alternative program, has no real leaders, no masses. But corruption turns out to be the true counter-revolution, which can do the most damage because it is within the government and the state apparatus, which really manage the country's resources."

Investors sticking it out in crisis-prone Cuba  12/17/2009 Reuters: "Investment projects number 258, similar to 2008."

El 70% de los suelos cultivados de Cuba están amenazados por la erosión  11/17/2009 EFE 

Cuba orders extreme measures to cut energy use  11/11/2009 Reuters: "In documents seen by Reuters, government officials have been warned that the island is facing a "critical" energy shortage that requires the closing of non-essential factories and workshops and the shutting down of air conditioners and refrigerators not needed to preserve food and medicine."

Carta de Felix Sanchez sobre la canasta básica  10/31/2009 AfroCubaWeb: Esta carta sobre "la canasta básica," el necesario de cada dia, circula de nuevo en Cuba en octubre, 2009 y fue escrito en 2006.

Missing their chance  10/28/2009 Cadena Habana: "Health care also suffers the consequences, because heart diseases are the first cause of death in the United States. The lives of many US citizens could be saved if they had access to Cuban drug Ateromixol, commonly known as PPG. It is the best anti-cholesterol drug available in the market, according to a study conducted by Geneva University. It is cheaper and more effective than the ethanols and steroides available in the United States."

Cuba's declining trade betrays depth of its crisis  10/20/2009 Reuters: "Business between Cuba and four of its top five trading partners has declined sharply this year in a reflection of the communist-led Caribbean island's deep economic crisis, trade reports from the countries said. Reductions in exports to and imports from Cuba ranged from 20 percent to as high as 50 percent, according to the reports from China, Spain, Canada and the United States. In descending order, they are the top traders with Cuba after Venezuela. Numbers were not available for Venezuela, which is the leading economic and political ally of Cuba's government and supplies the island with oil."

The demise of the free lunch  10/8/2009 Economist: "The government is also organising thousands of public meetings across the island to discuss a wider ten-point plan that proposes an end to the monthly ration of free staples and a host of perks, such as free wedding cakes. Instead, the focus is on creating incentives to work harder by raising wages, and thus productivity. All this reflects the ideas of Raúl Castro, who after almost half a century as defence minister replaced his elder brother as Cuba’s president last year and who has been much franker in discussing the country’s economic failures."

From truffles to fox furs, U.S. ships more than food to Cuba Read more here:  9/5/2009 Miami Herald: "U.S. agricultural exports to Cuba hit a record $711.5 million in 2008, as prices for commodities soared. That makes the United States Cuba's fifth-largest trading partner overall. ``We are the natural provider of food and agriculture products to Cuba,'' says Kirby Jones, president of Alamar Associates, a consulting firm for U.S. companies aspiring to trade with Cuba. ``We're No. 1 and could be selling a lot more, were it not for the restrictions.''

Cash-strapped Cuba says toilet paper running short  8/7/2009 Reuters 

Cuba Suspends Communist Party Congress and Lowers Projection for Economy  7/31/2009 AP: "Cuba on Friday suspended plans for a Communist Party congress and lowered its 2009 economic growth projection to 1.7 percent _ nearly a full percentage point _ as the island's economy struggles through a "very serious" crisis. In a closed-door meeting of the Communist Party Central Committee, officials agreed to postpone indefinitely the first congress since 1997, which had been announced for the second half of this year. The gathering was to chart Cuba's political future long after President Raul Castro and his brother Fidel are gone. Instead, top communists will try and pull their country back from the economic brink."

Cuba ponders reduced state role in economy  7/28/2009 Reuters: "Cash-strapped Cuba should consider putting more of its state-run economy in the hands of producers, as President Raul Castro has done with agriculture, the country's top economic commentator said on Tuesday. Ariel Terrero, during his regular Tuesday appearance on state-run television, did not call for private management, but suggested that sectors such as food services and retail could perform better if they were run in a new way."

Raul Castro says Cuba must put land to better use  7/26/2009 AP: "Raul Castro said Sunday that the global economic crisis means tougher times ahead for Cuba, but the country has no one to blame but itself for poor farm production that leads to frequent shortages of fruits, vegetables and other basics. In a speech marking Revolution Day, Cuba's president said the island can't pin all its problems on Washington's 47-year-old trade embargo. He implored Cubans to take better advantage of a government program begun last year to turn unused state land over to private farmers."

UN praises Cuba's ability to feed people  11/14/2007 AP: "A U.N. food expert hailed Cuba as a world model in feeding its population, some 18 years after the collapse of the Soviet Bloc ravaged the island's economy and sparked widespread hunger. Jean Ziegler, who has been the United Nations' independent investigator on "the right to food" since 2000, spent 11 days in Cuba on a fact-finding mission, meeting with top officials and chatting up farmers, state managers and ordinary Cubans waiting in line for food allotted by ration cards. "We haven't seen even one malnourished person" - a rare feat in much of poverty-stricken Latin America, Ziegler said Tuesday. "The right to being fed is the priority, without a doubt.""

Dual economy could trouble Cuba's future  11/17/2006 Miami Herald: "Cubans say the unequal system is the single most exasperating issue facing them. So much of the economy runs on the dollar that the typical family here needs greenbacks to buy everything from razors to bedsheets to shoes -- items largely available only at government stores that price their goods in dollar equivalents. Yet the average worker earns 250 pesos a month -- about $10. ''In Cuba, money is worthless,'' said dissident Lizette Fernández who left Cuba in August and now lives in Hialeah. ``You get soap two times a year, and when you run out, you have to go to the dollar store, where it costs 75 (U.S.) cents. There is virtually nothing you need that you can buy with Cuban pesos.'' Before she left Cuba, Fernández helped kick off a campaign demanding that all government establishments sell goods in a single currency -- pesos."

Cuba's military puts business on front lines  11/15/2006 WSJ: "Cuba's Revolutionary Armed Forces rent rooms to tourists through Gaviota SA, the island's fastest-growing hotel conglomerate. They sell premium cigars, peddle consumer goods through an island-wide retail chain and serve lobster dinners at the Divina Pastora restaurant in Havana's landmark Morro Castle. The military also has a say in allotting nickel mines and leasing offshore lots for oil exploration. The University of Miami's Institute for Cuban and Cuban-American Studies estimates that soldiers control more than 60 percent of the island's economy. The military's economic role will likely become even more critical after the death of Cuba's ailing 80-year-old leader, Fidel Castro, who is widely believed to be dying of cancer. Although Mr. Castro has steadfastly opposed economic reforms during his 47-year communist regime, his younger brother and anointed successor, Raul, has shown a deep interest in free-market experiments in the past. As defense minister since the 1959 revolution, he has frequently looked to the military as his laboratory."

U.S. embargo cost Cuba $4 billion in 2005  10/1/2006 PL: "The U.S. embargo on Cuba cost the Caribbean nation more than $4 billion last year, double the tally a year earlier, as tougher U.S. rules took a bigger bite out of the island"s recovering economy, Cuban officials said Monday. Cuba saw sharp declines in the number of U.S. visitors and Cuban-Americans coming to see family because of Washington"s tighter rules on travel to the island. Restrictions on money transfers and packages meant less cash and fewer goods arriving in Cuba for friends and family, Cuban authorities said. Despite rising U.S. pressure, Cuba"s economy posted robust growth in 2005: roughly 12 percent, according to Economy and Planning Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez."

Cuba's economic fate up in air  8/28/2006 USA Today: "Kirby Jones, president of the U.S.-Cuba Trade Association, says Canada and European nations have more than 300 joint ventures with Cuba in telecommunications, oil and energy, mining, port management and other sectors. "This is not the Cuba of old, when everything was under Soviet Union domination," he says. "This is a brand new version, a mixture of capitalism and socialism." Raul Castro could continue in that direction, some economists and scholars say. Initially, he might unveil small, cosmetic reforms to polish Cuba's image and win over his people. He might let Cubans start thousands of small businesses in trade, agriculture and tourism, as the Castros allowed in the mid-1990s. One scenario: Cuba copies China, a blend of authoritarian state control, manufacturing, mass-market consumerism and high-tech development. "At best, Raul will try the mini-China model," says Antonio Gayoso of the Association for the Study of the Cuban Economy and a former economist in Cuba's finance ministry. "At worst, he and the military will continue the repressive control they have now.""

Flow of funds to Cuba holds steady  5/26/2005 Miami Herald: "Cubans living in the United States still send an estimated $460 million a year to relatives on the island despite restrictions tightened by the Bush administration last summer, according to a poll released by a Coral Gables firm Wednesday. But a portion of the Cubans on the island who receive the cash transfers believe they are getting less money, according to a separate and less scientific survey conducted inside the island by a Washington-based think tank. The assumption: That Fidel Castro's government is taking a bigger bite of the remittances, one of the key sources of income in an island where the economy was devastated by the 1990s collapse of Soviet subsidies. ''Now that it is clear to them how much money is arriving, [the Cuban government] is now getting a higher and higher percentage of that money,'' said pollster Sergio Bendixen of Bendixen & Associates."

Experts question sense of revaluing Cuban peso  4/5/2005 Miami Herald: "Cuba's recent strengthening of its currency is designed to close the gap in the purchasing power of those who earn only pesos and those who receive U.S. dollars from abroad, analysts say. But the peso's revaluation makes no economic sense because the communist-ruled island's economy is not strong enough to back up the 7-8 percent increase in the value of its currency, the experts added. When coupled with a government decision in November to charge a 10 percent fee on all dollars converted into pesos, the changes amount to a 17-18 percent strengthening of a currency that is not accepted anywhere outside Cuba."

Private taxis eliminated from Havana Capitolio  5/4/2004 Havana Journal: "Eusebio Leal. In spite of his title, perhaps suggesting quaint stories and dusty archives, Mr. Leal has in recent years become quite a powerful man, especially around the old city. His brief extends to urban renewal, preservation and beautification of buildings and public areas of Old Havana, and the promotion of tourism, one of the primary sources of hard currency for the government. As a result of his office’s involvement in tourism, Mr. Leal controls a sizable budget in hard currency, deriving income from some government-operated tourist enterprises and employing the moneys in urban renewal. Although Mr. Leal’s office gets high marks for some of its preservation work, ordinary citizens resent being displaced from their homes, or as in this case, their place of business."

Cuba economy flat as tourism booms and sugar crashes  5/5/2003 Reuters: "Cuba's economy has stagnated so far this year, despite a surge in tourism that has helped to compensate for the near collapse of the Communist-run Caribbean island's sugar industry, government sources said Monday."

St. Mary’s students in Cuba to study its economy  3/17/2003 Express News, San Antonio: "Fourteen St. Mary's University students are in Cuba this week examining the island's economy in the wake of 40 years of socialism, isolation and the recent influx of U.S. tourists and business interests. The students, members of a semester-long School of Business and Administration course studying the nation, will spend 10 days in and around Havana."

Cuba: New Slowdown For Motor Of Economy  1/13/2003 Black World Today: "The Cuban government continues staking its bets on tourism as the new engine of the economy, even though its goal of drawing an annual two million visitors was frustrated for the third year in a row in 2002. Arrivals were down five percent last year from 2001 levels, with a total number of 1.7 million foreign tourists. But a slight increase in the past few weeks has local authorities breathing easier."

Castro has chokehold on private sector, scholars say  11/21/2002 Miami Herald: "But scholars at a conference on Cuba's economy said Wednesday that the Castro regime has never allowed the private sector to flourish. It has choked businesses with red tape, forced them into illegal survival strategies and condemned them to a provisional and tenuous existence. ''These enterprises face a very insecure future,'' said Ted A. Henken, a professor at Tulane University who wrote a doctoral thesis on Cuba's experiments with self-employment. Fighting off economic collapse after the fall of the Berlin Wall, the Castro regime in mid-1993 permitted some Cubans to create their own jobs. It said Cubans could seek licenses to work in any of 117 occupations, including bicycle taxi operators, street vendors, artisans and other categories. With time, the list of occupations grew to about 160 categories of self-employment. By 1996, some 209,000 Cubans were self-employed. The number has since shrunken to about 150,000 people, a sign of the mistrust the Castro government feels toward the sector, the scholars said."

La pobreza golpea a los orientales  1/13/2002 El Nuevo Herald: what they fail to mention is the disastrous impact of the Guantanamo US Naval Base on the economy of Oriente: it takes up the best deep water port in the Caribbean for US fantasies.

Havana: the Dynamics of Local Executive Power  1/1/2002 Capital city politics in Latin America: democratization and empowerment: by Joseph L Scarpaci

Alberto Jones Columns on the Cuban Economy

The Need to Speed up Changes in Oriente  12/7/2013

La Zona de Desarrollo del Mariel. Potencialidad y Riesgos.  25/11/2013

Guantánamo en nosotros 30/6/2013

- Guantánamo in us 6/30/2013

Cuba demanda un nuevo Baragua 20/6/2013

- Cuba demands another Baragua 6/20/2013

Podemos dejar perecer a Santiago de Cuba?, 24/11/12

New approach to deal with hurricane onslaught on Cuba,

Nuevo enfoque para tratar con los huracanes en Cuba,

Sandy´s trail of death and destruction, 11/26/12
An appeal for aid, Caribbean American Children

La senda de destrucción y muerte de Sandy, 26/12/2012
Un llamamiento de ayuda,
Fundación Caribeña Americana de los Niños.

Peligros e incertidumbre tras las nuevas regulaciones
aduanales, 9/14/2012

My Cuba. Summer of 2011, 11/24/11

Myopic policies hurts local economy, 6/6/11  

- The Entrenched Cuban Embargo, 10/19/09 

The Handling of the Cuban Housing Crisis
, 10/16/09

Cuba Financial Woes Risking its Future, while Sitting on 
Untapped Riches


Cuba: a Recession-Resistant Nation with a 
Failing Economy
, 7/25/09 With recommendations for
repair, including encouraging small business.

Preventing a second Special Period: 
an urgent imperative
, 11/15/08



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