New Winds Blowing on Havana's Malecón: Economic Reforms and Political Change in Cuba
Authors: Jhany Marcelo Macedo Rizo
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The fall of real socialism, in addition to various internal problems and the economic embargo, led Cuba to the so-called Special Period during the 1990s. The Cuban government undertook a series of economic reforms aimed at combating its terrible effects and giving a boost to its planned national economy, but with very limited results in macroeconomic terms and in the quality of life of Cuban citizens. Due to the nature of some of these reforms, this article seeks to determine whether they constitute a prelude to the transition to a market economy or whether, on the contrary, they seek to have the State continue to play a preponderant role in the development model, while allowing some private initiatives. Although this new opening brings with it an expansion of civil and political rights, it is defended that Cuba aims to build its own model, tending to reinforce the current political system, in which in any case the reforms will be implemented gradually. In order to achieve this objective, the text starts with a comparative approach to review some relevant figures of the Cuban economy and to overview the most important reforms in the last decade.