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Volume 51 / Social Sciences

ECONOMICS: CUBA


JORGE PEREZ-LOPEZ, Bureau of International Labor Affairs, United States Department of Labor

AT A TIME WHEN WINDS OF POLITICAL AND ECONOMIC REFORMS blow across the socialist world, and "perestroika" and "glasnost" have become household words, Cuba has also been engaged in a national campaign to redirect its polity and economy. Cuba's efforts in this direction, generally referred to as the "rectification" campaign, started at about the same time (early 1986) as reforms in the Soviet Union and, as in the Soviet Union, are closely identified with the nation's leader. Some of the differences between Castro's rectification and Gorbachev's "perestroika" became apparent in April 1989 during President Gorbachev's visit to Cuba. Castro remains staunchly opposed to reforms that might create or emulate a market economy in Cuba.

The literature produced during the current biennium reflects the sweeping importance of rectification. Essential to an understanding of the motives behind rectification and its objectives are Fidel Castro's speeches. The most relevant excerpts from speeches he delivered during the first year of rectification (April 1986-April 1987) have been issued as a mass-circulation paperback with the title Por el camino correcto (item bi 90007714). While rectification is an ongoing process, scholars outside Cuba have already began efforts to analyze it (items bi 90007725, bi 90007745, and bi 90007769). This trend should continue and even expand in the future as evidence of the successes or failures of rectification become clearer.

Other trends worth noting are the continued availability of official Cuban economic statistics, both for the economy at large (item bi 90007715) and for the hard currency segment of the economy (item bi90007712); the appearance of several important articles on the Cuban housing sector (items bi 90007722, bi 90007741, and bi 90007743) and on spatial equality in Cuba (items bi 90007717, bi 90007742, and bi 90007766); and the publication of articles examining Cuban socioeconomic performance in the context of other Latin American countries (items bi 90007719 and bi 90007762).


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