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Volume 53 / Social Sciences

ECONOMICS: CUBA


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


THE DISSOLUTION OF THE SOVIET UNION and political and economic changes in Eastern Europe have had severe repercussions on the Cuban economy. Trade relations with countries that accounted for about 85 percent of exports and imports changed drastically over a short period of time as these formerly socialist countries abandoned barter and demanded that trade be conducted under commercial terms. The disruptions in trade flows that ensued brought Cuba to a "special period in peacetime," the euphemism for an economic state of emergency.

Cuba attempted to adjust to the reduction in imports by instituting a series of austerity measures. One of the measures implemented in 1990 to deal with declining imports of paper and newsprint was a severe cutback in the publication of books, magazines, journals, and newspapers. The economic literature was directly affected by this action: all leading economic journals, including Economía y Desarrollo (which had been published continuously since 1970), Cuba: Economía Planificada, Teoría y Práctica de los Precios, Tribuna del Economista, and Finanzas y Crédito, were discontinued; the statistical yearbook was reduced in length (item bi 92020231), and the publication of books and monographs dealing with economic topics was scaled back. Also eliminated were the very useful materials that were normally issued on the occasion of the quinquennial Congresses of the Cuban Communist Party. The only materials other than newspaper accounts available on the IV Party Congress, held in Oct. 1991, are the opening and closing speeches by President Castro (item bi 92007324).

A positive trend regarding the production of economic materials in Cuba is the appearance in 1991 of two new journals: Revista Cuba Económica (item bi 92002658), a quarterly publication that replaces the discontinued economic journals, and Boletín de Información sobre Economía Cubana (item bi 92020234), a monthly journal containing short articles aimed primarily at a foreign audience. Also noteworthy are the publication by a Cuban author of a book dealing with economic strategy and performance from 1959-88 (item bi 93000004), several articles dealing with the causes and effects of rectification (items bi 92020233, bi 92020251, bi 90011176, bi 92020482, bi 92020537, bi 91009791, bi 93000003, and bi 93000014), and studies on aspects of the economic strategy for the 1990s, in particular the plan alimentario (items bi 92020235, bi 92002652, and bi 93000002).


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