Informacion economica sobre Cuba

Posted on Wednesday, 02.27.13

Cuba can't wait five more year for big changes

BY ANDY GOMEZ

agomez@miami.edu

Is Cuba really changing?

This past Sunday we witnessed what we had not heard one of the Castro

brothers say in almost 54 years: Come 2018 neither one of them will be

in power.

Raúl Castro announced to the Cuban National Assembly that this would be

his last term ruling Cuba. Watching him closely was his brother Fidel

who has become a symbol of the past.

A mostly under-the-radar faithful Communist Party leader by the name of

Miguel Diaz-Canel known for his managerial skills was selected as the

first vice president of the country and most likely the successor to

Raúl Castro.

Since taking over power, Raúl Castro has named a number of party

faithful to key government positions. Most of them were born after the

start of the Cuban revolution. Many Cuba analysts, including me, would

agree that we underestimated Raúl Castro's management skills.

We all knew he did not have the charisma and leadership style needed to

succeed his brother Fidel. Yet he has proven to be a good strategist by

planning and selecting a new breed of Cuban leaders to follow him and Fidel.

In the months to come we will continue to see more changes and more

youthful people continue to be appointed to key positions in the

government. One big challenge this new cadre of leadership faces is how

to revive a moribund economy.

First up: They will have to create an infrastructure in order to

implement their economic reforms. In addition, they will have to

strengthen their business laws, banking system, justice system, business

environment, just to mention a few of the requirements to attract

foreign investment that's looking for stability not laws that change at

the whim of the Castros.

One very big challenge will be getting the military to loosen control of

most of the country's economic activities. This will be a challenge for

the "old guard" who have benefited from the spoils of the system now in

place.

Putting people back to work in private enterprises will not be easy.

Meeting the population's basic needs will be crucial for any economic

reforms to succeed. However, Cubans have one of the highest literacy

rates in all of Latin America and a good entrepreneurial spirit.

The combination of both of these qualities will be very attractive to

future business investors in Cuba. There is no question that Cuba will

be very attractive to outsource business needs as well.

Going back to the point of how much Cuba is changing, Diaz-Canel and the

other new leaders will have to deal with a country where the majority of

the population does not believe in Marxist-Lennist doctrine. An

"advanced socialist state," as they call it, needs to be further defined.

How much power and influence will Raúl Castro give Diaz-Canel and others

remains a key question.

If history is right, I will say Diaz-Canel's authority will be very limited.

The country cannot wait five more years for major changes to take place.

Cuba and its upcoming leadership know that its major economic market is

90 miles to the north. Simple economic reforms without meaningful

political reforms will not be enough. The clock is ticking fast, but

Cuba seems to keep crawling instead of leaping forward.

Andy Gomez is a senior fellow at the Institute for Cuban and

Cuban-American Studies at the University of Miami.

http://www.miamiherald.com/2013/02/27/3257550/cuba-cant-wait-five-more-year.html


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