The Cuban Economy: A Current Evaluation and Proposals for Necessary Policy Changes
by Omar Everleny Pérez Villanueva
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Politicians, social scientists and general readers have noted in both Cuban and international academic forums and periodicals that the well-being enjoyed by the Cuban people in the 1980s has been seriously compromised since the economic crisis of the 1990s. Even for the most skeptical of observers it is clear that this worsening of conditions can be attributed not only to external factors, such as the breakup of the international socialist system, the tightening of the US blockade, and the worldwide economic crisis suffered by underdeveloped countries, but also to internal factors that have kept the country from taking full advantage of the human and material potential available on the island.
Although Cuba is currently experiencing an economic recovery from the collapse in GDP in the mid 1990s following the collapse of its ties with the Socialist Bloc, it continues to maintain high import coefficients due to longstanding structuraldifficulties. The country is highly dependent on food imports as a result of a deficient agrarian policy. It imports energy to a lesser but still significant extent, and it still requires many intermediate inputs for the productive process. Cuban industry and agriculture continue to suffer from low levels of efficiency and productivity.