Jorge Pérez-López is an international economist who has worked in the Office of International Economic Affairs, Bureau of International Labor Affairs, U.S. Department of Labor. He has also worked as director of monitoring at the Fair Labor Association.
The Cuban model of communism has been an inspiration—from both a positive and negative perspective—for social movements, political leaders, and cultural expressionists around the world. With changes in leadership, the pace of change has accelerated following decades of economic struggles. The death of Fidel Castro and the reduced role of Raúl Castro seem likely to create further changes, though what these changes look like is still unknown. For now, Cuba is opening in important ways. Cubans can establish businesses, travel abroad, access the internet, and make private purchases. Paths for Cuba examines Cuba’s internal reforms and external influences within a comparative framework. The collection includes an interdisciplinary group of scholars from around the world to explore reforms away from communism.
Economic issues dominate this volume of Cuban Studies. The lead article describes possible future economic scenarios for Cuba, while other essays discuss the island’s role in a changing world economy, Cuba’s drive to restore and expand the tourist industry, problems confronting Cuba’s educated labor force, and selected aspects of the Fourth Party Congress.
Cuban Studies has been published annually by the University of Pittsburgh Press since 1985. Founded in 1970, it is the preeminent journal for scholarly work on Cuba. Each volume includes articles in both English and Spanish, a large book review section, and an exhaustive compilation of recent works in the field.
Sugar, the backbone of the Cuban economic life for centuries, continues to dominate the economy of socialist Cuba. After initial attempts at diversification following the Revolution, the Cuban regime rehabilitated the sugar industry in 1965, making the country again vulnerable to swings in world market prices and the dangers of overdependence on a single agricultural product.
Pérez-López examines the various efforts at economic planning in the years following the Revolution and provides in-depth analysis of aspects particular to the sugar industry: cultivation, mechanization, energy and transportation, refining and the manufacture of sugar derivatives, production costs, and foreign trade.