Cuba after Communism
- Honorable Mention in the category of Economics in the 1992 Professional/Scholarly Publishing Annual Awards Competition presented by the Association of American Publishers, Inc.
164 pp., 5 x 8 in,
- Published: July 1, 1992
- Publisher: The MIT Press
- Published: June 5, 1992
- Publisher: The MIT Press
In a fast-paced style that is both technically sophisticated and admirably free of economic jargon, Eliana Cardoso and Ann Helwege provide a much-needed roadmap for a peaceful and productive transition from communism to capitalism.
As once-powerful communist rulers flee their presidential palaces and centralized economies give way to free markets, the future of Latin America's last socialist country hangs in the balance. In a fast-paced style that is both technically sophisticated and admirably free of economic jargon, Eliana Cardoso and Ann Helwege provide a much-needed roadmap for a peaceful and productive transition from communism to capitalism. They vividly depict the tough choices facing Cuba in the years ahead, proposing a series of reforms to ease Cuba through a transition to capitalism while preserving some legitimate gains - such as those in education and health care - that socialism has provided the Cuban people. The authors begin with the crux of Cuba's predicament: it is an overly centralized single-crop economy that is fast running out of money, and it can no longer depend on privileged trade relations with the former Soviet Union. In this difficult period, Cuba faces the challenge of managing an increasingly chaotic, dysfunctional economy. Is Cuba's transition to capitalism bound to yield another Haiti? Cardoso and Helwege answer with a resounding no. They begin their analysis with a fascinating history of the political roots of Cuba, from Cuban "independence" after the Spanish-American War to the rise of Castro and the development of a socialist economy. After discussing the various economic alternatives from neighboring countries - models as diverse as those of Nicaragua, the Dominican Republic, Costa Rica, and Chile - the authors present a systematic program to help Cuba prevent economic decline and political chaos, involving rapid privatization and the attraction of foreign investment - while at the same time providing safeguards against the excesses and inequalities endemic to Latin American capitalism.
Cardoso and Helwege are authors of an undergraduate text, Latin America's Economy: Diversity, Trends, and Conflicts.
This book is a jewel! For years the American public has been obsessed with Cuba and Fidel Castro. Now, that he is hanging by the end of the rope the urgent question is what will happen next? Cardoso and helwege provide a hgihly readable analysis of the available options. Their discussion of the rapid need for privatization is particularly enlightening.
Sebastian Edwards, Henry Ford II Professor, Univeristy of California, Los Angeles
Cuba will likely be the next communist domino to fall. Those who want to know why, and what to do next must read this unique volume. Unlike so many economists Cordoso and Helwege are ahead of the curve.
Lawerence H. Summers, Vice President, Development Economics and Chief Economist, The World Bank
A warm-hearted yet hard-headed look at Cuba during the last days of Castro.
Andrei Shleifer, Professor, Harvard University