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The current Cuban economic crisis. Internal Causes

Jan 25 , 2023

A major underlying reason for the recent mass exodus of Cubans all over the world, and mainly to the United States, was the sharp slowdown of the Cuban economy, already in decline for a long period of time. Hopelessness regarding the prospect of any immediate solution to the economic crisis is pushing thousands of Cubans beyond their country’s borders.

To better understand this situation, Opapeleo briefly outlines the main reasons – which according to renowned Cuban economists – have caused this crisis, which finds traces in the worst times of the Special Period (in Spanish: Período especial) of Cuba, 30 years ago. This period was a turning point after 1959 for Cuba, and nowadays, conditions resemble the ones that triggered the mass exodus that followed in those years.


Domestic Conditions of the Economic Crisis


Over the past two decades, the economic measures failed to produce the expected results. During his tenure, Raúl Castro introduced structural reforms targeting the market change, these didn’t work —or at least not with measurable results— as they were hampered by a number of constraints, including the lengthy and time-consuming processes entailed.

On the other hand, his successor, Miguel Díaz-Canel, introduced a series of changes resulting in the unveiling of an economic crisis which will only be stopped by increasing the country’s production of goods and services, instead of the excessive exportation of goods.


The Economic Crisis Situation After the Reorganisation


The “monetary reorganisation” that was implemented in 2021 under the name of ” Tarea Ordenamiento” (Ordering Task) had an opposite effect from what was expected by its supporters resulting an endless inflation that, combined with the shortage of essential goods, is complicating everyday life for the Cuban people. This measure was supposed to bring long-term benefits, however, this led to further pressure, closing down non-profitable companies, which in turn led to a large number of unemployed skilled and blue-collar workers in many sectors.

Under his mandate, the country also recently passed a law allowing the creation of MSMEs, diversifying the country’s domestic production to a small extent, although still there are political constraints to the full development of this new type of companies. Reluctance to adopt new measures to manage the economy, based on the example of the Chinese experience, proves that the government is not yet ready to implement measures to improve the current situation that is constantly stressing the lives of thousands of Cuban families.


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