Wednesday, October 14, 2020

Announcing Posting of Video Recordings of the Association for the Study of the Cuban Economy's 2020 Virtual Conference: CUBA FROM THE CASTROS TO COVID


In conjunction with the Association for the Study of the Cuba Economy (ASCE) and the Coalition for Peace and Ethics (CPE), I am delighted to share the video recordings of the ASCE 2020 Virtual Conference, the theme of which was "Cuba From the Castros to COVID." From the Concept Note:

Before the COVID-19 pandemic at the start of 2020, Cuba and its friends and neighbors had been functioning within the framework of a broad equilibrium. American enmity was matched by the friendship of Venezuela, China, China, and Iran, while European provided a measure of protection to take the edge off of American efforts to destabilize the government. Internally, Cuba elite continued to refine its Caribbean variant of Marxist-Leninism, one substantially suspicious of markets. Yet the resulting formal structures of the economic system also provides a space for an informal economy tolerated because it is the price of stability, and useful because it provides a means of disciplining the population when it suits the state. Cuba's search for hard currency and global influence produced programs of providing medical services to other states (Cuban medical internationalism), which competitor states (and some of its participants) criticized for potential violation of human rights. Even this description can be incendiary precisely because Cuba lends itself to polarization of opinion. For example, while some are convinced that Cuban medical internationalism is deeply embedded within the political premises of Cuban Marxist Leninism, others believe that it constitutes a form of modern slavery in breach of the ILO conventions. And economists deride analysis describing declining economic growth as a broad equilibrium.

All of the delicate components of these external and internal balancing, the aggregation of which defined the state of the nation (its economics, politics, law and social ordering), have been substantially disrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic. This conference has been organized to consider some of the more important aspects of that disruption and its potential consequences for the Cuban state, Cuban society, and its economics and international affairs. Participants will consider
(1) The Cuban Economy and Prospects after COVID-19; (2) The Cuba Venezuela Relationship; (3) "Destrabando" the Cuban Economy: An Assessment of Reforms and the Road Ahead; and (4) a Roundtable on Developments in Moving Beyond Cuba's Dual Currency System. The featured event, the Carlos Diaz Alejandro lecture will be given by the annual Carlos Diaz Alejandro Lecture. This year's lecturer is Alejandro de la Fuente, Harvard University, who will speak to “Racism with Equality? Measuring Racial Inequality in Cuba, 1980-2010.” Lastly, ASCE will recognize a group of extraordinary students whose papers will be presented to end the conference.

Videos of each of the six panels may be accessed separately. The links follow below. The videoa may also be accessed through the CPE YouTube Channel HERE.

The Conference website and its rich set of materials may be accessed HERE




ASCE is delighted to make available the videos from each of the panels of its August 2020 Virtual Conference. Each panel was recorded separately and may be watched in any order. Links follow below.

August 13, 10.15 am – NOON:

Introduction, Welcome, and Panel 1: The Cuban Economy and Prospects After COVID-19 

Introduction and Welcome: ASCE President Silvia Pedraza, University of Michigan

The Cuban Economy and Prospects After COVID-19; Chair: Silvia Pedraza, University of Michigan: Speakers: Larry Catá-Backer, Pennsylvania State University, and Yuri Gonzalez Hernandez (Havana),“Cuba’s Response to COVID-19 and the Consequences for Cuba of the Pandemic”; Ricardo Torres Pérez, Universidad de la Habana, “The Cuban economic puzzle after the pandemic”Elías Amor Bravo, Professor, ESIC Business & Marketing School, Valencia, Spain Campus, “Cuba: Return to Communist Normalcy After COVID-19”

Video for the Introduction and Welcome and the Panel The Cuban Economy and Prospects After COVID-19 may be ACCESSED HERE.


August 13, 2.30 pm – 4 pm

The Cuba-Venezuela Economic Relationship

Chair: Gary Maybarduk; Speakers: Carmelo Mesa-Lago, University of Pittsburgh, “Adverse External Sector Impacts on the Cuban Economy;” Luis R. Luis, “Venezuelan-Cuban Mutual Aid: Grants, Subsidies and Fantasies;” Vadim Grishin, George Washington University, “Venezuela and Cuba: Inside a Perfect Storm of Sanctions, Corporate Politics and Changing Economic Policies”

Video for the Panel The Cuba-Venezuela Economic Relationship may be ACCESSED HERE.


August 14, 10.30 am – Noon

“Destrabando” the Cuban Economy: An Assessment of Reforms and the Road Ahead

Chair: Natalia Delgado, Columbia University; Speakers: Jorge Pérez-López, “Raúl’s Reforms: Progress and Pending Issues; Pavel Vidal, Universidad Javeriana de Cali, Colombia, “The Great Lockdown and the Cuban Economy: First Impacts and Policy Responses;” Pedro Manuel Monreal Gonzalez, UNESCO, “Companies and the sequence of economic reform in Cuba.”

Video for the Panel “Destrabando” the Cuban Economy: An Assessment of Reforms and the Road Ahead may be ACCESSED HERE.


August 14, 2.30 pm – 4 pm

Carlos Diaz Alejandro Lecture

Chair: Carlos Seiglie, Rutgers University; Presenter: Alejandro de la Fuente, Harvard University, “Racism with Equality? Measuring Racial Inequality in Cuba, 1980-2010”; Discussant: Tanya Hernandez, Fordham Law School

Video for the Carlos Diaz Alejandro Lecture may be ACCESSED HERE.


August 15, 10.30 am – Noon

Roundtable on Currency Developments

Chair:  Joaquín Pujol; Speaker-Experts: Roberto Orro, Caribbean Analysis Unit, San Juan, Puerto Rico; Pavel Vidal, Universidad Javeriana de Cali, Colombia; Omar Everleny Pérez Villanueva, Centro Cristiano de Reflexión y Diálogo, La Habana; Rafael Romeu, DevTech Systems; Lorenzo Pérez, International Monetary Fund (retired) .

Video for the Roundtable on Currency Developments may be ACCESSED HERE.


August 15, 2.30 pm – 4:30 pm

Student Panel and Closing Remarks

Chair: Mario González-Corzo, Lehman College, CUNY; Speakers: Adriana VitaglianoOxford University, “Remittances and Protest: The Case of Cuba;” Denisse DelgadoUniversity of Massachusetts, “The Cuban Diaspora’s Participation in the Economic and Political Changes on the Island;” Isabelle DeSistoHarvard University“Atoms for Autonomy: Explaining the Cuban Reaction to the Chernobyl Nuclear Accident;” Discussants: Enrique PumarSanta Clara University; Michael Strauss, Center for Diplomatic and Strategic Studies (Paris)

Closing Remarks: Gary Maybarduk incoming ASCE President

Video for the Student Presentation Panel and Closing Remarks may be ACCESSED HERE.


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