Friday, December 04, 2020

Save the Date: "Caught in a Perfect “Storm”: Are Havana’s Responses Sufficient?": An ASCE Virtual Conference" 4-6 January 2021



 I am delighted to share this "Save the Date" for the event: Caught in a Perfect “Storm”: Are Havana’s Responses Sufficient? to be held 4-6 January 2021.

The Association for the Study of the Cuban Economy usually holds its annual conference in late July. This year, the COVID pandemic made that impossible. In its place we have been working hard, to offer people interested in contemporary issues the study of Cuban society, politics, economy and law an accessible, alternative program. This year we divided the annual program into two parts.  The first entitled From the Castros to COVID: n ASCE Virtual Conference" was held 13-15 August 2020. Caught in a Perfect “Storm”: Are Havana’s Responses Sufficient? will round out our 2020 virtual programming. 

We will offer six panels over three days. They include (1) Cuba’s Economic Situation and Strategy; (2) External Relations; (3) US-Cuba Economic Relations; and (4) Agriculture.  In addition, the Program includes a book discussion around the essays in La Cuba que quisimos. Essays on the New Cuban Constitution; and a quite timely panel on Contemporary Crises in Cuba and Venezuela.

The theme of ASCE’s January conference will focus on Cuba’s current economic problems and the Cuban governments announced responses (reforms). The focus will be on analysis of policies and suggested policies that improve those reforms. Indeed, the issue of Reform, yet again, as it has so many times over the long arc of the history of post "revolutionary" Cuba, has been one of developing elegant statements of idealized objectives and then offering what in retrospect might be characterized second or third best solutions; and that might be the only thing on offer now. Yet even these second best solutions can be used to bring significant improvements to the Cuban economy.

A tentative Program follows.  Registration is free but required (there is limited capacity).  More information will be made available in future posts along with the link to registration. 

Prior to the conference ASCE will prepare a number of interviews of the participant. The interviews will be posted to the ASCE YouTube page as well as to the ASCE Playlist of the Coalition for Peace & Ethics.


January 2021 ASCE Virtual Meeting

Program as of December 1, 2020

1.     Cuba’s Economic Situation and Strategy


Ernesto Hernández-Catá, “The Misery of Merchandise Exports and the Sustainability of the Cuban Balance of Payments”

Luis Luis, "Cuba: Dollar Crunch, Dollarization and Devaluation”

Jorge Sanguinetty, “Why is Cuba´s response to the economic crisis insufficient?”

Tamarys L. Bahamonde-Perez, University of Delaware, “Cuba’s Bureaucratic System and the Economic Crisis”


2.     External Relations


Larry Catá-Backer, Pennsylvania State University, “Follow the Yellow Brick Road: Cuba and China’s Belt and Road Initiative.”  

Vadim Grishim, George Washington University, “A Point of No Return: The Ongoing Cuban Crisis in a Historical Framework”

Armando Chaguaceda, Gobierno y Análisis Político AC,Poder Incisivo y Tecnología Política: presencia e imagen cubana en la academia latinoamericanista”

Rafael Velázquez Pérez, Universidad de Vigo/Universidad de Holguín, “Relaciones entre Cuba y España”  (title of paper to be confirmed)


3.     U.S.-Cuba Economic Relations


Gary Maybarduk, U.S. Department of State (retired), "Encouraging Cuba's Economic Reform: Can America Help?"

Paolo Spadoni, Augusta University, “The Economic Impact of Trump’s Measures Against Cuba”

Caroline McCollough, Florida International University, “The Helms-Burton Act: Then and Now”

Mrinalini Tankha, Portland State University, “Detained Settlements: Electronic Payment Infrastructures and Precarity in US-Cuba Financial Transactions”


4.     Agriculture

Mario A. Gonzalez-Corzo, Lehman College, and Armando Nova, Universidad de la Habana, "Desarrollo de la Producción Agropecuaria en Cuba. Plan de Soberanía Alimentaria y Nutricional."  (Presentation may be conducted in English by M.G. Corzo.)

William Messina, University of Florida, “Cuba’s Agricultural Production and Trade Patterns: Good News or Bad News?”

Juan Tomás Sánchez, “La ‘Tarea Ordenamiento” y el cultivo de la tierra”

Joan Martínez Evora, University of Miami, School of Business, “Land and Peasants in Cuba: To Have and to Hold?”


5.     Book Discussion: La Cuba que quisimos. Essays on the New Cuban Constitution


The book selects and publishes articles that first appeared on the Cuba Posible website, as well as never-published material, regarding Cuba’s new Constitution. It discusses the lead up to the Constitutional proposal; the normative issues that any constitution should address; the institutional design in the Constitution regarding the executive, legislative, and judicial entities as well as the role for provinces and municipalities; issues such as migration, race, sexual orientation, the economy, work, and rights; the public debate and referendum on the proposal; and the presentation of a draft of an alternative Constitution. There is a sustained critical analysis of the new and continuing themes in Cuba’s Constitution comparatively and in the context of Cuba’s recent history. The book has been published by the Universidad Sergio Arboleda, Colombia; it is available to the public free of charge.


Moderator and panelist: Claudia González Marrero, Justus-Liebig University (Gießen, Germany) and Universidad Sergio Arboleda

Panelists: Elaine Acosta, visiting researcher, Cuban Research Institute, Florida International University

Jorge I. Domínguez, retired, former Professor of Government, Harvard University

Lenier González Mederos, former Assistant Director, Cuba Posible, and co-editor, Espacio Laical

Roberto Veiga González, former Director, Cuba Posible, and co-editor, Espacio Laical; member of Inter American Dialogue


6.     Contemporary Crises in Cuba and Venezuela


Silvia Pedraza, University of Michigan, "Cuba"

Carlos A. Romero, Universidad Central de Venezuela, "Venezuela"

José Manuel Puente, Instituto de Estudios Superiores de Administración, Caracas, title of presentation pending

Discussant: Efraín Velázquez, Consejo de Economía Nacional de Venezuela

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