Tuesday, July 20, 2021

2021 Virtual Annual Meeting of the Association for the Study of the Cuban Economy: Theme and Program



The theme of this year’s conference is Cuba’s economic reforms, the impact of COVID and the VIII Congress of the Cuban Communist Party. Cuba is in a tremendous state of flux, one that is likely to affect all aspects of the society. No one can be sure how this will turn out, but ASCE’s members old and new have for more than 30 years brought understanding and analysis to the Cuban puzzle. That experience and familiarity with Cuba is needed more than ever as we note that our work is being widely read and watched by more people in government and on the Island. This year we will also focus on the Cuban diaspora. FIU’s Cuban Research Institute will take the lead in developing that part of the program. 

This year's program has been intensified by the protest movement that erupted in Cuba in early July, when "[t]housands of Cubans took to the streets on Sunday to protest a lack of food and medicine as the country undergoes a grave economic crisis aggravated by the Covid-19 pandemic and US sanctions. Demonstrators complained about a lack of freedom and the worsening economic situation during the rare protests, according to people who spoke to CNN and videos from multiple cities, including capital Havana.
Many chanted for "freedom" and called for President Miguel Díaz-Canel to step down." (Cubans take to streets in rare protests over lack of freedoms and worsening economy).

The program follows. The program consists of six sessions spread over three days (12-14 August 2021) plus two Special Opne Microphone sessions to discuss the current situation in Cuba (on 12-13 August).

Registration information follows.  Registration is available for members of ASCE and those who pay the registration fee. More information forthcoming.  


Association for the Study of the Cuban Economy (ASCE)

COVID and the VIII Party Congress: Reforming the Cuban Economy

August 12-14, 2021

Draft Program


9:45 AM – 12:00 PM

Opening Remarks—ASCE President

Session 1: Economic and Political Context
Chair: Gary Maybarduk, ASCE President
Carmelo Mesa-Lago, Professor Emeritus, University of Pittsburgh, “Key Economic and Social Factors That Provoked the Worst Cuban Economic Crisis since the 1990s and Subsequent Street Protests”
Jorge I. Domínguez, “National Institutions, Spatial Differentiation and Race: Variation in Cuba’s Political Regime”
Omar Everleny Pérez Villanueva, “La economía cubana: La Tarea Ordenamiento y su repercusión social”
2:00 PM- 4:00 PM
Session 2: Tarea Ordenamiento and its Aftermath
Chair: Joaquín Pujol, IMF retired
Luis R. Luis, “Inflation Trends and Devaluation in Cuba”
Ernesto Hernández-Catá, “Rate Expectations under a Fixed Exchange Rate Regime: An Imaginary Model of the Official Cuban Peso”
Gabriel Di Bella and Rafael Romeu, “Considerations on the Impact of Peso Unification in 2021”
Gabriel Di Bella, Rafael Romeu, and Nemanja Jovanovic, “What can we learn from Cuba’s Parallel Exchange Rate after currency unification?”

5:00 PM – 6:30 PM

Open Mic Session: Current Situation and Potential Cuban Government Reactions

Moderator: TBD
Up to 6 members to speak for five minutes each.  Speakers to be designated by the moderator.


10:00 AM – 12:00 PM

Session 3: International Dimensions
Chair: Natalia Delgado, Columbia Law School
Silvia Pedraza and Carlos A. Romero, “Cuba and Venezuela Cooperation. Doctors for Oil: The Social Dimension of the Partnership”
Yvon Grenier, St. Francis Xavier University, “No Sanction: Explaining Canadian Foreign Policy toward Cuba”
Martin Palous, Florida International University, “Cuba in 2021: A Central European Point of View”
Domingo Amuchastegui, “Reinsersción internacional de Cuba ante una nueva guerra fría”

12:00 PM – 12:30 PM
Business Meeting

2:00 PM- 4:00 PM
Session 4: Cuban Political Economy Challenges
Chair:  Jorge Esquirol, Florida International University
José Gabilondo, “Socialism 2.0: Rebuilding Cuba’s Post-Castro Economy”
Larry Catá Backer, “The 8th Congress of the Communist Party of Cuba and the Future of the Cuban Economic Model”
Vadim Grishin, “The 8th Congress of the CPC: Continuity vs. Reforms”
Soren Triff, “La trata de personas y la justicia transicional en la postura deliberativa digital de los artistas cubanos”

5:00 PM – 6:30 PM

Open Mic Session: Current Situation and Potential USG Reactions

Moderator: Gary Maybarduk
Up to 6 members to speak for five minutes each.  Speakers to be designated by the moderator.

10:00 AM – 12:00 PM

Session 5: Agriculture
Chair: Felipe Manteiga

Remembering Pepín Alvarez. Comments by Francisco Proenza, William Messina, and Jorge Perez-Lopez

Olimpia Gómez-Consuegra and Tomás Depestre, “Producciٕón de Semillas Hortícolas: Actualizacion de Caso de Estudio en Cuba"  
William Messina, University of Florida, "Cuban Agricultural Production and Trade in the Midst of the COVID-19 Pandemic"  
Mario A. Gonzalez-Corzo, Lehman College, The City University of New York (CUNY), "Policy Measures to Incentivize Agricultural Production in Cuba after the 8th Party Congress."
Alonso Exposito Alvarez, “El minifundio rural: principal estructura agraria de Cuba desde la época precolombina hasta nuestros días”

2:00 PM- 4:00 PM

Session 6: The Last Wave: Recent Work on the Cuban Exodus
Chair and discussant: Jorge Duany, Florida International University
Elaine Acosta González, Universidad Internacional de la Florida, “Permanencias y cambios en la ‘nueva’ migración cubana a Miami”
Yarimis Méndez Pupo, Universidad de Guadalajara, México, “¿Por qué se van los que se fueron? Un acercamiento a las motivaciones y expectativas de migrantes cubanos calificados de la oleada migratoria de los años 1995–2017”
Veronica Diaz, Florida International University, “The (Cuban-) American Dream of Post-Soviet Era Cuban Immigrants: Perceptions vs. Realities”
Denisse Delgado Vázquez, University of Massachusetts, Boston, “Cuban Newcomers: Their Economic Behavior and Political Motivations”


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