Category Archives: Cuba

New Travel Restrictions Placed on Cuba

Former Harvard University professor Jorge I. Dominguez, as a researcher, has focused on the Latin American region. Dr. Jorge Dominguez possesses extensive knowledge of trade and economic policy in Cuba.

In September 2020, the Trump administration ratcheted up sanctions, beyond those set in place in 2019, to restrict travel from Cuba to the United States. Included in this ban were private yachts, cruise ships, and fishing boats, as well as group cultural and educational trips. The new restrictions also prevent US citizens under a general license from organizing or attending conferences on Cuba; such endeavors now require seeking a specific license from the U.S. Treasury Department..

As described in The New York Times, the sanctions were to pressure the Cuban government to end its close relationship with the leader of Venezuela, Nicolas Maduro. At the same time, political observers felt the move was a signal to the influential Cuban-American voter block in Florida, a battleground state in the presidential campaign.

With Cuba currently shut to most international travelers due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the immediate effect of the sanctions was muted.

The Technology Boom and Latin America

 

2015 Paper Reveals Important Insights into Cuban Economy

Jorge Dominguez
Image: people.fas.harvard.edu

A former professor at Harvard University, Jorge Dominguez achieved the distinction of becoming the institution’s first vice provost for international affairs before retiring in 2018. With a focus on Latin American politics, Jorge Dominguez regularly shared his insights in newspaper and magazine articles, including the paper “What You Might not Know About the Cuban Economy,” published in the Harvard Business Review.

The article furnished a comprehensive look at the history of the Cuban economy, backed up by statistics to help readers understand how the country may develop following the restoration of Cuban-U.S. ties in 2014. For instance, it highlighted the fact that the country’s gross domestic product per capita in 1985 was approximately the same as in 2015. Further, the Cuban economy hadn’t effectively recovered since the 2008-2009 financial crisis, and, at the time of the article’s publication, the annual growth rate had the potential to be close to zero.

One of the positive aspects of the Cuban economy the article focused on was the country’s sustained investment in human capital. Individuals in the Cuban workforce are well-educated and furnished inexpensive services, and these assets could be enhanced through smart investment and government legislation.

The Cuban Economy in a New Era

Recently retired Harvard University professor Jorge Dominguez taught at the school from 1972 to 2018. Over the course of his career, Jorge Dominguez has authored and edited a wide range of books and articles on political science and international affairs. One of Dr. Dominguez’ most recent projects was co-editing The Cuban Economy in a New Era.

Subtitled “An Agenda for Change toward Durable Development,” the book features contributions from leading Cuban economists who have been collaborating with Harvard scholars for more than a decade. The Harvard University David Rockefeller Center for Latin American Studies published the book in 2017 for distribution through the Harvard University Press.

The Cuban Economy in a New Era begins by examining a range of challenges within the Cuban economic system, including its bankrupt sugar industry and dilapidated public infrastructure. The book then outlines possible solutions to Cuba’s economic woes in areas that include macroeconomic policy, central planning, state enterprise management, and partnerships with global financial institutions.