Category Archives: Jorge Dominguez

The Life of Prime Minister Manuel Marrero Cruz

Jorge I. Dominguez is a resident of Center Harbor, New Hampshire, and has spent his career teaching and researching in the field of international studies. With a key focus of his work being on the Americas, Jorge Dominguez has written about Cuban prime minister Manuel Marrero Cruz.

Manuel Marrero Cruz was born on July 11, 1963, in Holguin, Cuba, and has a long-standing career in the tourism industry. Cruz started his career by working on State tourist facilities north of his hometown of Holguin. He then moved on to work at a variety of different State and joint government-foreign firm hotels and tourist destinations in management until 1999. He also held the rank of colonel in the military and worked for its tourism division. That year he was promoted to vice president of the State’s Gaviota Tourism Group, and he was named its president just one year later.

In 2004 Manuel Cruz was appointed as the minister of tourism for the country, a post that he held for 15 years. When the Cuban constitution was revised in 2019, Mr. Cruz was nominated by president Miguel Diaz-Canel to be the first prime minister of Cuba since Fidel Castro held the position, abolishing it in 1976.

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.

How Former President Obama Sought Improved US Relations with Cuba

The former chair of Harvard University’s Academy for International and Area Studies, Jorge Dominguez retired from active teaching after more than 45 years at the University. Jorge Dominguez has written extensively about US relations with Cuba, specifically on the improved relations the two countries have had since former President Barrack Obama took office.

Obama was keen to improve relations between the United States and Cuba. He first made known his willingness to engage in dialogue with Cuba during the 2007 Democratic Primary Debate. After winning the party ticket and consequently the presidency, he made a concerted effort to engage with the island nation. He lifted restrictions on remittances and facilitated easier travel between the US and Cuba, slowly chipping away at an economic embargo that had been in place for decades.

However, it was not until his second term that he pushed to normalize relations between the two countries. Through a raft of bilateral agreements that began in 2014, former President Obama and his Cuban counterpart Raul Castro negotiated a historic prisoner swap and further eased restrictions on travel between the two countries. The new push for normalized relations saw the Cuban government open a bank account in the United States, US companies begin operating in Cuba, and postal services between the two countries resume. Cuba was removed from the US State Sponsors of Terrorism List in 2015, and, months later, Obama became the first sitting US president to set foot on Cuba in 88 years.

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.