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The Academic Rankings of

Dr. Jorge I. Domínguez served as a professor of comparative and international political science, with a specialty on Latin America, at Harvard University from 1972 until he chose to retire in 2018.

In 2022,, a prominent academic platform for scientists, ranked him among the top 1000 scientists in the United States in the area of Law and Political Science. He ranked #876 in the United States as well as #1588 in the world ranking. This was noteworthy because specialists on the politics of a region rarely rank as high as Domínguez has done.

Domínguez’s most often cited works were Cuba: Order and Revolution, Democratizing Mexico: Public Opinion and Electoral Choices, and “Mexicans React to Electoral Fraud and Political Corruption: an Assessment of Public Opinion and Voting Behavior”. Domínguez has also published many other scholarly books and articles in English and in Spanish.

The ranking is constructed using the H-index data that Microsoft Academic gathers. The ranking includes only prominent scientists with an H-index of at least 20 for scientific papers published in the field of Law and Political Sciences.

The full rankings may be found at and

Scholarly Books Detailing Cuba’s Economy, Society, and Relations with the United States

Jorge I. Domínguez was a professor at Harvard University from 1972 until his retirement in 2018. He was also affiliated with Harvard’s David Rockefeller Center for Latin American Studies (DRCLAS).

He researched and taught about Cuba and its relations with the United States. He believed that the study of Cuba and its U.S. relations should be a joint effort between scholars in Cuba, the United States, and elsewhere. Through DRCLAS, he and Dr. Lorena Barberia co-edited six collective projects during this century.

Four projects, jointly with Cuba’s Omar Everleny Pérez Villanueva as co-editor, focused on Cuba’s economy. Three of these were books produced under DRCLAS auspices and published by Harvard University Press; the fourth was a special issue of the Cuban Studies journal, also hosted at DRCLAS. Another book, produced by DRCLAS and published by Harvard University Pres, focused on social policies and decentralization in Cuba, co-edited with María del Carmen Zabala, Mayra Espina. The sixth book, on U.S.-Cuban relations, co-edited with Rafael M. Hernández and published by Routledge. Routledge also published a revised second edition.

Altogether these six projects published 50 Cuban scholar chapter authors and co-authors, 20 others were U.S. scholars, and another 9 were based in Brazil, Canada, Mexico, and Spain. The mutual respect, the shared accomplishments, and the many talents set a good example and produced splendid books.

Russia-Cuba-U.S. Security Relations

On 13 January 2022 Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov suggested that the
Russian Federation may deploy military units to Cuba and Venezuela in response to U.S.
military support for Ukraine. What agreements may provide for shared security reassurances for
Russia, Cuba, and the United States?
Military deployments to Cuba are not new. The Soviet Union began to deliver military
supplies to Cuba in 1960 and, in 1962, deployed nuclear warheads, ballistic missiles, and tens of
thousands of troops to Cuba. The Soviet Union continued to deploy military forces to Cuba until
the end of the Cold War.
Russian military deployments to Cuba are not new. The U.S. Southern Command has
monitored Russian Navy deployments to the Caribbean. The last visit to Havana took place in
June 2019 — the frigate Admiral Gorshkov and supporting ships. The equipment of Cuba’s
armed forces is of Soviet vintage; Russian-Cuban military agreements since 2016 focus on spare
parts re-supply. In 2022, a Russian telescope went live in Cuba, interoperative with Russian
space satellites, enabling intelligence cooperation.
A “security regime” may govern these trilateral relations. A security regime implies a
pattern of explicit and implicit understandings among international adversaries that aims to
enhance the security of each party. It embodies practical rules to limit the scope of conflicts that
still persist. It relies on direct consultation.
The Soviet-U.S. security regime on nuclear and conventional forces. Following the
1962 crisis, the U.S. and the USSR agreed on these understandings:

  1. The USSR withdrew its missiles and nuclear warheads from Cuba and the U.S. withdrew
    its Jupiter missiles from Turkey.
  2. The UUSR allowed U.S. verification of its weapons withdrawal. Soviet troops could
    remain; the Soviet navy, absent nuclear weapons, could visit Cuba.
  3. The U.S. promised not to invade contingent on Cuba’s permitting on-site inspection.
    Cuba did not; the no-invasion pledge did not become effective.
  4. Only the U.S. and the USSR negotiated. The U.S. refused to engage Cuba directly. There
    was no formal treaty.
    National Security Council Adviser Henry Kissinger wrote in his memoir that, in 1970,
    following a Soviet request, he affirmed that the understanding “prohibit[ed] the emplacement of
    any offensive weapons of any kind or any offensive delivery system on Cuban territory. We
    reaffirmed that in return we would not use military force to bring about a change in the
    governmental structure of Cuba.” Kissinger had known about the now-dropped on-site inspection
    requirement. The security regime at last became effective.
    Later that year, the U.S. objected to new Soviet naval facilities in the port of Cienfuegos.
    The USSR affirmed “that ballistic missile submarines would never call [on Cuban ports] in an
    operational capacity,” and that it did not have and would not build a naval base in Cuba.
    Both amendments to the understandings embodied the security regime’s practical rules:
  5. Each side stopped doing what the other one found objectionable.
  6. Each side made unilateral nonreciprocal concessions.
  7. Cuba remained excluded.
    Two amendments came later. In 1975, Cuba accepted the 1962 crisis settlement,
    dropping its previous demands that the U.S. had rejected. The U.S. subsequently discovered a
    residual Soviet brigade in Cuba; Cuba and the USSR reaffirmed the understandings, agreeing not
    to introduce Soviet combat troops in the future nor to turn the existing brigade into a selfsufficient combat force.
    The three governments came to welcome the security regime. Each took care not to
    humiliate another, made unilateral nonreciprocal concessions, and stopped doing what the other
    found most objectionable. Precedents were binding and the basis of refinements. Only the U.S.
    and the USSR negotiated, however.
    The Post-1990 Security Regime: Russia/USSR leads. The USSR, then Russia led to
    create a post-Cold War security regime. In 1991, the USSR withdrew its remaining troops from
    Cuba. In January 2002, President Putin closed the decades-old Lourdes intelligence facility. In
    2000 Russia and Cuba closed Cuba’s only still-unfinished Juraguá nuclear power plant.
    Cuba chooses restraint. During the Cold War, Cuba refused to join multilateral nuclear
    weapons treaties. Yet in 2002 Cuba ratified the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty and the Treaty
    for the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons in Latin America and the Caribbean. Cuba and the
    International Atomic Energy Agency approved a comprehensive safeguards agreement; on-site
    inspections occurred in each of the past five years. In 2018, Cuba ratified the Treaty on the
    Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons and, in 2021, it ratified the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban
    U.S.-Cuba security regime. A U.S.-Cuba security regime began with the 1965 migration
    and the 1973 air piracy agreements. In the late 1980s, U.S.-Cuban negotiations helped to end
    wars in Africa’s southern cone.
    In the 1990s, cooperative and professional military-to-military relations developed
    around the U.S. Guantanamo naval base and between their coast guards. Illegal migration
    interdiction and counter drug trafficking cooperation unfolded.
    In 2016, the U.S. and Cuba signed agreements to cooperate regarding travel and civil
    aviation security, countering illegal drug traffic, Coast Guard operations, maritime delimitation,
    and migration, among others. The U.S. returns, and Cuba accepts, interdicted unauthorized
    The U.S. 2021 International Narcotics Control Strategy Report indicates, “Cuba’s
    intensive security presence and interdiction efforts have kept supplies of illicit drugs down and
    prevented traffickers from establishing a foothold… regional traffickers typically avoid Cuba.”
    Does this security regime exist in 2022? President Vladimir Putin has acted as if Russia
    is the USSR’s heir, especially regarding Russia’s neighbors. Putin has threatened to deploy
    Russian submarines, bearing nuclear weapons, adjacent to the U.S. east coast. Such submarines
    might rest and repair at Cuban ports; the old security regime bans such services. This century no
    Russian submarine has visited Cuba.
    The pre-1990 and post-1990 security regimes relied on unilateral nonreciprocal
    concessions to stop doing what the adversary found objectionable. Cuba so acted first in 1975
    and has continued. Russia did so until 2002. The U.S. did so last in 1970. The trilateral security
    regime has not been reaffirmed since the USSR’s collapse.
    The reaffirmation of the security regime would seek the same objective as in the past:
    international stability. In practice, it would simply affirm the status quo: Russia and Cuba are not
    doing what the regime would prohibit; both would promise not to undertake actions to which the
    U.S. would object. The U.S. would do no more than acknowledge circumstances as they are.
    For Russia, an incentive would be recognition as a rightful player in the Caribbean –
    rightful to agree not to act as the U.S. might object, constraining its future military deployments.
    For Cuba, an incentive would be to become a shaper of a regime over which it had had no
    authority, though at the cost of hypothetically constraining its international relationships. For the
    United States, the incentive would be to stop Russia and Cuba from undertaking what Russia has
    intimated, though at the cost of accepting a Russian role in the Caribbean and Cuba as an
    interlocutor – recognizing Russia’s and Cuba’s rights to abstain from unapproved military
    deployments and unacceptable relationships.
    The security regime could still serve shared purposes or wither away. Its revival implies
    costs to the three governments, but it also promises a stability that each may value.
    Dr. Jorge I. Dominguez, retired, formerly professor of government at Harvard,

Cuba’s Communist Party Leadership: 

Between Change and Rigidity, Reform and Repression 

Can Cuba’s ruling Communist Party undertake reforms? A reform agenda may start with a  slogan made popular elsewhere in Latin America (¡Que se vayan todos!) – out with everyone in  national leadership posts. In fact, the April 2021 Party Congress approximated that goal. All  members of the Party’s national Secretariat were replaced, as were half of the members of the  Political Bureau and half of the key provincial officials (the First Party Secretaries). Eleven of  the thirteen active-duty Generals serving on the Central Committee also departed, as did three  out of five of all Central Committee members. 

Leaving the Party’s Political Bureau were President Raúl Castro, former Interior Minister  Ramiro Valdés, and long-time Party Organization Secretary José Ramón Machado, among other  notables who had ruled for decades. More typical had been the outcome of the 2016 Party  Congress, when none such notables left, only one in ten of the “political” Generals was new to  the Central Committee, and the majority of the Secretariat held on. 

A reform agenda would also require greater leadership pluralism to prevent a small clique  from undertaking all decisions. This, too, has been happening. In 2016, about a quarter of the  ministers had also served on the Council of State, hence approving their own proposals. The  2019 Constitution brought to zero the overlap between the Council of Ministers and the Council  of State. The 2021 Party Congress also reduced the overlap between the two Councils, on the one  hand, and, on the other, the Party’s Political Bureau and Central Committee. 

In this century, greater demographic inclusion has been the rule as well, doubling the  proportion of Afrodescendants in Council of State posts and bringing their share and that of 

women on this Council closer to their respective shares of the population. The median age in  elite institutions has fallen; new Central Committee members must be below age sixty. So, why the unprecedented nationwide protests in July 2021 – thousands of people  protesting on the streets of three dozen cities across the provinces – and what was new in 2021? Cuba’s economic stagnation, in effect near zero growth for a decade, does not explain the July  protests. Nor do U.S. economic sanctions in place for decades, notwithstanding Trump  administration enhancements. Nor does the equally long authoritarian regime. Nor do the effects  of the Covid-19 pandemic. If so, the protests would have occurred well before. In 2021, much changed. The economy stopped stagnating: It nosedived. Access to food  became a severe problem. In January, the top leadership adopted a dramatic monetary and  exchange rate reform. Inadequate planning unleashed a remarkably high inflation rate, followed  by frequent policy “fixes” for specific problems, which contributed to renewed and ongoing  policy uncertainties. A frightening Covid-19 spike in June vaulted Cuba from one of the more  successful pandemic managers to one of the world’s worst-afflicted countries. As the very hot  Caribbean summer approached, in late June the electric power system broke down, propelling  people out of their homes. Too much time following the April 2021 Party Congress focused on  building new relationships and bonds of authority between the top leaders – career veterans but  new to being at the top – and intermediate Party and government ranks. Decision making  processes, never speedy, slowed. 

How did the nation’s leaders respond? The top leaders were surprised by, and  unprepared for, the July protests. Their initial response was confused and contradictory. Early  steps of conciliation and police restraint were followed by Special Troops and police repression  (beatings, arrests, summary trials) across the nation. Following explanations of practical

problems, especially by the prime minister, the official blame for the protests soon fell on  “outside agitators,” such as U.S. agencies and Cuban diaspora members. 

Following the July protests, which made significant use of social media, the government  also enacted new rules to criminalize actions through the Internet that may have an adverse  “impact on Cuba’s prestige,” criticize the content of the authoritarian Constitution, seek to  “compel public authorities to act or to fail to act” while performing their duties, or “damage the  reputation” of government officials. The 2019 Constitution promised improvements in its charter  of rights, but their implementation has been deferred, as these responses to the July protests  make clear.  

Moreover, the government has failed to make effective use of its own noncompetitive  national elections. For example, at the last national single-party election in 2018, three quarters  of the members of the Council of State would have been ineligible to serve on the Council if the  electoral law had required having been the top vote getter in a municipality; more than half  would have been ineligible to serve on the Council if the electoral law had mandated having  finished in the top half of vote receivers in their respective provinces. The government has not  made effective use of its own authoritarian-regime electoral law to promote its more popular  politicians into key national posts. 

Thus, can Cuba’s Communist Party undertake reforms beyond renewing and widening its  top leadership circles? Its most positive response following the July 2021 protests has been the  formal and final approval of reforms to permit the freer growth of small- and medium-sized  private sector businesses and cooperatives. Such reforms had been under consideration since the  Fall 2010! The leadership may need a “win” before it adopts wider reforms and does so more  quickly. The government chose to develop Cuba’s own vaccines against Covid-19. It claims to 

have succeeded with two, not yet approved by the World Health Organization and pending  independent peer review. Success with these vaccines could permit the reactivation of  international tourism, announced for mid-November 2021, even if not from the United States yet,  reactivating the economy while also addressing the public health crisis. With such new breathing  room, the pace of economic reform may accelerate. The near-term challenge is simpler. Do government and Party leaders believe their own  propaganda that the causes of the protests all lie outside the nation’s boundaries? Shakespeare’s  Cassius, in Julius Caesar (I:2, 145) provides good advice: “The fault, Dear Brutus, is not in our  stars, but in ourselves…” The fault, dear President Miguel Díaz-Canel, lies not in the U.S.  government or in southern Florida but in a leadership and policy regime in Cuba, both in  desperate need of bold and swifter change.