The author or editor of several books related to Cuba, including The Cuban Economy in a New Era, Jorge I. Dominguez is a former vice provost of Harvard University. He is also a former vice president of the Weatherhead Foundation and a former president of the Institute of Cuban Studies. Jorge I. Dominguez continues to study Cuba’s economy in the midst of the country’s current economic crisis.
Though some analysts predict that Cuba’s economy will grow by 4 percent in 2022, this growth comes off the back of several years of decline and stagnation. This decline peaked in 2020 when Cuba experienced a 10.2 percent economic downswing.
Several factors currently influence the difficult economic times in Cuba. Flawed economic policy decisions and excessive reliance on state enterprises marked by gross inefficiency lead the list. Former president Donald Trump’s re-implementation of sanctions, which include flight restrictions and the banning of cruises, reduced Cuba’s tourism trade. The economic crisis in Venezuela, which is a key Cuban ally, has also contributed. Furthermore, a decline of 65 percent in Cuban exports from 1989 to 2019 means the country is no longer able to fund its imports with the money earned from exports. These factors combine to create a deepening economic crisis that a minor 2022 recovery will likely do little to assuage.
A graduate of both Harvard University and Yale College, Jorge I. Dominguez is a writer and publisher. His books primarily focus on the economic and social situation in Cuba, though he has edited books relating to Mexico and wider Latin America. Jorge I. Dominguez is interested in how Cuba’s relationship with the United States has evolved over the decades.
Interestingly, we may see another change in the relationship between the United States and Cuba in the wake of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Throughout 2022, Russia’s ties to Cuba have deepened. In January, Russian delegate Sergei Ryabkov refused to rule out the possibility that Russia may set up a military presence in Cuba.
Furthermore, both nations have committed to exploring options in other areas. According to Cuba’s Foreign Ministry, the island is working with Russia on joint projects related to industry, transport, banking, and energy. Cuba has also refused to condemn Russia for its invasion of Ukraine and it has blamed the crisis on alleged U.S. and NATO aggression against Russia.
The renewed development of these ties between Russia and Cuba brings to mind the relationship the Soviet Union had with the island in the 1960s. Russia has even implied that the United States’ continued opposition to Russia’s advance into Ukraine could evoke the dimensions of conflict not seen since the Cuban missile crisis of 1962.
A retired Harvard University professor and experienced writer and publisher, Jorge I. Dominguez specializes in Latin American political science, international affairs, and democratic development. A member of many professional organizations, Jorge I. Dominguez served on the editorial board of Political Science Quarterly (PSQ) from 1984 to 2018.
PSQ started in 1886 when a Columbia University professor collaborated with a New York publisher to distribute the first issue. Since then, PSQ has released an issue every quarter, informing academics and the general public on diverse national and international political issues. The journal is nonpartisan, and it maintains rigorous standards to ensure that articles provide sufficient evidence to back their claims. Alongside articles from new and established scholars, each issue contains 30 to 40 book reviews.
PSQ offers subscriptions to individuals and institutions. Its special membership grants more expanded benefits, such as complete archival access to PSQ’s collection on JSTOR starting from its founding. Special memberships are also partially tax-deductible.
Possessing a background in international relations at Harvard University, Dr. Jorge I. Dominguez has spent much of his career researching and writing about the Latin American political landscape. He has been on the editorial board of various journals, including Political Science Quarterly and Cuban Studies. Dr. Jorge I. Dominguez has also authored and edited numerous books on the US-Cuba relationship, which experienced a dramatic shift in the early 1960s.
As explored in an NBC piece and numerous books and articles, the Cuban Missile Crisis has defined US-Cuba policy since taking place 60 years ago. Cuba’s government had entered into an alliance with Soviet leaders, expropriated billions of dollars of US assets, and fought a U.S.-sponsored Cuban exile invasion at the Bay of Pigs..
In 1962, USSR Premier Nikita Khrushchev made good on his long-standing promise to supply Fidel Castro with Soviet arms. Allied intelligence learned that missile components were being sent to Cuba by ship. At the same time, US U-2 spy plane pictures confirmed that missile facilities were being built in Cuba capable of harboring a nuclear threat that could reach the United States.
Upon learning that the additional Soviet materials for ballistic missiles were en route by ship, President John Kennedy convened with the National Security Council. After considering offensive options such as an air strike targeting missile sites, Kennedy finally opted for a naval blockade, or “quarantine,” which would prevent arms shipments from reaching Cuba.
Ultimately, this defensive approach proved successful, as Khrushchev blinked first and announced that missile parts already delivered to Cuba would be sent back and no more work would take place on missile sites. In turn, the U.S. withdrew its Jupiter missiles from Turkey. Moreover, the long-term impact of this incident was strict US sanctions against Cuba that have lasted until the present.