Cuba Today: Economic Reforms after Castro

June 4, 2018 - 4:00 PM

Cuba Today: Economic Reforms After Castro June 4, 2018

Segal Theater 
The Graduate Center, CUNY

This seminar is a key component in the Cuba Project/Bildner Center’s yearly colloquium on the process of updating and reforming the island’s economy after decades of highly centralized state socialism. Formalized during the presidency of Raúl Castro (2008-2018), the process called for gradually adopting measures to authorize self-employment, develop tourism, liberalize some markets, reduce the size of the state sector, and others.

In April 2018, Cuba chose Miguel M. Díaz-Canel as President, the first non-Castro head of state in 4 decades. Shortly after, the Cuban parliament a Constitutional Reform process and selected a congressional commission to prepare a draft for national discussion.

To the Cuba Project, this potentially historic change calls for serious academic assessment. In today’s event (6/4/2018), professors Carmelo Mesa-Lago and Mario González-Corzo share thoughtful presentations full of fascinating information. As they discuss their empirical findings, both authors address the challenges and opportunities they present to this intriguing moment. We intend to organize other events to more fully understand the reform process. Stay tuned.

“Aging, Employment, Wages & Social Welfare in Cuba: Would They Change under Díaz-Canel?”

Carmelo Mesa-Lago (Ph.D., Cornell University) is distinguished Service Professor Emeritus of Economics and Latin American Studies at the University of Pittsburgh, a visiting professor, researcher and lecturer in 40 countries, and the author of 92 books and 300 articles published in 7 languages in 34 countries. Past President of the Latin American Studies Association, member of the National Academy of Social Insurance and of editorial boards of six academic journals. International Labor Organization Prize on Decent Work shared with Nelson Mandela.

“Prospects for Cuban Agriculture under a New Leadership”

Mario González-Corzo (Ph.D., Rutgers University) is associate professor at the Department of Economics at Lehman College, CUNY, where he teaches graduate and undergraduate courses in economics and finance. He is also an adjunct professor at Columbia University. His research and areas of specialization include Cuba’s post-Soviet economic transformations, the role of remittances in the Cuban economy, and Cuba’s banking and agricultural sectors. Dr. González-Corzo is a contributing editor for the section on Cuban political economy and economics of the Handbook of Latin American Studies (HLAS) published by the Library of Congress. He is also a research associate at the Institute for Cuban and Cuban-American Studies at the University of Miami (FL).

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