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Cuba Under Raúl Castro: Assessing the Reforms

Carmelo Mesa-Lago and Jorge Pérez-López
Cuba Under Raúl Castro: Assessing the Reforms
ISBN: 978-1-58826-904-1
ISBN: 978-1-62637-324-2
2013/295 pages/LC: 2013006138
Also of interest: Entrepreneurial Cuba: The Changing Policy Landscape by Archibald R.M. Ritter and Ted A. Henken and Cuba's Socialist Economy Today: Navigating Challenges and Change by Paolo Spadoni
"To date the definitive general survey, analysis, and evaluation of Cuba's economic and social policies and of its development experience during Raúl's presidency.... This study is comprehensive in scope, immensely detailed in its analysis, yet concise and focused.... It constitutes the best starting point for any observer, analyst, researcher, or scholar trying to understand and evaluate Cuba's economic experience during the Raúl era."—Archibald R.M. Ritter, Latin American Research Review

"The most wide-ranging, provocative, deeply researched and complete discussion of the nature, political underpinnings and impact of Raúl Castro's unprecedented economic reforms available today. Eminently accessible to a broad, interdisciplinary audience."—Lillian Guerra, Cuban Studies 2013

"[An] outstanding work."—Roger R. Betancourt, Journal of Economic Literature

"By successfully providing readers with a novel framework within which to judge the current reforms—and their sustainability—the authors have made an important contribution to the contemporary thinking about Cuba. But an arguably more significant achievement stems from [their] willingness to delve into the opaque and fuzzy world of Cuban economic statistics."—Matthew Aho, Americas Quarterly

"The definitive survey, analysis and evaluation of Cuba's economic and social policies and of its development experience during the Presidency of Raúl Castro.... An excellent volume."—Arch Ritter,

"Serious, profound, and realistic, despite being controversial and in some parts differing from my position.... It is indispensable reading."—Omar Everleny Perez Villanueva, University of Havana

"An excellent analysis, extremely useful for all those interested in Cuba."—Victor Bulmer-Thomas, University College, London

"A rigorous analysis essential to understanding the fascinating and dramatic moment that Cuba is going through."—Manuel Alcántara Sáez, University of Salamanca

"Timely and enlightening.... [The authors] provide a fair and balanced interpretation of the strengths and weaknesses of Cuba's state-dominated economy and conclude with sober and well-founded suggestions."—Laurence Whitehead, Oxford University

"The best study on Cuba's economy and social welfare in the past twenty years, the most complete and objective."—Yanako Yamaoka, Institute of Developing Economies


What led to the dramatic social and economic reforms introduced by Cuba's president Raúl Castro? How effective have those reforms been? And what obstacles does Castro face in overcoming the country's chronic socioeconomic woes? Cuba Under Raúl Castro addresses these questions, offering a comprehensive analysis of the president's efforts during his first six years in office.


Carmelo Mesa-Lago is distinguished service professor emeritus of economics and Latin American studies at the University of Pittsburgh. He is the author of numerous books on Cuba, most recently Cuba's Aborted Reform: Socioeconomic Effects, International Comparisons, and Transition Policies (with Jorge F. Pérez-López). Jorge Pérez-López is executive director of the Fair Labor Association in Washington, DC. His recent publications include Corruption in Cuba: Castro and Beyond.


  • Cuba's Economic and Social Development, 1959-2012.
  • The Domestic Economy, 2006-2012.
  • International Economic Relations, 2006-2012.
  • Social Welfare, 2006-2012.
  • The Reforms, the National Debate, and the Party Congress.
  • Assessing the Reforms: Impact and Challenges.