Update on the Cuban Economy and US-Cuba Relations

June 1, 2015 - 9:00 am

Room 9204 (The Graduate Center, CUNY)

Update on the Cuban Economy and US-Cuba Relations. June 1, 2015

The one-day colloquium organized by Bildner Center for Western Hemisphere Studies features specialists from the University of Havana, CUNY, and other academic institutions. Themes: Update on Cuban reforms; impact of shifts in US-Cuba relations, public sector reform, local development and decentralization, cooperatives and self-employment, agricultural, currency issues.


8:45 AM – 9:00 AM

9:00 AM – 10:00 AM Session A: Opening and update of the Cuban Economy
                                  Omar Everleny Pérez Villanueva, others

10:00 AM – 12:00 PM Session B: Key Reforms

  •     “Investment: Opportunities and Challenges” Ricardo Torres
  •      “Las pequeñas y medianas empresas en Cuba: Utopía o Realidad” Omar       Everleny Pérez Villanueva
  •      “Finanzas públicas de Cuba: posible impacto del nuevo marco para las relaciones con EEUU” Saira Pons
  •      “¿Reordenando el entorno monetario cubano?” Jessica León

Moderator: Mario González-Corzo

12:00 PM – 1:00 PM Lunch (8th Floor Commons)

1:00 PM – 2:50 PM Session C: A Fresh Look at Subnational Dynamics

  •      “Transformaciones económicas y el laberinto de las desigualdades espaciales en Cuba” Luisa Iñiguez
  •      “Spatial Differences and Disparities: Mapping and Visualization” Mauricio Font and David Jancsics  
  •      “Los territorios cubanos ante las reformas institucionales del último lustro” Oscar Fernández 
  •      “El desarrollo local en Cuba: una arista al desarrollo” Mahé Sosa

2:50 – 3:00 PM Coffee Break

3:00 PM – 4:45 PM Session D: Agriculture

  •      “Bilateral Trade between Cuba and the United  States: Reality and Prospects” Armando Nova and Mario González-Corzo
  •      “Las cadenas globales de valor en el sector de la Agroindustria: implicaciones para Cuba” Lázaro Peña

4:45 PM – 5:30 PM Session E: Closing Roundtable

Ricardo TorresRicardo Torres is director of the Cuban Economy Team at the Center for the Study of the Cuban Economy (CEEC) and professor of economics at the University of Havana. He has contributed in various books such as Cincuenta años de la economía cubana (2010); Cuba: hacia una estrategia de desarrollo para los inicios del siglo XXI (2012); and has published in Harvard International Review. He received a fellowship at the University of Hitotsubashi in Tokyo (2007-2009) and has been awarded visiting scholarships at Harvard University (2011), Ohio State University (2012), and Columbia University (2013).

Omar-EverlenyOmar Everleny Pérez Villanueva is professor at the University of Havana. Dr. Everleny has taught and lectured at various universities in Cuba, the U.S., Japan, France, Spain, Brazil, Puerto Rico, Mexico, China, and other countries. He has published more than 70 works on the Cuban and international economies. He is co-author of Cuban Economy at the Start of the Twenty-First Century, Reflexiones sobre la economía cubana, Miradas a la economía cubana, volumes I and II, Cincuenta años de la economía cubana, Cuban Economic and Social Development: Policy Reforms and Challenges in the 21st Century.

Saira PonsSaira Pons is a researcher and professor at the Center for the Study of the Cuban Economy (CEEC) at the University of Havana. A 2008 graduate of the University of Havana in Economics, she completed a specialization in statistical methods and econometrics in 2010 from the University of Havana and Universidad de la República de Uruguay. Ms. Pons’ research interests are foreign direct investment in Cuba, inflation, taxation and human capital.

Mauricio FontMauricio Font is director of the Bildner Center for Western Hemisphere Studies and professor of sociology at The Graduate Center and Queens College, CUNY. He is co-editor of Handbook on Cuban History, literature, and the Arts (Paradigm Press, 2014), Cuban Counterpoints: The Legacy of Fernando Ortiz (Lexington Books, 2005), La República Cubana y José Martí (1902-2002) (Lexington Books, 2005), Toward a New Cuba? (Lynne Rienner, 1997) and Integración económica y democratización: América Latina y Cuba (Instituto de Estudios Internacionales, Universidad de Chile, 1998). Professor Font’s most recent publication is The State and the Private Sector in Latin America (Palgrave Macmillan, forthcoming).

David JancsicsDavid Jancsics is a research fellow at the Bildner Center. He received his Ph.D in sociology from CUNY Graduate Center in 2013. His research interests are in the area of corruption, informal institutions and social and economic transition in post-communist societies. He has published several articles in leading academic journals. In 2014, one of his co-authored papers, “The Role of Power in Organizational Corruption,” was selected as the winner of the Best Article Award of the Public and Nonprofit Division of the Academy of Management.

Oscar FernandezOscar Fernández is professor of economics at the University of Havana. He is head of the National Economy Planning Department at the University of Havana. His research includes the functioning characteristics of the Cuban economy, national economic planning, and comparative socio-economic systems. Dr. Fernández received the University of Havana Research prize in 2011 for his work on the Cuban economic model. He is member of the Scientific Council of the Economics faculty; member of the Permanent PhD tribunal of Applied Economy at the University of Havana, and Secretary of the Executive Board of the Cuban Scientific Society for Planning (National Economists and Accountings Association) of Cuba. He has also been Delegate to the Provincial Assembly of Popular Power in Havana and the provincial parliament for 10 years.

Patricia RamosPatricia Ramos is professor at the Economics Department at the University of Havana. She lectures on territorial planning at the Public Administration School for public employees (Diplomado de Administración Pública para Funcionarios del Estado y el Gobierno de Cuba). Her research focuses on territorial planning, methods for regional analysis, economic geography, regional budget, regional economic policies, regional input-output models, and other related topics.

Armando NovaArmando Nova is a senior researcher and professor at the University of Havana. He has conducted more than 84 research studies on the Cuban economy and has published more than 65 articles in different Cuban and international journals. He is author of La agricultura en Cuba: evolución y trayectoria, 1959-2005 (Editorial de Ciencias Sociales, 2006), Aspectos económicos de los cítricos en Cuba (Editorial Científico-Técnica, 1988) and other publications, as well as co-authored two other volumes.

Mario González-CorzoMario González-Corzo 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 Cuba Transition Project of the Institute for Cuban and Cuban-American Studies (ICCAS) at the University of Miami (FL), where he published Enfoque Económico.

Lazaro PenaLázaro Peña is director of the Center for Research on the International Economy (CIEI) and executive secretary of the Chair Álvaro Reynoso at the University of Havana. He completed his PhD in economics in 1997 from the University of Havana. His research focuses on the Cuban sugar industry and its relationship to  the world markets. Dr. Peña has participated in international conferences and congresses in Canada, Mexico, Chile and the United States.

Jessica LeónJessica León is professor and researcher at the Center for the Study of the Cuban Economy (CEEC) at the University of Havana. She is coordinator at the teaching unit of the Central Bank of Cuba and the Department of Economics at the University of Havana.  Her research areas include: macroeconomic policies, especially monetary policy, the Cuban economy, and quantitative methods to analyze economic policies. She completed her master’s degree in Economics at the University of Havana in 2015.

Luisa IniguezLuisa Íñiguez is professor at the Center for the Study of Human Health and Wellbeing at the University of Havana. She is member of the scientific boards of the University of Havana, the Center for Demographic Studies, and the Center for Local Development Studies. Her research areas include spatial inequality, health and wellbeing in Cuba and Latin America. Íñiguez has taught master’s courses in Brazil, Mexico, Panama, Ecuador, and Honduras.

Mahe SosaMahé Sosa is professor and researcher at the Center for Research on the International Economy (CIEI) at the University of Havana. Her research focus is on local development, Cuba’s insertion into the global economy, theory of development, and macroeconomic policies. She completed a master’s degree in International Economics at the University of Havana in 2008 and another in Regional Economics at the University of Camagüey in 2013.