Welcome to the FOCAL archive

The Canadian Foundation for the Americas (FOCAL) is no longer in operation. This website documents FOCAL's activities and accomplishments throughout its existence. Thank you for your interest in the work of FOCAL.

Research Papers & Reports 2005

Cuba's Economic Future: The Search for Models
Daniel P. Erikson
FOCAL Background Briefing
December 2005
Although Cuba continues to be committed to Marxist economics, in the future the island is likely to grapple with the challenges of market-oriented reform that have been faced by a range of socialist and post-communist countries. This paper examines the paths towards reform experienced by the countries in the former Soviet Bloc, including Russia, various Eastern European countries and Central Asian Republics, as as by the East Asian countries of China and Vietnam, in order to provide important perspectives on Cuba's eventual economic transition.

An Overview of the Linkages Between Spain's Regions and Cuba
Christian Freres
FOCAL Background Briefing
May 2005
For Cuba, contacts with Spanish regions and non-state contacts far surpass and are more multidimensional than those it has developed with most other countries. These links reflect the strong ties of people and history between the two countries. The motives of Spanish regions for developing stronger external relations with Cuba and other countries are the need to project their identity abroad, growing pressures to compete in the international economy, and the desire to assert their autonomy vis-à-vis the central government, including developing their own external relations. For its part, Cuba has developed its relations with Spain's regions as one element in its response to the loss of its major external partner, the Soviet Union,andthe ongoing efforts of the U.S. to isolate it internationally.

The Cuban Economy: Amid Economic Stagnation and Reversal of Reforms
Mauricio de Miranda Parrondo
FOCAL Background Briefing
April 2005
Over the past few years the Cuban economy has shown a moderate rate of growth, insufficient to pull the country from the severe crisis which affected it from 1989 to 1993. The reasons for this slow growth are the structural characteristics of the Cuban economy, Cuba's difficulty in integrating into the international economy, the difficult international context in which the country operates, and its leaders' lack of political will to tackle in-depth transformation of the economy. The reform process that started in the 1990s has stopped, and there are new trends towards centralization in the economic decision-making process. Official statements indicate that liberalization and decentralization of the Cuban economy are not likely, as long as there is no threat of a new economic collapse.
Also available in Spanish: Cuba: Entre el estancamiento económico y la reversión de las reformas


A View of the Hemisphere



Explore the link between governance and development.