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In 2011 Cuba approved a new economic policy with the purpose of relaunching its economy while preserving the main social achievements of the socialist model. The bet is high enough to raise doubts and questions around the success of such a major economic transformation. The reality is that, in spite of fears and resistances against the “updating” of the Cuban economic model, domestic changes are mandatory in order to build up a prosper and sustainable socialism, idea that President Raúl Castro has promoted as the core and key goal of the socioeconomic changes. This presentation explores the current relations of Cuba and the CARICOM countries as well as the expected changes this relationship may undergo in the near future.

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  1. 1. Cuba and CARICOM in the changing environment PhD. Jacqueline Laguardia Martinez Seminar “Analysing Current Issues in the Changing Hemispheric Environment” Guyana, April 11th, 2014
  2. 2. Talking points 1. The Cuba-Caribbean relation: Cuba and CARICOM 2. Cuba´s changing environment and its impacts on its relations with the Caribbean
  3. 3. Cuban Foreign Policy • It responds to issues regarding survival, national identity and ideological positions in total coherence with the Cuban social project • Open critic to USA aggressive foreign policy • Global vision • International activism • Promoter of the representation of the developing world • Supporter of preventive action aimed at meeting social and economic needs lead by multilateral organizations (UNESCO, FAO, UNDP, WHO, Human Rights Council) • Solidarity as main philosophy and cooperation as implementation mechanism in the search for an international insertion qualitatively different. Since 1961 Cuba has registered cooperation actions in 157 countries with the participation of more than 400.000 Cubans
  4. 4. In the Caribbean • Strength in the union with natural neighbors • Decolonization and non-intervention • Solidarity and integration before domination and competition • Cooperation as a mechanism to apply the solidarity principle: a. Social and Development goals: healthcare, education, sports, infrastructure b. Security reasons: drugs and international crime, natural disasters and climate change impacts
  5. 5. Cuba – Caribbean relations: Isolation • 1959: Cuba is labeled as the communist menace in the hemisphere • 1962: Cuba is expelled from the OAS: 14 in favor, with one against (Cuba) and six abstentions (Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Ecuador, and Mexico) • Isolation and exclusion (Benefits: DR obtained the Cuban sugar quota in the USA markets, American tourists found new destinies in the Caribbean,…) • 1961: Non-Aligned Movement (NAM), Presidency in 1979 and 1983 • 1964: G-77
  6. 6. • 1972: Barbados, Guyana, Jamaica and Trinidad and Tobago established diplomatic relations with Cuba • 1983: Grenada Invasion • 1990’s: Implosion of the USSR and the European Socialist Block • Construction of new alliances • Promote the participation in international and regional spaces where the USA does not participate: CARICOM, ACS, SELA, Ibero-American Summits, ALADI, Grupo de Rio, as a way to counterbalance renewed aggressive policy by the USA (Torricelli in 1992 and Helms-Burton in 1996 Acts) • Do not accept conditionality regarding economic reforms towards free trade or neoliberal policies Cuba – Caribbean relations
  7. 7. • 1991: A CARICOM Commission visited Havana • 1993: Establishment of the CARICOM-Cuba Joint Commission • 1994: Cuba joins the Association of Caribbean States (ACS) • 2000: Cuba joins the African, Caribbean and Pacific group (ACP) • 2000: Trade and Economic Co-operation Agreement between Cuba and CARICOM. (Two Protocols) • 2002: First Summit Cuba-CARICOM • 2005: Second Summit Cuba-CARICOM • 2008: Third Summit Cuba-CARICOM • 2009: OAS approves the possibility of Cuba’s return • 2011: Fourth Summit Cuba-CARICOM • Since 1992: general condemnation to the USA Blockade From the 90´s: sustained growth
  8. 8. Cuban diplomatic relations with the CARICOM States Countries Dates Antigua and Barbuda 1994 Bahamas 1974 Barbados 1972 Belize 1995 Dominica 1996 Granada 1979 Guyana 1972 Haiti 1998 Jamaica 1972 Dominican Republic 1998 Saint Kitts and Nevis 1995 Saint Lucia 1992 Saint Vincent and Grenadines 1992 Suriname 1979 Trinidad and Tobago 1972
  9. 9. Cuban cooperation in the Caribbean • No ideological-political preconditions • OPERACIÓN MILAGRO: Cuba has opened eye- surgery centers • YO SÍ PUEDO: Literacy campaign • High quality program of prevention against natural disasters consequences, recognized by UNDP • Energy saving program • Scholarships
  10. 10. Países Total Caribe 1377 Antigua 55 Aruba 4 Bahamas 42 Barbados 3 Belice 119 Curazao 0 Dominica 36 Granada 25 Guadalupe 2 Haití 466 Islas Caimán 0 Islas Vírgenes 0 Jamaica 140 Rep. Dominicana 59 Martinica 0 San Vicente 67 Santa Lucía 47 Suriname 22 Trinidad Tobago 96 Guyana 178 Puerto Rico 0 San Martín 0 Saba 0 Turcos y Caicos 0 Guyana Francesa 0 Bonaire 1 San Kitts y Nevis 14 Antillas Holandesas 1 Cuban personnel working in the Caribbean, 2010
  11. 11. Cuba-CARICOM relation: A Positive Balance 1. Institutionalization 2. Sustained cooperation: health, education, sports, culture 3. Political support to Cuba´s initiatives in the UN
  12. 12. 1. The relations are concentrated in the political and cooperation sectors 2. The economic relations are not substantial:  High cost of air and sea transportation  Legal and institutional differences  Insufficient finance and credit mechanisms  USA blockade But…
  13. 13. 1. The singularity of Cuba economic and political model 2. The “collective/shared sovereignty” criteria 3. The comprehensive revision that Cuba’s economy will endure (as Surinam in 1995 and Haiti in 1997) 4. The high dependency that CARICOM economies (and the CARICOM as a regional structure) have with the USA Cuba is not Member of CARICOM because:
  14. 14. Obama administration towards Cuba • Ignored U.S. demands to remove ALL Cuba travel ban (roll back the Clinton era Cuba travel ) • Ignored demands to remove the blockade • Remained essentially the position of his predecessors of the need for “regime change in Cuba”, created mechanisms to organize and promote the internal counterrevolution • Bases its rankings in denying legitimacy to the Revolution, the government and its institutions, confrontation based on human rights and fundamental freedoms • Inclusion of Cuba in the so-called List of States promoting international terrorism of the United States’ State Department (Cuba was included since 1982)
  15. 15. Cuba´s new economic model “Actualización del modelo económico socialista"
  16. 16. Goal To make “economic issues” a key criteria in Cuban policies and actions VI Congress of the Cuban Communist Party, 2011 Main subject of discussion “Updating of the Cuban Economic Model”
  17. 17. Cuban social contract bases 1. Same opportunities to all 2. Universal access to social services (health, education 100% by public provision) 3. State protection from poverty and abandonment 4. Fundamental means of production remain state owned
  18. 18. Guidelines for UPDATING • Political understanding of the urgency of transformations • Deep economic transformation due to domestic problems and not external shocks • It is not merely a generational takeover • Synergies between economic growing and development (to move forward of the “crisis management”) • Need of having a comprehensive socioeconomic vision • Need to redefine the agents of the economy • New institutionalization • Structural transformations of the Cuban statist centralized model
  19. 19. Impacts in the cooperation programs • The updating of the economic model, together with the global economical crisis and the negative effects of hurricanes (2008) have had an impact in the Cuban traditional cooperation approach: urgency to search for new cooperation possibilities • But still will be present as a main component of Cuba international insertion • Cooperation understanding still broader than technical assistance an very much focus on capacity building and development goals (Human Resources) • To include certain economic rationality in the cooperation programs • To implement new modalities: triangulated cooperation initiatives
  20. 20. Triangular cooperation initiatives • Cuban joint action in Haiti with Venezuela, Brazil and Norway (Special attention to Haiti for being the most poor country in the hemisphere, for having fought the first independence Revolution in the Americas and because of the Haitian descendants living in Cuba) • Ongoing Colombian peace negotiations together with Norway and accompanied by Venezuela
  21. 21. Triangulated cooperation with Venezuela in Haiti • Establishment of 10 Integral Diagnostic Centers • Operation Milagros • Three Electricity Generating Equipments installed in Port au Prince, Gonaives and Cap Haitian • 15 projects within the Food Program (irrigation, forest, seeds, various crops, small livestock, poultry, pigs, mechanization, plant protection, aquaculture, agribusiness and food production for sugar agro industrial development. • Collaboration in the sugar sector in Central Darbonne
  22. 22. Cooperation: other actors to be included • Brazil • China • ALBA • CELAC • Cuba bilateral relations • Cuba as founder and main supporter of the recent regional fora
  23. 23. Conclusions
  24. 24. • Full use of the Cuba-CARICOM Agreements • Full use of being part of the Caribbean Regional Negotiating Machinery • Major association with other regional organizations that allow to Non Member States to participate as Observers. Cuba has been invited to work with Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency (CDEMA), Caribbean Centre for Development Administration (CARICAD) and Caribbean Agricultural Research and Development Institute (CARDI) • To evaluate the possibility of becoming Observer within this organizations • To evaluate the possibility of becoming Observer in certain Ministerial Committees as the Council for Trade and Economic Development (COTED) Possibilities to intensify Cuba-CARICOM relations
  25. 25. To sustain cooperation programs making use of the possibilities opened due to the new regional and domestic contexts and considering Cuban current changing process • Brazil and Venezuela as regional actors with strong presence in the Caribbean • New regional fora and available funds • Cuba’s new understanding of international cooperation, but still a main pillar of Cuban regional projection • To move gradually some of the programs from Cuba to the recipient countries