Cuba’s “authoritarian socialist government” that “controls practically all economic activities” (p. 137) has put that nation’s economy on a roller-coaster ride since 1959. The authors attribute this to six “vicious” cycles, averaging seven years each, of fluctuation toward and away from the market according to what the authors call idealist or pragmatist political policies. After losing Soviet subsidies, estimated at $65 billion until 1990, the island has been unable to regain its previous economic levels. In a remedial attempt, Cuba allowed the dollarization of the economy for a decade, during which annual gross tourism revenue reached $2 billion and annual remittances from Cubans abroad nearly $1 billion. In spite of these measures, the country has a $35.8 billion external debt, and its “dreary record” of debt payment has “severely affected its access to international financial markets” (p. 67), making the Cuban currency worthless....

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