Cuba and Lessons From Other Communist Transitions: A Workshop Report

by Edward Gonzalez, Thomas S. Szayna


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This report provides an analytical summary of a workshop that attempted to draw lessons from other transitions from communism for the potential transition in Cuba. The report outlines a conceptual framework for thinking about transitions away from communism (with references to the USSR, China, Vietnam, and Eastern Europe) and then it applies the framework to Cuba. Although Cuba has many sui generis characteristics, it has not been immune to the structural forces, and economic, political and social outcomes, that preceded the demise or transition of other communist states. Moreover, some of the differences that characterize Cuba today stem only from the variable of time. Cuba currently remains in the onset stage of reforms and, most probably, it will have to await Castro's departure before it can move to the sustaining stage of reforms. The report provides indicators of deeper change that analysts can track and compare to other transitions.

This report is part of the RAND Corporation Conference proceeding series. RAND conference proceedings present a collection of papers delivered at a conference or a summary of the conference.

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