Jorge Dominguez's profile
Will US and Cuban Economic Policy Hinder Enterprise?
Will US and Cuban Economic Policy Hinder Enterprise?
Prominent scholar Dr. Jorge Dominguez is most widely known for his work as an eminent Harvard professor. Now retired from his post at Harvard, Dr. Jorge Dominguez is a political analyst on Latin American affairs and policy. In his recent article, “Can Trump Compete with Trump?” Dr. Dominguez discusses the effect of the present US administration on Cuba.

Former President Obama laid the foundation for Cuba and the US to reconcile many of the differences that characterized their historically antagonistic relationship. During his terms in office, President Obama eased significant restrictions on sending money and traveling to the US and allowed US citizens to travel to Cuba for religious and educational purposes, broadly defined. More significantly, Cuba’s designation as a terrorist sponsor was removed, which was a major obstacle for the country.

On the Cuban side, the country was experiencing an entrepreneurial renaissance of sorts. Many of the reforms that promoted business included decentralizing agriculture, relaxing small business restrictions, freeing real estate markets, opening access to consumer goods, and easing restrictions on foreign travel. In total, the government approved 439 cooperatives, which culminated in creating opportunities in construction, retail, transportation, and other services. U.S. visitors, especially to Havana, fostered the small private business sector, supporting restaurants, the Cuban version of airbnb, purchasing art directly from the artists, and attending music concerts, among others.

In a matter of a few years, however, current foreign and domestic policy both stand to hamper enterprise in the country. The current US administration has placed bans on military-owned businesses and allowed US citizens to sue dozens of Cuban companies. In Cuba, the pressure has come from an administration that has increased performance standards, penalties, and bureaucracy while at the same time given the government more power to inspect, curtail, and punish the country's more than 580,000 entrepreneurs. Making it more difficult for U.S. citizens to visit Cuba hurts Cuba's small private businesses, which the preceding U.S. policy had supported.
Will US and Cuban Economic Policy Hinder Enterprise?
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Will US and Cuban Economic Policy Hinder Enterprise?

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