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The overall response to the question about a causality relationship between economic reforms and political transformations is that Cuba during the first seven to eight years of the Raúl Castro decade was moving towards more economic pluralism with a certain effect also on political pluralism (and perhaps even vice versa). During the latest two to three years of the Raúl Castro era and the first subsequent year, however, economic as well as political reforms have been reversed, in an apparent effort to avoid further slides towards market economy and a less authoritarian political system. There has been no confidence in the capacity to copy the Sino-Vietnamese model of market reforms with maintenance of total political control. Rather, the mechanisms undermining the USSR are seen as the ultimate threat. This worry for deeper reforms has resulted in a failure to achieve what were probably the two major goals of the Raúl Castro reform era: increase in food self-sufficiency, and an improved economic performance to provide people with sustainable livelihoods; that is, the rehabilitation of the Cuban welfare state. The era is ending with the worst economic and social crisis since the 1990s. A new president almost unknown to ordinary Cubans when he took over, watching the disintegration of the all-inclusive social and political pact of the Revolution, will in this situation have a hard time building a proper legitimate power basis.
KeywordsCounter-reform Ideological resistance Symbiotic interdependence Savage capitalism Pragmatic acceptance Autism syndrome Change agents Transformative change
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