Can Cuba Bridge the Gap?: IMF and World Bank Membership for Socialist Countries
Over the last two decades, a range of socialist and post-communist countries have become successfully integrated into the international financial system. This has occurred as the globalization of the world economy has increased the relevance of the international financial institutions (IFIs) in their intended role as key arbiters of economic policy, guardians of macro-economic stability, and leading resources for knowledge and technical advice on development issues. In particular, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank have attempted to stem financial crisis and assist in the economic transition of the post-communist countries of Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union. Of course, the effectiveness of these efforts has been hotly debated, and the institutions have been criticized in recent years for failing to prevent, and perhaps exacerbating, financial breakdown in Asia, Latin America, and Russia. The decision to join the IMF and World Bank clearly is not an economic panacea for the challenges facing developing countries, yet this has not diluted the appeal of membership for most of the world’s nations. With 184 members and counting, the international financial institutions are among the most universal organizations in the world. Most socialist countries have already joined the IFIs, and it is likely that Cuba will follow their lead in the future.
KeywordsInternational Monetary Fund Socialist Country Communist Country International Development Association World Bank Group
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