This volume of Cuba in Transition brings together papers and selected commentaries presented at the Twelfth Annual Meeting of the Association of the Study of the Cuban Economy, which took place August 1-3, 2002, in Coral Gables, Florida. As with previous volumes, this collection of papers and commentaries covers a wide range of topics related to Cuba’s economy and society: the current economic situation, macroeconomics, foreign investment, the external sector, tourism, agriculture, transition issues, governance and the role of civil society, legal issues, and demography.
The theme for the Twelfth Annual Meeting was “The State, Institutions and the Market Economy.” As the world enters the 21st Century, we have learned that where there is no state, there can be no development. The state must lay the foundation for the market to flourish. We also have learned that private property cannot exist without a governmental apparatus, ready and able to secure not only individuals rights—such as free speech and social justice—but also people’s individual holdings. In short, institutions and the rule of law are central to the development process. At the Twelfth Meeting, we heard several important presentations on this key relationship from invited experts and meeting participants. We also held a special half-day session on August 3, entitled “Renovaciones o reincidencias: La democracia cubana en el nuevo siglo,” which brought together prominent speakers to discuss the constitutional basis for a democratic Cuba and related issues. We will issue the papers and discussions at this session as the second volume of the ASCE Occasional Studies.
On behalf of the Board of Directors of ASCE, I would like to take this opportunity to thank Jorge Pérez-López and Joseph L. Scarparci for preparing and editing this volume of Cuba in Transition. I also would like to thank the Institute for Cuban and Cuban-American Studies of the University of Miami for its cooperation at the annual meeting and its generous contribution in support of this volume’s publication.
Beatriz C. Casals