This volume of Cuba in Transition brings together papers and selected comments presented at the Fifteenth Annual Meeting of the Association for the Study of the Cuban Economy held in Miami, Florida, in August 2005. For the first time, the meeting took place at the Wolfson Campus of Miami Dade College. The keynote speaker for the meeting was a valued friend of Cuba and of ASCE: Russia’s former Prime Minister Egor Gaydar. He spoke about the early stages of reform following the breakdown of the former Soviet Union in 1991 and suggested some possible lessons for Cuba’s future transition. The meetings also featured a panel on the economic and political relations between Venezuela and Cuba.
On behalf of the Board of Directors and the membership of ASCE, I would like to express our gratitude to the Miami Dade College for their warm hospitality. I would also like to thank our generous donors and benefactors for their support of the Annual Meetings and their contributions to the publication of this volume of Cuba in Transition. Finally, I wish to thank the Institute for Cuban and Cuban-American Studies of the University of Miami for co-editing this volume. As in the past, Jorge Pérez-López deserves our special thanks for his superb work as the editor of this publication.
We continue to be deeply worried about the condition of our friends and colleagues among Cuba’s dissident economists. We hope that they will be allowed to exercise their profession in peace and to express their opinions with freedom. In this spirit we wish to dedicate this book to Vladimiro Roca Antúnez and Oscar Espinosa Chepe.