By Carmelo Mesa-Lago
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Additional info for Cuba's Aborted Reform: Socioeconomic Effects, International Comparisons, and Transition Policies
They acknowledged that the private sector was capable of making positive contributions (for example, eliminating the state monopoly on certain products, promoting competition and raising efficiency, creating new sources of productive employment) but they feared a snowball effect as an expanded private sector would increase demand for inputs, accumulate wealth, and present a challenge to the state. The potential disappearance or substantial weakening of the social safety net was also a concern: (1) high 18 / Cuba’s Aborted Reform unemployment would create serious economic and social problems; (2) significant inequality in income and in access to goods and services would weaken population unity; (3) price increases would adversely affect the consumption level of low-income groups; and (4) social services would deteriorate overall.
Technical and financial assistance from the USSR underwrote the expansion of nickel production and exports. Tourism became an important source of foreign exchange. Finally, export capability expanded for citrus, fish, and shellfish. The long length of this cycle—15 years, the longest under the revolutionary government—coupled with the gradual improvement in the quantity and quality of Cuban economic statistics, made it possible to assess the effects of Economic and Social Policies, 1959–2004 / 13 the policies implemented during this period.
Annual variation of the CPI. b. At constant 1981 prices through 2000; in 2001 shifted to 1997 prices (see text); the 2001–2002 rates are authors’ estimate based on ECLAC, Balance preliminar 2001, 2002. a. Most 2001–2003 data are not comparable with previous data because of a change in price base. Sources: CEE 1991; ONE 1998–2003; BCC 2000–2002; ECLAC, Cuba 2004, Política social 2003. 2 1989 GDP growth rateb Indicator Table 2. Cuban Macroeconomic Indicators, 1989–2003 (in percentages) The Economic Crisis, Partial Recovery, and Stagnation / 29 30 / Cuba’s Aborted Reform Table 3.