CORRIENTE AGRAMONTISTA (de abogados cubanos independientes) Boletín No. 14 (May 2016)

It is my great pleasure to pass on to my readers the Corriente Agramontista (de abogados cubanos independientes) Boletín No. 14 (May 2016).  This from the introduction to the current volume:

A los lectores:

Una vez más la Corriente Agramontista presenta al público otra entrega de su Boletín, que en este caso es la marcada con el Número14.

Este material se publica a pocas semanas de celebrado el VII Congreso del Partido Comunista de Cuba. De acuerdo con las reglas no escritas del marxismo-leninismo, es a ese órgano al que le corresponde fijar las líneas generales del futuro desarrollo del país.

Sin embargo, lo que ha primado en el referido cónclave ha sido el inmovilismo. La gerontocracia dirigente ha prorrogado su estancia en el poder y no se vislumbra cambio significativo alguno a corto plazo.

Lo mismo puede decirse de los planteamientos hechos en el congreso que tienen incidencia en el tema del derecho. Conforme a las declaraciones formuladas por el actual jefe máximo del régimen, las reformas constitucionales que se anunciaron no afectarán la irrevocabilidad del sistema imperante en el país, ni el papel dominante del mencionado partido único, que la carta magna califica como “fuerza dominante superior de la sociedad y del Estado”.

Mientras tanto, las fuerzas del régimen continúan su represión inmisericorde contra las dignas Damas de Blanco y otras fuerzas prodemocráticas. Según los datos de las organizaciones que se dedican al monitoreo de las violaciones de los derechos humanos, durante el presente año ha aumentado de manera exponencial el número de las detenciones y otros actos de represión arbitrarios. Crece el número de los presos políticos, entre los cuales se destacan (por su número) los pertenecientes a la Unión Patriótica de Cuba (UNPACU).

El presente número de nuestro Boletín sale a la luz unos días antes de conmemorarse un nuevo aniversario de la gloriosa caída en combate del Bayardo Ignacio Agramonte, cuyo apellido da nombre a nuestra Corriente. Con ese motivo, dedicamos esta modesta publicación a la memoria de tan ilustre patriota.

 

La Habana, mayo de 2016

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Infórmese en nuestro blog: www.agramontista.blogspot.com.es

 

The articles follow.  They make for excellent reading for those who seek a grounding on issues of current concern in Cuba among Cuban lawyers.

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Fri, May 6 2016 » Cuba, Culture, Identity, Latin America, Law and Society, race » Comments Off

United States, International Trade Commission Shifts in U.S. Merchandise Trade 2014, 2014 Annual Report

Pix © Larry Catá Backer 2015

The U.S. government has just published a very interesting report for those interested in Cuba and Cuban US trade: United States, International Trade Commission Shifts in U.S. Merchandise Trade 2014, 2014 Annual Report.  A summary and table of contents follow:

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Fri, April 22 2016 » Cuba, Latin America, Law and Society » Comments Off

René Gómez Manzano on “El inmovilismo en congreso”

The 7th Congress of the Cuban Communist Party has closed.  And with its end comes analysis.  While most of the world considers the aftermath of the Congress from the outside, it might be worth considering internal analysis from outside official circles. To that end I offer an analysis by René Gómez Manzano, recently published in Cuba: “El inmovilismo en congreso”

René Gómez Manzanois a lawyer and an independent journalist in Cuba who writes original and provocative commentary on issues of interest to those who follow events in Cuba.

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Thu, April 21 2016 » Cuba, Latin America, latino culture, Law and Society » Comments Off

Transparency, Participation and the 7th Cuban Communist Party Congress: Granma, A menos de un mes del Congreso del Partido

The 7th Congress of the Cuban Communist Party is set to begin this month. The Partido Communista de Cuba (PCC) will consider whether to abandon or at least reform the bedrock of its macro economic policies of the last 70 years–central planning, in favor of a more market oriented approach.  It will also consider some modifications to popular participation int he election or selection of certain officials.  Both are critically important movements away from traditional Stalinism to something that may eventually be quite different.  This is a critical step in preserving the relevance of the PCC as it transitions away form isolation to engagement with the global community.

 

For all its importance, this Congress stands in sharp contrast to the 6th Party Congress of five years ago.  The most important difference touches on the extent to which the Communist Party of Cuba has opened the proceedings and its deliberations to  the people.  If the 6th Congress was marked by a self conscious effort to engage popular participation–at least to the extent of engaging people in discussions respecting what the PCC intended to do–the 7th Congress has been characterized by secrecy.  And that has caused some backlash–from within the PCC itself.   That backlash, in turn, produced a response form the PCC, a portion of which appeared in the PCC news outlet, Granma, A menos de un mes del Congreso del Partido, which follows.

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Thu, March 31 2016 » Cuba, Latin America, The Economy » Comments Off

José Azel on “US Policy Abandons Cuban Freedom for Mere Stability”

(José Azel)

The move forward toward normalization of relations between the US and Cuba has opened several areas of policy that will require a choice among options.  One of the most important touches on the approach of the US government to the current Cuban state apparatus.  From a regional perspective policies favoring stability tend to find favor with some.  This view posits that there is much to lose and little to gain by destabilizing the Cuban state apparatus, though there may be no objection to internally driven change.  This view fears that destabilizing the current government will produce substantial and perhaps uncontrollable instability in Cuba.  That instability will produce substantially negative regional results.  That starts with the likelihood of substantial migration out of Cuba and most likely to the US.  In the wake of this migration it is likely that other migrations will be possible, from a number of Caribbean countries, into Cuba, further destabilizing both Cuba and the region.  This regional instability, with a high likelihood for violence and loss of life, will also tend to draw the United States into the region, and perhaps militarily.

But there is another view.  This one is grounded on privileging the democratic sovereign rights of people to engage in the sometimes messy process of politics within their own polity. This view suggests that even if there is a substantial risk of instability, it is important for the United States to protect efforts to promote perhaps fundamental political change in Cuba.  This view was recently addressed by José Azel, “US Policy Abandons Cuban Freedom for Mere Stability” published in Focus on Cuba Issue 277 (Feb 25, 2016).  It is offered for your consideration and set out below. José Azel is a Senior Scholar at the Institute for Cuban and Cuban-American Studies, University of Miami and the author of the book “Mañana in Cuba.” Follow José Azel on Twitter @JoseAzel

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Thu, February 25 2016 » Cuba, immigrants, Latin America, Latinos in the United States » Comments Off

Jaime Suchlicki on the Upcoming 7th Congress of the Cuban Communist Party

 (Pix © Larry Catá Backer 2015)

Cuba specialists are now beginning to focus on the 7th Congress of the Cuban Communist Party. Some focus on the political consequences of the 7th Congress.  This from our friends at the Cuba Transition Project, Institute for Cuban and Cuban-American Studies, University of Miami.  Jaime Suchlicki, Emilio Bacardi Moreau Distinguished Professor and Director, Institute for Cuban and Cuban-American Studies, University of Miami, recently posted to the Cuban Transition Project Site on the 7th PCC Congress and its political repercussions: The Party is On (9 Feb. 2016). The essay follows.

I tend to view the 7th Party Congress as much more important for the changes to the economic policies of the Party and State than for any succession planning that is likely to remain in the shadows (if the experience of the last 70 years is a guide). The real question is not the succession but whether the Party will embrace markets based Marxism on the Chinese model.  My own views are developed in “The Cuban Communist Party at the Cusp of Change,” a later version of which will be published in  Reforming Communism: Cuba in a Comparative Perspective, Scott Morgenstern and Jorge Pérez López, eds. Forthcoming 2016..

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Tue, February 9 2016 » Cuba, Latin America, Latinos in the United States » Comments Off

New Paper posted: “The Cuban Communist Party at the Cusp of Change”

(Pix © Larry Catá Backer 2016)

I have been considering the challenges and opportunities that face the Cuban Communist Party as it faces internal changes (the end of the original revolutionary generation) and external challenges (US normalization and embedding into global economic systems).  The upcoming 7th Cuban Communist Party Congress will set the course for both.

I have posted a paper to SSRN, “The Cuban Communist Party at the Cusp of Change,” a later version of which will be published in  Reforming Communism: Cuba in a Comparative Perspective, Scott Morgenstern and Jorge Pérez López, eds. Forthcoming 2016.

The abstract follows.  Comments and reactions welcome.

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Sun, January 17 2016 » Cuba, Identity, Law and Society » Comments Off

René Gómez Manzano on “Venezuela: situación convulsa aunque prometedora”

The aftermath of the Venezuelan parliamentary elections has been a prelude to further political instability in that state.  The chain of events set in motion by the Chavista movement has met stiff opposition from an important segment of Venezuelen society.  The future course of Venezuela will have significant repercussions for Cuba, which had been dependent on Venezuelan subsidies for some time.  For that reason alone, the perspective of a member of the independent journalist community in Cuba as well.

René Gómez Manzanois a lawyer and an independent journalist in Cuba who writes original and provocative commentary on issues of interest to those who follow events in Cuba. Gómez Manzano recently considered the implications of the recent events in Venezuela.  These are of particular interest to Cuba in light of the close relationship between these states from the time of the leadership of Chavez.  The essay, “Venezuela: situación convulsa aunque prometedora,” follows.

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Sat, January 16 2016 » Cuba, Venezuela » Comments Off

From the Association for the Study of the Cuban Economy: The Consequences of Normalization

The Association for the Study of the Cuba Economy (ASCE) is a non-profit, non-political organization that pursues the study of Cuba in a broad sense, with particular emphasis on the financial, economic, social, legal and environmental aspects of Cuba today and its process of transition and reforms. Its blog presents original contributions on the Cuban economy and society.  These essays remind us both of the challenges to normalization, and the future difficulties of reform as Cuba considers the extent to which it means to plug back into the global economy.

ASCE have posted a number of interesting and provocative posts considering some of the ramifications of US Cuba normalization.  Each is worth a read:

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Fri, December 18 2015 » Cuba, Venezuela » Comments Off

Rene Gómez Manzano on the Recent elections in Venezuela: “¿Cuán grande es la victoria opositora en Venezuela?”

The aftermath of the Venezuelan parliamentary elections are likely to further threaten the stability of that state.  More importantly, it threatens what had been a regional alignment of states around the Venezueala-Cuba axis. The U.S. perspective is well known.  It might be interesting to get a sense from the independent journalist community in Cuba as well.

René Gómez Manzanois a lawyer and an independent journalist in Cuba who writes original and provocative commentary on issues of interest to those who follow events in Cuba. Gómez Manzano recently considered the implications of the recent elections in Venezuela.  These are of particular interest to Cuba in light of the close relationship between these states from the time of the leadership of Chavez.  The essay, ¿Cuán grande es la victoria opositora en Venezuela?, follows

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Wed, December 9 2015 » Cuba, Elections and Voting, Venezuela » Comments Off