After Raul: What Next for Cuba’s Political Economy?


Event Summary This event has passed.

After over a decade in power, Raul Castro is expected in April of this year to step down from the Cuban presidency and hand over the reins of government to a younger generation of Cuba’s Communist Party leaders who inherit several key challenges. Castro introduced some market-oriented reforms to allow the development of a nascent Cuban private sector, yet food production, productivity and wages on the island remain low. A multi-level currency system distorts pricing and incentives, complicating Cuba’s bid to attract significant new foreign investment. And the island continues to cope with the damage caused by Hurricane Irma. 

On February 22, the Inter-American Dialogue and the Brookings Institution’s Latin America Initiative (LAI), will host Dr. Richard Feinberg, Professor of International Political Economy at the University of California San Diego and Brookings Nonresident Senior Fellow, and Dr. William LeoGrande, Professor of Government at American University, to discuss the economic and political challenges and opportunities faced by Cuba in the midst of its forthcoming presidential transition. Feinberg will discuss the challenges facing the Cuban economy and suggest a comprehensive reform agenda for the incoming administration, drawing from his new Brookings policy brief, “Cuba’s Economy after Raul Castro: A Tale of Three Worlds”, based in part on additional fieldwork he conducted in Cuba in December of last year. LeoGrande will detail the political context and circumstances surrounding the handover of power from Castro to his likely successor. Michael Shifter, President of the Inter-American Dialogue, will provide introductory remarks and moderate the event. Following opening remarks, speakers will take questions from the audience.  

Follow this event on Twitter at #CubaAfterRaul and @The_Dialogue.

A light breakfast will be served. 


Richard Feinberg

Professor of International Political Economy, University of California San Diego; Nonresident Senior Fellow, Brookings Institution (@rfeinberg2012)

William LeoGrande

Professor of Government, American University (@WMLeoGrande)


Michael Shifter

President, Inter-American Dialogue (@MichaelShifter)



This event is hosted in partnership with the Latin America Initiative at Brookings.