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Cuba has managed to feed its people well even after the collapse of

Soviet Communism.
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After the collapse of Communism in the Soviet Union in 1991, its satellites around it like
Cuba got a hard time to reestablish its economy again without the support of the Soviet
Union. The cuba's economy crisis begin as a result of the collapse of COMECON and an
inefficient management of the economy. "The Cuban economy is still recovering from a
decline in gross domestic product of at least 35% between 1989 and 1993 due to the loss
of Soviet subsidies."1
The purpose of this essay is to analyze the consecuence of the collapse of Communism in
the Soviet Union, and how suffered Cuba when U.S gave it sanctions.The first part, we will
look about the great relationship between Cuba's agriculture and Cuba's economy, and
how U.S sanctions created a crisis, which obtain supply would be a hard work.This US
sanctions kept the country isolated, and created a food crisis;therefore, the sanctions are
strongly supported by increasing numbers of North American people, and some expatriate
Cuban based in Florida. The second part, we will examine how Cuba government
responded to the Collapsed of the Soviet Union, and the implementation and creation of
new strategies to stop the crisis. There were many factors that produce the crisis, but the
two most importants were the cut off of external help and the inefficient economic system.
Cuba focused on "the ratification process" that begin to be called "Special Period in time of
peace."In this period,Cuba was forced to changes the Cuba government's economic
policies to tackle the crisis, which Cuba used Western-styled business initiatives.
Before the cuban revolution, 70% of the land were controlled by US, and "US interests
controlled most of [its] economy, including most of the large plantations, sugar production,
mining industry, oil refineries, electrical utilities, the communications system, and many of
the banks."2 Cuba's economy have always had an enormous connection with its
agriculture,because Cuba has had a great radio of population to arable land. When
Communist party took the power, Cuban government examined new methods to make the
economy more efficient and productive."The Cuban Government decrees the immediate
nationalisation of commercial and industrial enterprises including the sugar cane industry,
that the Department of Industrialisation becomes a full-fledged body for the organisation of
industrial production on a massive scale." 3Cuba created many associations to small
farmers
called
Service
Cooperatives(CCSs)
and
Agricultural
Production
Cooperatives(CPAs), which controlled 22 % of the arable land that after were in turn
confederated in the National Association of Small Producers(ANAP). At this moment,
"Cuba had surpassed most of Latin America in nutrition, life expectancy, education, and
GNP per capita."4 Cuba government have also improved its imports and exports as we can
see in the table 1.1.
1

Cuba's economy. Global Security Organization. 27/04/2005.

<http://www.globalsecurity.org/military/world/cuba/economy.htm>
2 Pfeiffer, Dale. Eating Fossil Fuels; Oil, Food and the Coming Crisis in Agriculture New Society
Publishers,2006.
3 Martinez,Rafael Che Guevara and the Political Economy of Socialism.Revolutionary Democracy
Organization,April 2005.
4 Pfeiffer, Dale. Eating Fossil Fuels; Oil, Food and the Coming Crisis in Agriculture New Society
Publishers,2006.

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Table 1.1.

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Importance of foreign trade to the Cuban economy,1962-1974


As table 1.1 shows, Cuba's average trade volume for 1962-1974 in relation to GMP was
42%, with dependency on imports considerably higher than on exports."Although roughly
70% of Cuba's imports now come from the Soviet Union, and another 11% come from the
Eastern Block countries."1

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After the collapse of Soviet Union, Cuba lost 85% of its trade, and its fossil fuel-based
agricultural inputs were reduced by more than 50%.The result gives us this crisis is the
loss of fertilizer, herbicide and pesticide, and animal feed imports, which were reduced by
80%.And petroleum supplies for agriculture were halved.Therefore, Agriculture production
had dropped to 55% of the 1990 level.This produce the food crisis, which we could see in
some places of Cuba where the daily ration was one banana and two slices of bread per
person.At this point, Industries that are national and public loss 60% less in production
industrial after the collapse of Soviet Union.Nevertheless, Cuba responded with a great
proyect that restructure its agriculture. This proyect consisted in the eliminating the
majority of state farms and turning them into basic units of cooperative production. "Much
of the 80% of all farmland were re-established as worker-owned enterprises. Peasants
were allowed to rent the land indefinitely and free of charge as long as they continued to
meet production quotas for their key crops." 2Cuban scientists also began to create new
solution to its problems such as to develop bio-pesticides and bio-fertilizers to substitute
for chemical inputs, and create in the agriculture new combination of organic farming,
perma-culture, urban gardens, animal power, and biological fertilizing and pest control.
Cubas
armed
forces
implemented
their
own
management
technique by creating perfeccionamiento empresarial (business improvement).By adapting
the Wests management methods of business.
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Suchlicki,Jame., and Fernandez, Damion. Cuban Foreign Policy The New Internationalism.
Miami: University of Miami, 1987
2 "Organic Agriculture in Cuba."United Nations Environment Programme. 2010
http://www.unep.org/greeneconomy/SuccessStories/OrganicAgricultureinCuba/tabid/29890/Default
.aspx

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Perfeccionamiento empresarials main objective is to increase maximum competition and
efficiency of the base power, and establish the politics, principals and procedures that
propel the development of the initiative, creativity and the responsibility
of all managers and workers.1
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"The US trade embargo of Cuba, plus the collapse of the islands Soviet market, has
meant that the country has found it virtually impossible to import the chemicals and
machinery necessary to practise modern, intensive agriculture. Instead, it has turned to
farming much of its land organically - with results that overturn the myths about the
inefficiency of organic farming." 2 The myth that organic agriculture cannot support a
country is false, Cuba has shown how the Agrarian reform created new system of
sustainable agriculture.
"The government created a new program to restructure state farms as private
cooperatives owned and managed by the workers. These new cooperatives were called
Basic Units of Cooperative Production (UBPCs)." 3 This new program transferred 41.2 % of
the arable land into 2007 new cooperatives with a membership totaling 122,000
people.The other cooperative called ANAP claims that its membership will be by 35.000
from 1997 to 2000. Nowadays, these cooperatives are very important to the Cuba's
economy. Also, these cooperatives pay enough for a farmer can finish its superior studies.
In 1994, the government had to create an urban department in the Ministry of Agriculture
to recognize the potential of urban agriculture,which the urban gardens produce 60% of
the vegetables Cubans consume.

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"The crash in agricultural imports has also led to a general diversification within farming on
the island. Oxen are being bred to replace tractors; integrated pest management is being
developed to replace pesticides no longer available; better co-operation among farmers
both within and between communities is promoted; and the rural exodus of previous
decades is being reversed by encouraging people to remain in rural areas." 4
The collapse of Communism in the former Soviet Union, its satellite called Cuba left many
lost economics and socials.Cuba has had to support the US sanctions that kept it
isolated.Nevertheless, Cuba has created new economic policies,which ensure national
food security,sustainable development and competitiveness in the international agriculture
in this sector.The implementation were necessary to improve the cuban life. Cuba has
been recognised by its green revolution, and has received the award of the "Alternative
Novel Prize."

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Bases generales del perfeccionamiento empresarial, Opciones: Semanario Financiero,


Comercial y Turstico, no. 46, Ao V. <http://www.opciones.cubaweb.cu/en39/wanda.html>.
Noviembre 15, 1998.
2 Warwick, Hugh. "Cuba-An Unlikely Model for Organic Farming."May 12/2010 The Official Blog of
Albert's Organics. http://webcache.googleusercontent.com/
3 Pfeiffer, Dale. Eating Fossil Fuels; Oil, Food and the Coming Crisis in Agriculture New Society
Publishers,2006.
4 Pretty,J. Regenerating Agriculture, 1995.