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Conflicting pressures drive discontent in Cuba

Monday, May 8, 2017

Subject

Political challenges facing Havana.

Significance

Cuba's government is preparing the people for more economic hardship. Budget cuts have been announced and petrol shortages signal the depth of crisis facing the country as it struggles with shrinking provisions from Venezuela -- Havana’s most important trading partner. Uncertainty about Washington’s policy towards Cuba under US President Donald Trump is chilling investor confidence, and waning consensus within Cuba's Communist Party has paralysed domestic reforms.

Impacts

  • Increasing supply shortages and low wages will drive social frustration.
  • Tensions within the ruling apparatus will rise as economic difficulties increase.
  • Nevertheless, fears of losing control and of hostile US policy will glue the elite together.
  • Vice-President Miguel Diaz Canel may succeed Castro as president but is unlikely to become head of the Communist Party.
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