Revolutionary Cuba’s Quest for Survival: Comparison with Vietnam

IDE Research Bulletin

March 2015

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This project was aimed to study the current macro- and micro- economy and social politics of Cuba, by comparing with the case of Vietnam. Both Cuba and Vietnam are remaining communist regimes since the disintegration of the Soviet Union of 1991. All the papers deal principally with post-Soviet era (1991-present), but if necessary in case of Vietnam, it extends the analysis to the second half of the 1980s, when Vietnam launched Doi Moi reforms. Cuba and Vietnam are quite different in its development paths in political, social, and economic points of view. While Vietnam has been enjoying much higher economic development than Cuba, particularly via the introduction of foreign direct investment, Cuba has accomplished much higher social development than Vietnam. Although one might have a tendency to look that Vietnam is more advanced in development than Cuba, the comparison could not be so simplified, because Cuba also have some advancement that Vietnam has been unable to accomplish, especially in the arena of the social development. Furthermore, our comparison of the development of institutions in Cuba and Vietnam is complex, because in some areas Vietnam is better than Cuba, but in other areas Cuba is better than Vietnam. This project is to show Cuba’s position in development studies by contrasting with Vietnam, and therefore, all the participants are specialists of Cuba. Yet at the same time, this project is aimed to present one study to show the varieties of communist regimes.