On the Internal Reforms of Cuba and Nicaragua
- Deborah Norden, Department Chair and Professor of Political Science, Whittier College
- Deborah Norden, Professor and Chair of the Political Science Department, Whittier College
Anthony Tannous Akkawi Professor Deborah Norden Latin American Politics April 25th, 2013 Abstract: On the Internal Reforms of Cuba and Nicaragua This paper will explain how and why the Republics of Cuba and Nicaragua have embarked on vastly different courses of political and economic by analyzing these countries’ respective development following the conclusion of the Cold War. In Cuba for example, the state has gradually downplayed its commitment to communist orthodoxy and has modestly extended economic and personal freedoms to its people. By contrast, the Nicaraguan government has become increasingly assertive in its control over the affairs of its own people since it itself came under the control of leftist parties. Given the fundamentally distinct agendas that are in place in these two countries, one is led to consider why and how their governments have chosen to partly adopt one another’s policies and institutions while discarding some of their own. Furthermore, the peculiar overlap in these countries’ social policies in spite of the differences in their political and economic reforms only adds to the intrigue over the changes that they are undergoing. In both Cuba and Nicaragua, the aforementioned changes in governmental policy can be attributed to a combination of issues pertaining to political legitimacy, economic stability, and national history. Considering its lengthy record of repressive, authoritarian rule, the liberal reforms taking place in Cuba indicate that immense political and financial pressures are working against its current government. Taken altogether, the paper will analyze the recent history of Cuba and Nicaragua in political and economic terms and attempt to connect these events with the reforms that each country is undertaking.