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Posted October 09, 2007 by publisher in Business In Cuba

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I don’t usually post non-Cuba related articles but this well written article from the Council on Hemispheric Affairs about the recent past and current state of the Dominican Republic forces the reader to compare it to Cuba and wonder about the possibilities for a post Castro post Embargo Cuba.

Here is a paragraph from the report:

For most of its post-colonial history, the Dominican economy has been an exporter of sugar, coffee, and tobacco. These agricultural goods provided the backbone of an economy, which in recent years, has prospered from an explosive expansion of tourism, and the growth of free trade zones. Exports remain an important asset for the Dominican economy, with revenues providing $6 billion to the country’s GDP. However, the service sector has become the island’s most forceful engine of growth in terms of job creation, according to the World Bank, accounting for up to 58 percent of the country’s labor force.

And the last paragraph:

Folklorically, Dominicans are said to be infected by the notion of inferiority and a lack of confidence in themselves; this is reflected in the often repeated remark that most Dominicans think that there is no possible solution to the country’s problems. The process of modernization is at times excruciatingly painful. Although difficult, considering that economic development is well underway, and that the DR enjoys relative internal political calmness, the task may be far from insurmountable. Yet Dominicans must abandon the naïve assumption that one leader can answer all of their questions or resolve all of their grievances. Dominican society, through its civil organizations, media, and religious organizations, must work together so that all points of view and citizen interests are taken into consideration. The coming years will prove decisive to the permanent well being of the Dominican Republic, as it continues on its path to modernity; if successful, its model could serve as an example to other comparable economies in the region.


  1. Follow up post #1 added on October 10, 2007 by cubanpete with 127 total posts

    The Dominican Republic is indeed open for business.  However, when Cuba rejoins the free world, the DR and every other island in the area should be ready for some stiff competition.

    For change (cambio) we can believe in.

  2. Follow up post #2 added on October 10, 2007 by publisher with 3905 total posts

    Funny. I happen to catch this today on DTCuba.com. Maybe this is the first shot from Cuba towards discrediting DR tourism industry.

    Travel Irregularities in Dominican Republic Denounced

    Santo Domingo.- The Dominican Association of Travel Agencies and Tourism (ADAVIT) denounced irregularities in the prices of hotel and air tickets.

    According to the institution, non-authorized travel agents sell tickets and reservations at low prices, which are part of a fraud through the sales of tourist packages.

    ADAVIT officials pointed out that the fake travel agents offered a price of 1,500 pesos per night for a hotel room in Bávaro, but the actual prices was nearly 3,500 pesos.

    Hotels and travel agencies have warned clients against buying plane tickets or hotel reservations from non-authorized agents.

    Con artists take advantage of the high demand for rooms and lure tourists to commit crimes in detriment of the sector’s credibility.

    Cuba consulting services

  3. Follow up post #3 added on October 20, 2007 by MiamiCuban

    I’ve been to both the Dominican Republic and Cuba.  All I can say is that I never saw such poverty as I did in the Dominican Republic.  In Cuba you’d never find children living under a piece of cardboard held up by sticks.  I highly doubt that Cubans would want to go the route of the D.R.

  4. Follow up post #4 added on October 20, 2007 by publisher with 3905 total posts

    Interesting. Thanks for the insight. If you have any more comparisons, I’d love to read them.

    Cuba consulting services

  5. Follow up post #5 added on October 25, 2007 by cubanpete with 127 total posts

    It is all well and good to “doubt that Cubans would want to go the route of the D.R.”, but the fact is that the Cuban electorate does not now have an option.  Cuba is a one-party dictatorship.  Opposition political parties with alternative platforms and different visions are not allowed to function.

    For change (cambio) we can believe in.

  6. Follow up post #6 added on November 03, 2007 by RussianTraveler

    I was in vacations in Cuba and i’ve never seen so much poverty and misery concentrated in a country, besides the prostitution makes it clear that neither parents nor authorities care about the young girls(13 or 14 years old) in Cuba. Cubans should have cared more about their country and got rid off their actual system. Poor People.

  7. Follow up post #7 added on April 25, 2010 by troy with 2 total posts

    I’ve vacationed in both countries and toured rural areas as well as major cities in both countries.

    Both countries are seriously underdeveloped and have a large portion of their population struggling. However, I have noticed significant differences.

    Cuba has much better health care and vastly superior education, available to all citizens who wish to avail. It has very low unemployment, and although most eke out a subsistance living, the distribution of wealth is far more equal than the discrepency between rich and poor in the DR. Crime rates in Cuba are far less as well, and violent crimes are very much lower than in Canada and the US. Whether from fear of authority or from a cooperative spirit instilled by the revolution, people in Cuba treat one another with respect. The Cuban transportation system (or rather lack of one) necesitates drivers of all state owned cars (by far the majority) to pick up hitch-hikers; the remainder of the population uses private ‘one peso’ converted dump trucks as a means of travel. The result is a social atmosphere of respect, cooperation and a cohesiveness not seen or understood in the ‘dog eat dog’ capitalistic culture of the DR. Materialism hasn’t appeared to be entrenched into the consumptive fibre of the nation like the ‘advertising ridden’ DR, and perhaps that makes the Cubans less competitive and more cooperative.

    Both countries have hard working, struggling people, endowed with a national pride. Cubans appear to have this pride more firmly entrenched and certainly do not suffer from the ‘inferiority complex’ syndrome exibited in the DR by those aspiring to upgrade their living standards. The Cubans know they are not as ‘well off’ as the rest of the Americas; however, I have sensed a cohesive pride in the people that they are all working toward a common goal within a political system that, although very imperfect, has proven much more fair and equitable than ‘laissez faire’ type of colonial capitalism experienced in the DR.

    I love both countries and see a need for reform in both. One is untainted by twentieth century capitalistic greed- the other very much in need of social reform in the distribution of wealth and reduction of systemic corruption. Ultimately, the bulk of the populations live very similar, but the extreme poverty I have seen in the DR makes me very understanding of why Che and Fidel were as zealous in the battle against poverty.

    The solution for both countries, in my opinion, is not in polarization of the extremes of capitalism and communism and ideologies, but in recognition by their respective governments that foreign investment, trade, infastructure, modernization, education are fundamental requirements. DR is now in the right track, with need for improvement in reducing corruption, improving education and health care, and more equity in the distribution of wealth. (Cuba’s strengths) Cuba needs to reform its economy by opening it up more- like modern China has. More free market. More international trade. Utilizing its excellent education system to train workers to manufacture, and for technology. And then to attract investors to actually kick start the process. Less direct intervention for Cuba, more for DR!!

    Sorry for the ramble!!

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