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.