Rutgers University-Newark Expert Can Discuss New U.S. Economic Policies Toward Cuba

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A  Rutgers University-Newark professor can provide expert insights into the Cuban economy and the possible impacts of newly announced changes in U.S. policies toward Cuba. 

Dr. Carlos Seiglie (O): 973-353-5914; (C), 201/394-5180; is an economist with particular expertise in Cuban and Latin American economic and political relations, as well as a corporate consulting background. He has expertise in topics as diverse as Cuban economic reform, defense economics, the growth of market-oriented economies in Russia and Eastern Europe, and Latin American economic practices and development. Seiglie has consulted with the Defense Department on Latin American politics and economics, and has taught related courses at the National Defense University's Center for Hemispheric Defense Studies. He lectures extensively throughout the Americas, Europe, the Middle East and Asia. His expertise is drawn from a background that combines experience in consulting with academic credentials from the University of Chicago and Rutgers.

Speaking of the new Cuba-U.S. economic situation, Seiglie issued this statement today, Dec. 17:

"I think that improvement in U.S. relationships with Cuba are occurring at this time for several reasons. President Obama has always favored them but political circumstances prohibited him from implementing them, whether it was because of his second-term election or midterm elections in Congress where Democratic candidates could be vulnerable to a policy change.  There is now a majority of Republicans in Congress, many of whom favor strengthening trade ties with Cuba because of agricultural interest in their home districts, and combined with his lame duck status, this is the perfect time to propose changes. He will have the support of Congress and make an imprint on US foreign policy towards Latin America by his decision.

“On the Cuban side, Cuba realizes that it is faced with severe economic hardship in the future. The declining production of oil in Venezuela, along with declines in the price of oil, will reduce Venezuela's financial support to Cuba enormously. These events also bode very poorly for (Nicolas) Maduro's presidency in Venezuela and therefore, for the possible disappearance of one of Cuba's strongest political allies. As a result, Cuba was very receptive to any rapprochement from the U.S.

“The challenge to this process is that Cuba will need to have credit extended to it in order to import U.S. goods, and this raises an issue whether U.S. taxpayers should be subsidizing the Castro regime. There are many Republicans now in Congress that question the approach of the U.S.'s Export-Import Bank in subsidizing trade.  The silver lining in all this is that Cuba will have to accelerate its market reforms."

Seiglie, professor of economics and Economics Department chairperson, also is on the faculty of the Division of Global Affairs at Rutgers University-Newark, where he formerly served as program director.

CONTACT INFO: Office: 973-353-5914; cell, 201/394-5180;