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Friday, 31 August 2012

Two important studies on recent events

Here are the most recent analysis on Cuba by Washington Office on Latin America’s Geoff Thale and Clay Boggs.

Rep. Paul Ryan's Surprising Voting Record on Cuba

Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI pictured), Mitt Romney’s choice as running mate on the Republican presidential ticket, once favoured lifting the embargo against Cuba. But recently he changed his position. Just how strong an opponent of the embargo was Ryan? WOLA's Geoff Thale went back and counted the votes. He found that Ryan voted against the embargo in 20 out of 24 Cuba votes between 2000 and 2007. In fact, Ryan voted for easing or ending the embargo on every single vote from 2000 to 2005. Thale points to polling data to show that, contrary to conventional wisdom, many Cuban Americans actually agree with Ryan's longtime opposition to the embargo.

Economic Reforms and Labour Protections in Cuba In the past two years, Cuba has taken important steps to open up its economy. WOLA's Clay Boggs and Geoff Thale argue that the reform process has generated a mixture of support and resistance as it impacts not only government bureaucrats but also ordinary Cubans, who may experience both gains and losses in the process. In particular, Boggs and Thale argue that the expanding private sector will inevitably pose challenges for Cuba's limited but meaningful set of labor protections. They note that two upcoming laws may help answer some of the questions about labour in Cuba. One law is a framework for cooperatives in Cuba; the other is a revised labour code.

For more information, please contact Clay Boggs at or (202) 797-2171.

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