Miguel Díaz-Canel’s tenure as president since 2018 has been unchallenged in a remarkably smooth leadership transition. The government has been effective in its key political priorities: defending national sovereignty and maintaining regime stability.

It implemented a comprehensive monetary and exchange rate reform on January 1, 2021. While export sectors stand to benefit from the measure, state companies relying on imports and the domestic market will slip into the red and need to raise their prices. Anticipating an inflationary shock, the government quintupled salaries and pensions, but inflation will likely eat up even this extraordinary increase.

While the economy was in crisis before, the pandemic led to a substantial collapse of international tourism, the island’s most important economic sector. Cuba is the only country in Latin America that has pursued its own development of COVID-19 vaccines. If tested successfully, Cuba could see large-scale vaccination of its population in the course of 2021, making it a safe tourist destination.

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