By Adrian H. Hearn
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Extra info for Diaspora and Trust: Cuba, Mexico, and the Rise of China
30 CHAPTER 1 The global ﬁnancial crisis deepened eﬀorts to shift the contours of Cuba’s post–Fidel Castro economic landscape, its impact transmitted through the island’s sensitivity to foreign credit, export earnings (particularly from nickel), remittances, and tourism (Mesa-Lago and VidalAlejandro 2010, 690–91). Cuba’s response was unveiled in the April 2011 Communist Party Congress: a series of 313 reforms called the Lineamientos de la política económica y social del partido y la revolución (Economic and social policy guidelines of the party and revolution; República de Cuba 2011).
Kevin Gallagher and Roberto Porzecanski’s The Dragon in the Room draws on these eﬀorts to spell out the economic pressures that China has brought to bear on the region. China’s unprecedented demand for its natural resources, the authors argue, has kicked away the ladder that might otherwise lead to upgraded industries and value-added exports (2010). The political implications of Sino–Latin American engagement have also attracted attention. Joshua Kurlantzick’s Charm Oﬀensive (2007) presents interviews, media excerpts, and survey data that reveal the Chinese government’s soft power initiatives in Latin America and elsewhere, from Confucius institutes to sports infrastructure.
The plan’s strength was its diplomatic timing. In the context of China’s looming leadership transition, it provided Jiang and his allies with a tool to advocate continued support to Cuba. The Cuba lobby was further strengthened by Castro’s symbolic power: long revered in China as a revolutionary icon, his public praise of the Chinese system provided relief to a government facing growing concerns about its ability to deal with domestic inequality and advance the socialist cause. Jiang, General Secretary Hu Jintao, incoming Premier Wen Jiabao, Zhu, and other key ﬁgures all publicly expressed their solidarity with Castro (People’s Daily 2003a and 2003b).
Diaspora and Trust: Cuba, Mexico, and the Rise of China by Adrian H. Hearn