Joshua Jelly-Schapiro focuses on the island’s troubled economy:
A big part of the calculus informing Cuba’s new openness to the U.S., though, is about economic necessity. With Cuba’s birth rate having fallen below replacement level as far back as 1980 (partly thanks to Cuban women’s universal access to reproductive health and abortions), and its work force shrinking, the country’s vaunted health system faces pressing concerns about how it will care for the huge number of citizens readying to retire. Simply put, Cuba’s economic planners realized long ago that their socialist system couldn’t survive without more sources of foreign cash.
Francisco Toro connects the US-Cuba deal to falling oil prices:
The reason is that the considerable help Venezuela sends Cuba is in the form of barrels, not dollars. As oil prices fall, the value of Venezuela’s aid falls. In the final quarter of last year, Cuba’s state finances began to look worse…
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