Experts listed in this section have no affiliation with the Cuba Study Group.

Economy Experts

Prof. Max Azicri
Edinboro University

146 Hendricks Hall
Department of Political Science
Edinboro, PA 16444


Max Azicri is Professor of Political Science at Edinboro University in Pennsylvania. An expert on Cuban politics, society, culture, and international relations, he is the author of Cuba: Politics, Economics, and Society (Pinter Publishers 1988) and Cuba Today and Tomorrow: Reinventing Socialism (University Press of Florida 2000), winner of the 2001 Choice Outstanding Academic Book. Most recently, Azicri is the co-editor of Cuban Socialism in a New Century: Adversity, Survival, and Renewal, a collection of essays by international social science experts which examine the island’s main challenges at the dawn of the 21st century (University Press of Florida 2004). Chapters by Azicri have appeared in Cuba in Transition: Transformation and Struggle (Westview 1992), Transformation and Struggle--Cuba Faces the 1990s (Praeger 1990), and Cuba: Twenty-Five Years of Revolution (1959-1984) (Praeger 1985).

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Sergio Diaz-Briquets
Casals & Associates

1199 North Fairfax Street
3rd Floor
Alexandria, VA 22314


Sergio Díaz-Briquets is Senior Vice President of Casals & Associates, Inc. (C&A), a Washington, DC area consulting firm, and Executive Director of the Council for Human Development. At C&A, he is involved in US Agency for International Development (USAID)-funded projects - in transparency and anti-corruption and other thematic areas - in Africa, Asia, Eastern Europe, and Latin America. Previous institutional affiliations include the U.S. Congressional Commission for the Study of International Migration and Cooperative Economic Development, the Population Reference Bureau, and Canada’s International Development Research Centre (IDRC), as well as academic appointments. Díaz-Briquets’ overseas consulting assignments - for USAID, the World Bank, and other international development agencies - have taken him to dozens of countries around the world. Author or editor of more than ten books, and numerous academic and policy papers, in 2000 he published (with Jorge Pérez-López) Conquering Nature: The Environmental Legacy of Socialism in Cuba (University of Pittsburgh Press), winner of the 2002 Warren Dean Prize of the Conference of Latin American History of the American Historical Association for best book on environmental history of Latin America published in 2000 and 2001. In 2006, the University of Texas Press will release his Corruption in Cuba: Castro and Beyond, co-authored with Jorge Pérez-López. Other books published by Díaz-Briquets include (with Charles C. Cheney) Biomedical Globalization: The International Migration of Scientists (Transaction Publishers 2002), Cuban Internationalism in Sub-Saharan Africa (Duquesne University Press 1989), and The Health Revolution in Cuba (University of Texas Press 1983).

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Prof. Ted Henken
Baruch College, CUNY

55 Lexington Avenue
Room 4-284
New York, NY 10010


Ted Henken is Assistant Professor of Sociology & Black and Hispanic Studies at Baruch College, CUNY, where he teaches introductory courses in Sociology and Latin American Studies, and upper level courses on Race and Ethnic Relations, U.S.-Latin American relations, Latin American Immigration to the United States, and in Cuban Studies. He earned his Ph.D. (2002) from Tulane University’s Stone Center for Latin American Studies (New Orleans), where he concentrated in the disciplines of Sociology, History, and Political Science. His doctoral dissertation, “Condemned to Informality: Cuba’s Experiments with Self-employment during the Special Period” describes the recent growth of Cuba’s underground economy and the emergence of semi-legal, private, micro-enterprises on the island since 1993. Henken has traveled to Cuba numerous times since 1997 in order to conduct research and attend academic conferences. During the spring of 2001, he worked in Cuba for Tulane University’s Cuban Studies Institute as the in-country liaison and program coordinator. He has been a consultant on Cuba for the U.S. Department of State and has lectured widely on contemporary Cuban issues. Henken’s current research deals with different manifestations of the changing nature of work, across national borders and outside state regulations. Apart from continuing his work on Cuba’s underground economy, he is undertaking a transnational study of the immigrant networks among the growing, yet understudied Mexican communities in the U.S. South. His future research plans include comparative research among the newly arrived Mexican and the more established Cuban immigrant communities in the New York metropolitan area.

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Mr. Ernesto Hernandez-Cata
Association for the Study of the Cuban Economy

P.O. Box 28267
Washington, DC 20038-8267


Mr. Hernandez-Cata is the President of the Association for the Study of the Cuban Economy, a non-profit organization in Washington, DC. The Association for the Study of the Cuban Economy (ASCE) is a non-profit, non-political organization incorporated in the state of Maryland. At the time of its founding, in 1990, its most important goals were to study the elements and processes involved in the expected transition of Cuba to a free-market economy and a democratic society, as well as to promote scholarship, research, and publications on economic studies by its members. This remains its basic charter, but ASCE also pursues the study of the Cuban economy in a broad sense, with particular emphasis on the financial, economic, social, legal and environmental aspects of Cuba as it is today and its process of transition.

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Carmelo Mesa-Lago
University of Pittsburgh

Department of Economics
Posvar 4529
Pittsburgh, PA 15260


Carmelo Mesa-Lago is Distinguished Professor Emeritus of Economics and Latin American Studies at the University of Pittsburgh. His major areas of expertise are the Cuban economy, economics of social security, and comparative economies in Latin America. Recognized as one of the pioneers and world "stars" of Cuban studies, Mesa-Lago founded the journal Cuban Studies, which he edited for two decades. He is the author of 73 books and 240 articles or book chapters, published in 8 languages in 33 countries, on Latin America's social security and health care, the Cuban economy, and comparative economic systems. His most recent books are Cuba’s Aborted Reform: Socioeconomic Effects, International Comparisons and Transition Policies (with J. Pérez-López, University Press of Florida 2005); Las Reformas de Pensiones en América Latina y su Impacto en los Principios de la Seguridad Social (CEPAL 2004); and Market, Socialist and Mixed Economies: Comparative Policy and Performance—Chile, Cuba and Costa Rica (Johns Hopkins 2000). Mesa-Lago has served as a consultant for various international organizations, including the International Social Security Association, the World Bank, the Inter-American Development Bank, the Inter-American Foundation, USAID, UNDP, the OAS, and the U.S. Department of State. A former president of the Latin American Studies Association, he has lectured in 36 countries, served as a visiting professor/scholar at prestigious universities and research institutions in 10 countries, and has received numerous research grants and awards. A member of the National Academy of Social Insurance, Mesa-Lago serves on the editorial board of the International Social Security Review and five other academic journals. Recently he was honored by the journal Encuentro de la cultura cubana for his life’s work on the Cuban economy (Volume 34-35, Fall-Winter 2004-2005).

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George Plinio Montalván
Montalván & Associates, LLC

2804 36th Street, N.W.
Washington, DC 20007


Mr. Montalván is an economist with 40 years of professional experience in Latin America, the Caribbean, and Africa. This experience includes: economic research and studies; project appraisals, mid-term evaluations, project completion reports, and ex-post (impact) evaluations; advisory services to government agencies at central, state/regional, and local levels; advisory services in development project design and implementation; and training activities focused on professional staff in all Latin American and Caribbean countries. He is the author of several publications and instruction materials. His professional associations include the Inter-American Statistical Institute (IASI) and the International Development Evaluation Association (IDEAS). Mr. Montalván is completely bilingual in English and Spanish, and has working knowledge of French and Portuguese.

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Prof. Rafael Rojas
Centro de Investigacion y Docencia Economica

Carretera Mexico
Toluca 3655 Col. Lomas de Santa Fe
0120 Mexico, D.F.


Rafael Rojas is Professor and Researcher at the Centro de Investigación y Docencia Económica (CIDE) in Mexico. An expert on Latin American intellectual and political history, Rojas is the author of La política del adiós (Ediciones Universal 2003), Cuba mexicana. Historia de una anexión imposible (Secretaría de Relaciones Exteriores 2001); José Martí. La invención de Cuba (Colibrí 2000); Isla sin fin (Ediciones Universal 1999); and El arte de la espera. Notas al margen de la política cubana (Colibrí 1998). He is the co-editor of La transición invisible. Sociedad y cambio político en Cuba (Océano 2004); Antología del ensayo cubano del siglo XX (Fondo de Cultura Económica 2002); and El republicanismo en Hispanoamérica. Ensayos de historia intelectual y política (Fondo de Cultura Económica 2002). Rojas is co-director of the journal Encuentro de la cultura cubana and member of the editorial board of Istor:Revista de Historia Internacional. In 1999 he received the Primer Premio Matías Romero de Historia Diplomática for Cuba Mexicana. Historia de una anexión imposible. Works by Rojas: Cuba mexicana. Historia de una anexión imposible. Mexico: Secretaría de Relaciones Exteriores, 2001.

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Jorge A. Sanguinetty
DevTech Systems, Inc.

9350 S. Dixie Hwy, PH1
Miami, FL 33156


An expert on human capital strategies and the political economy of policy reform in developing and transitional economies, Jorge A. Sanguinetty is a former economic planner in Cuba with first-hand knowledge of centrally planned economies and how they can transition to more open, market-based systems. Born in Cuba in 1937, Sanguinetty worked as an economist in the tourist and sugar industries before emigrating to the United States in 1967 and obtaining a Ph.D. in economics at the City University of New York. One of the founding members of the Association for the Study of the Cuban Economy (ASCE), Sanguinetty is the author of Cuba: Realidad y Destino (Ediciones Universal 2005; English translation forthcoming). Many of Sanguinetty’s works on Cuba are available on www.cubafuturo.net. Sanguinetty is the president, CEO, and founder of DevTech Systems, Inc., a consulting firm which offers government agencies, multilateral institutions, and private-sector entities technical assistance in dealing with development issues such as institutional reform in market economies, the economics of justice administration and legal systems, and transition economics. Sanguinetty has published extensively on education reform in developing countries, especially in Latin America, and has worked on projects in more than twenty countries, including the Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Honduras, Jordan, Russia, and South Africa.

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Paolo Spadoni
Tulane University

Caroline Richardson Bldg.
New Orleans, LA 70118


A political economist with a specialization in international relations, Paolo Spadoni focuses on Latin America’s political and business environments, primarily in Cuba, Costa Rica, and the Dominican Republic. He is an expert on Cuba’s economy, foreign investment, and relations with the United States, and has conducted extensive fieldwork on the island for the past five years. A 2005 graduate of the University of Florida, Spadoni recently defended his Ph.D. dissertation, “The Effectiveness of Economic Sanctions in the Context of Globalization and Transnational Linkages: The Case of Cuba.” Spadoni has published several articles in the Association for the Study of the Cuban Economy’s Cuba in Transition and Transnational Law and Contemporary Problems. Book chapters by Spadoni include “The U.S. Congress and the Cuban Embargo: Analysis of a Learning Process” in Empirical Explorations in Organizational Learning (SUNY Press, forthcoming). He has published numerous opinion pieces on Cuba in the South Florida Sun-Sentinel, Orlando Sentinel, The Gainesville Sun, Tampa Tribune, and The Washington Times.

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