February 15, 2012
Juan Tamayo, El Nuevo Herald
Two years before Pope John Paul II visited Cuba in 1998, then-Defense Minister Raúl Castro cracked down on a half-dozen young academics who had dared propose market reforms for the island’s Soviet-styled economy.
The Center for the Study of the Americas was ordered to stop studying Cuban issues. One of the academics suffered a fatal heart attack, blamed on the government pressures. Another fled into exile, and two others now live mostly abroad.
Today, it is President Raúl Castro who is championing even more daring reforms, including deep cuts in state spending and the largest expansion of private economic activity allowed in the communist-ruled island....